Friday, August 24, 2012

My Second Jack White Concert This Year

Last week I got the chance to see Jack White in concert for the second time on this particular tour.  And it rocked.  I ended up going with my mom but it went great.  Even though she's not as familiar with his music and the lyrics as she is with other music, she had a good time and I really enjoyed it.  The greatest thing was there were many of the same songs performed but it was a completely different show than the one I saw in Eugene.  And in Eugene he left right after the concert to head out to California so we didn't get an encore but this time, after much yelling and screaming from the audience, he came out for a four song encore ending the whole show with the song, "Portland, Oregon."  It was a perfect way to end a killer show.  I feel very lucky that I got the opportunity to see him twice in one year, on one tour.  He was even so cool as to do a spontaneous afternoon show in a Portland city laundromat, which I was unfortunate to not get to see because I was in the car on the road traveling over at that time.  But that's just so awesome of him to do.  I still often think about the personal video message he sent me and it always puts a smile on my face.  You're the best Jack.  You're the best.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Not Giving The Fire Another Moment of My Life.

I have a routine, a boring routine, in the morning where I watch the local news early in the morning, then the Today show later and then Anderson at 11:00.  I love the Anderson show and today was a repeat of an earlier show that I had not seen so it was new to me despite it being an older show but there was a guest on that gave some very inspiring advice.  Elizabeth Smart was on via satellite and she had just recently gotten married and Anderson asked her about something her mother had said to her after she came home from being kidnapped.  She said her mother told her (in more or less words) that "this man took 9 months from you....Don't let him take another minute, another moment from you.  Be happy, live your life.  Don't let him win the rest of your life."  I think that is AMAZING words of advice in a trauma, no matter what the trauma is.  I can apply it to my own life.  The fire originally took four months from my life until I came home and so far it has taken now four years with doctor appt after doctor appt, surgery after surgery, hospital stay after hospital stay.  I think it's time that I don't let the fire take anymore of me or my time in my life.  Obviously there are gonna be times where it will take time with surgeries and hospital stays but I'm talking emotionally, mentally.  It may take me physically but it's time that it not take anymore time from me mentally or emotionally.  It has taken more than four years so far.  How much more am I gonna allow it to take from my life?  From me?  There's a great lesson to be learned and taken from Elizabeth Smart's mother who was so insightful when she told her daughter that piece of advice.  It's an amazing piece of advice that I just can't ignore it.  Yet, I know I will give in to the fire a few days here and there because it's just too impossible to ignore what a fire can do to you not only physically, especially in my case with my contractures, but also emotionally when you used to have a life and now you have to live a new life that you're not used to, that's not what was in your life plan.  I mean, I just got done with a surgery in June for bad neck contractures and I just saw my surgeon yesterday and he couldn't believe what he saw when he looked at my neck where he just did surgery.  It had contracted so bad that it's actually worse than before he did surgery.  And that's no fault of his.  It's just the way my body heals, which is not good.  So he immediately began paperwork to go forward with another surgery on the exact same place he just did surgery on plus surgery on the backs of my axillas (armpit area).  So I'm highly disappointed in my neck and what my surgeon had to say about it cause he couldn't believe it either.  I looked at him with tears in my eyes not yet falling over my eyelids and told him I can't believe it's worse than it was before the surgery and he put his hand on my knee, looked at me and said, "we will continue to move forward and work on anything that needs to be worked on as long as you're willing to continue on."  I, of course, through tears in my eyes, nodded and said, "yes, I'm with you all the way."  It was a hard doctor appt cause he just couldn't believe how bad I had contracted and how soon after the surgery I have to go back in for the same surgery on fresh wounds.

But watching Anderson today and listening to Elizabeth Smart and what her mother said to her can be applied to anyone who has been through a trauma, whether it's been by a human being as in Elizabeth's case, or fire, as in my case.  There's nothing worse than giving in to the trauma you've been through.  But to rise above it, to rise from the ashes, and not give it another emotional or mental minute of your time, of your life, is an ultimate success in your life.  And it's something that I need to learn because there are many days where I give in to what the fire took from me. I can't help it.  But I need to learn to help it and not give it another minute of my life.  I need to rise above it and move on and find what is worth it in my life to give my full attention to.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Finding My Glory

A friend posted the above video to me a couple weeks back and it really made an impact on me.  It's a beautiful short film called "The Butterfly Circus" about a man with no arms and no legs who was made to be part of a sideshow freak show in a circus until he met up with a man who was the ringmaster of another circus who told him there was nothing wrong with him.  He ended up traveling with that new ringmaster's circus, the Butterfly Circus, and no one would help him do anything until one day the ringmaster told him something very valuable and that was, "the greater the struggle, the more glorious the triumph."  I struggle so everyday but when I heard him say that it made me feel like there was some glory to be had in all of this and because of the great struggle I go through the more glorious that triumph will be, just like he said.  I don't know what glory can come out of all of this.  The one thing I wanted to do most in this world may not be there for my taking anymore.  There are some days where I still believe it but most days I see it as a long distance wish and no more a dream of a career.  So what glory is there in all this struggle for me?

Then I also think of Oscar Pistorius.  Oscara Pistorius was born with fibular hemimelia in both his legs, which is congenital absence of the fibula.  At 11 months old, his legs were amputated halfway between his knees and ankles.  Despite this, he took part in all kinds of sporting activities growing up in school until he found running and "never looked back."  You will all know Oscar as the "blade runner" in this year's Olympics and you have all no doubt found him awe inspiring.  But there is something even more inspiring about him to people who are disabled or who have been through a trauma.  His incredible attitude and positivity cannot be touched and his heart is so big.  He does not and never has let his "disabiltiy" get in his way nor has he even looked at his disability as a disability.  He has been quoted very often saying, "You are not disabled by the disabilities you have, you are able by the abilities you have."  I think about that and wonder what abilities I have that make me able.  But I also look at him and think what an amazing young man he is and how I need to find ways to be great and to teach others of what I've been through and learned.

I am currently undergoing a struggle, a great struggle that I cannot tell you about.  Only few people know about it.  It is a great struggle regarding weight loss and the way back to being strong and fit again.  It has challenged me and challenged me to the point of tears sometimes but I have gotten through it so far.  It reminds me of the great commercial that has been airing during the Olympics, "Find Your Greatness."  This struggle I have been going through is a start to finding my greatness again.  Like he says in that short film I gave you the link to and I think you should definitely watch, "the greater the struggle, the more glorious the triumph."  And from Oscar, I need to focus more on what I am able than the disabilities I have.  Perhaps I will find my glory there.