This month, the main thing on my mind has very much to do with my most recent lack of legs.
Over two months ago, I fell and sprained my knee – bad enough that I had to readjust my activity at work, teach sitting often, and never going out to socialize because “I need to put my legs up.” I did everything the doctors told me to in order to get better, between physical therapy, medicine for the muscle inflammation, icing my knees regularly, etc. I even used crutches for a while, which was the most annoying physical thing to do ever. (I had some outstanding arm muscles from it, however.) After what felt like an agonizing 1.5 months, I finished physical therapy, had been off my crutches, eventually stopped using a knee brace, and could walk around fine (and nearly run!) feeling about 90% recovered just fine. I remained on my feet all week, working very hard in school and work even if it meant being ‘everywhere’ (but being careful whenever possible).
Sadly…my injured knee eventually relapsed after all this activity. Bad enough that both knees were in a lot of pain, and I had to go back to two crutches and a brace, AND get temporary handicapped parking just so I could get around campus easier. I figured it was from overworking it, and had to get an MRI done for further results – turns out while most of the inflammation is gone, there’s just enough left (a very little bit) to cause the pain I’m still experiencing. So next it’s off to an orthopedic surgeon for more specific guidance.
Why do I mention all of this? Not for sympathy or anything like that. But because I didn’t get why it was happening. I had gotten better, and tried to resume normal activity. Why was I back down again?
Well as it happens, this serves as a perfect metaphor for life’s hardships. The very things we most depend on and take for granted just might be taken from right under us sometimes! It could be things…it could be people…it could be a good situation…so on and so on.
I also mention this because I think I’m supposed to understand this later. This whole thing’s had me feeling like I’m 25 going on 65, and I’ve been told a thousand times by people over the age of 40 that “You’re young, don’t worry – you’ll bounce back soon.” My first instinct is always “yeah no, right now I just feel pretty elderly.” But then again, there’s probably some truth to this. Later on, I’ll probably experience something that will have only made sense because I already went through not having great use of my legs. I’ve already been through that after having dislocated my shoulder months ago. (My conducting shoulder, at that!)
My point: we can’t take our negative experiences for granted. To be honest, I do not have all the answers on this particular situation yet, and it is absolutely not fun whatsoever. However, I do believe that every negative experience provides us with something to learn from (big or small) that we may grow from it and into something more positive later on. Sometimes, we have to fall back to move forward, right?
There’s a great song on the very subject that Take 6 did an arrangement of that explains it a little better that I do here: