Sunday, January 11, 2015

Broken bones, but mended dreams

New Year's Day. A fresh start. A new chapter in life waiting to be written. New questions to be asked, embraced, and loved. Answers to be discovered and then lived in this transformative year of delight and self-discovery. Today carve out a quiet interlude for yourself in which to dream, pen in hand. Only dreams give birth to change.  Sarah Ban Breathnach

I do try to remain an optimist about the start of every new year, though I typically refrain from the dreaded, "new year, new me" mantra which everyone and their brother decides to tattoo on their forehead come the eve of December 31st.

I like to think of January 1st as a new opportunity, even though it's just another day. It marks the first of 365 days of which I can either make especially great or astonishingly poor decisions. It gives a set time frame to announce that I've quit a terrible habit, or picked up an advantageous one; i.e. "I believe the last time I had fried food was the first of the year" or "I've been working out four times a week since January 1st! I can't believe I'm still going strong three months later" - please bear in mind that neither of these are my own resolutions.

January 1st allows you to start writing a new chapter in your book of life. 

There's something incredibly opportunistic about starting on a clean page. While you're not forgetting the events of the year prior, you're able to render hope that this new year will be better.

To say that 2015 has started off on the wrong foot would be a horribly ironic understatement.

On January 2nd, I received news that a friend had lost a battle he had struggled with for quite some time. I remember thinking to myself, the Drama Queen that I am, "Could the start of this year be any worse?"

Three days later, as I walked into the Pennsylvania tundra of January 2015 to warm up my car at 5:30am, I realized it really could. I typically get out of the house early to take care of a 19 month old whose family lives a few blocks down before work. Usually no one in the neighborhood is awake which allows for a peaceful and quick commute, but can also be fairly dangerous in times of an emergency.

As I approached my car, I quite literally fell upon black ice. Usually being able to stabilize myself before falling, I quickly tried to regain my balance. I then heard which can later be described as the sound of my right fibula snapping as I hit the ground and landed on my right leg. I attempted to stand up, but couldn't without my right foot sending a shock through my body. I called for help, but it was meek - I was cold, it was windy, I was in some oddly numbing kind of pain. I began to crawl back up the sidewalk to my house, sobbing along the way. When I got to the front set of stairs, I managed to drag myself to the porch, one hand on the railing, one on the stairs. I manager to get into the house to call an ambulance. Once in the ER, it was verified that I was undoubtedly broken and that my next step was to get on crutches and pray the orthopedic doctor would give it a short recovery period.

The rest of the day was a messy blur. I wound up going into work a few hours later hopped up on medicine and sheer adrenaline - I could feasibly be on an episode of "My Strange Addiction" from the measures I take for my job.

At any rate, I went to see the orthopedic surgeon a few days later who only verbalized my worst fear - surgery.

I have always been terrified of the idea of being asleep while someone digs medical weapons inside of you, poking your bones for one to two hours while a fish-pool of nurses and nerdy med students stand over him, gawking at your exposed parts. I mean, if they weren't meant to be seen, why did our Creator cover them with flesh??? Then they just sew you up like you'd fix a hole on your favorite sweater. It's a terrifying concept.

As the doctor was describing the operation, careful not to skip a single detail, I felt my heart drop and my stomach start to churn. The only benefit to this would be a more timely and accurate recovery, although I would still be posted up for at least six weeks.

The events of this week definitely took a toll on me. I was really sad - like, "your life is over for a minimum of six weeks" sad. But as I entered day three of rest and repeat, it hit me. My life was not over, it was actually just beginning.

Although I sit here broken, I am realizing that this is more and more a wake up call. I finally have the time to decide and reflect on my next plan of attack. I can write. I can finish a book. I can look into grad schools. I can craft. Most importantly, I can think.

I have been saying for years I wanted to do something more - be something more - but I haven't had a spare moment to think about it. I've kept myself so preoccupied that I had forgotten what I wanted to do. I am optimistic for these next six weeks (minimum) and all I can accomplish in that time.

I am always talking about my future. I talk about it to everyone - my friends, my family, my coworkers, my Tinder matches, strangers at the bar... More people are aware of my plans than even I am. I think the most important thing is, I had to take this fall and feel this break in order to stop talking, and start doing.

For that, I thank the Universe.


  1. Happy New Year Adele

    This is my first time visiting your blog and you discuss a very important topic. New years are like a clean page just as you mentioned. You can start over of improve on where you are. Thanks for sharing. Have a wonderful week.

  2. This post reminds me of the Charles Swindoll quote " life is 10% what happens to you and 90% of how you react to it". Sounds like you have made the decision to make the most of this. :)

  3. Sounds like that wake up call really did wake you up! Brava! Sorry for the pain of it all, but if it actually inspired you to action then WOW! Good for you and BEST with your soon to be success...both in the healing and in realizing your dream:) PS...careful how much you tell to those Tinder Matches! LOL Kidding:)

  4. I agree with you that new year's day is like a blank page for the year - all kinds of opportunities and otherwise. I'm sorry that the fall had to happen to make you realize that there is more to life than just being busy. Hope you find exactly what you need and want to do, then go for it. The best of luck.