Tuesday, September 11, 2012

How Far I've Come

Today, September 11th, 2012 I think is a day that most American's can identify with. For most it is a day of remembrance. For me it is a day of remembrance.

September 11th has been, for the last few years, a day on which I reflect on my life and ponder on changes made, struggles passed, friendships created, and skills improved. I use September 11th to ponder, not only for the obvious reason of the twin tower attacks, but also for an important event in my life that helped shape me into who I am today. On September 11th, 2007 during the second game of the soccer season I tore my ACL and injured several other ligaments in my knee. Oh man, I feel really silly saying that after the twin tower attacks, but for me it was a huge deal. Many of my 17 year old dreams were ripped from me in literally one second. My soccer dreams were shattered, my goal of being powerlifting state champ 4 years in a row dashed, my track dreams gone in an instant.

As I look back now, I realize that that time in my life was very emotional and I had to learn to cope with a lot of different things I had just been able to hide from within sports before I was injured.

I got my knee fixed and so began the emotional, spiritual, and physical journey to where I am today.

After having surgery, I missed two weeks of school. I slept in my mom's bed every night of those fourteen days. Oh man, that gets me started on something else entirely...my mom. During this period of time, my relationship with my mom was really solidified into something more than just mother and daughter. That mother-daughter bond is strong already, but during this time she really was my everything. She was with me every single moment of this agonizing period. She experienced every single thing with me, by my side, except for maybe the physical pain. She understood how vulnerable I felt needing help to the bathroom, in the bathroom, and then back to bed. She knew how hard it was when my friends kept going about their lives and leaving me in the dust. She held my hand and cheered me on when I had a bad day at physical therapy. My mother was the only one that knew me inside and out, she knew what every tear meant to me, she knew what every step meant to me, she knew what every moment was like as if she was the one in my shoes. She was the one that helped my along my journey until I could bear my own weight again and even then she was and still is no more than a few steps behind me, encouraging and strengthening all the way.

After the surgery I was on crutches for about two months. It got old really fast. I promise I didn't always look like this...
Once I finished 9 months of physical therapy I was outfitted with a knee brace that made me feel like bionic woman. I was able to play soccer my senior year, but to say it was a disappointment would not be giving it justice. Since I wasn't able to participate in sports I got really involved in clubs at school. I really learned to develop my skills as a leader, as a worker bee, as a collaborator, and as a listener. I became more aware of the importance of people and their talents and abilities and how everyone has a place they are needed. My mind was opened and my heart was softened. The things I learned at that point in my life are quite significant because they were just the launching point.

Sometimes I wonder what I would be like had I not gone through such an ordeal. Would I be as aggressive as I was? Would I be as this or that as I was? I don't know, but I do know that although blowing out my knee totally sucked and I would never wish it upon anyone, I learned so much about myself and about others.

Since 2007 I have:
-graduated high school
-graduated college with an Associates Degree
-gotten married
-worked full time
-lived in Idaho and Texas
-managed my own home
-bought a car
-bought a KING sized mattress
-made some GREAT life-long friends
-learned some fantastic tips and tricks for being happy

In a nutshell, I'm leaps and bounds from where I was and for that I give a HUGE sigh of relief. During this time of reflection I am so grateful for the struggles and trials and hardships I have faced. I'm not sure if I could handle someone else's struggles, nor they mine, so for that I am thankful for what I have been dealt. I'm trying each day to be a better person than I was last week or last year. I'm constantly surprised at how much there is to learn in this life, but excited to see who I'll be in another 5, 10, 15, 20 years from now.

Although my small and sports focused dreams were taken from me a few short years ago, I feel like now there are a plethora possibilities and dreams ahead of me that are so much more than what I wanted back then. A real home (not apartment), a child, a successful business, and a blissfully happy marriage are some my goals/dreams for the future. I'm so stinkin excited for what my future holds.

My life is good, no, my life is great!