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I went to the doctor today with a few minor complaints, mainly so I could get a prescription to go see a physical therapist to rehabilitate my ankle, which I sprained this summer, hoped would get better, went back to the gym and it was worse than usual, and just recently twisted which has made it start hurting again.

When I was at the point of not being able to leave my room because it was so swollen, I was filled with gratitude for all the things I took for granted that I can normally do without thinking. It is very hard hard to smell the roses or even get outside when you have aches and pains, an injury, or a real disability.

My mom has a health problem and can’t walk very well anymore. Everytime I post a picture on facebook of my travels, I am seeing for her what she may never get a chance to see. It makes me feel very sad to think that, and sometimes I have felt guilty for leaving her. But you know what? I am living more fully because of my mom, and for my mom, and I think that’s the whole point.

SO anyway I was at the doctor and feeling super ashamed of showing him the little plantar’s wart on my foot to get an opinion, and he was like, “o no problem, the dermatologist will take that off for you.”

And I told him about trying to get healthier since I assumed he noticed I was overweight, although all he did was ask whether I’d had a blood test and said my blood pressure was perfect.  He didn’t say a thing.

When all was said and done and I had referrals for a few specialists and his advice on weight loss, during which he assured me I should not deprive myself nad should take things slow and easy, I said, “while I”m in France I have to take advantage of the health system,” and he said, “rather, enjoy your good health!”

And that put things into perspective for me a bit. I may have warts on my feet, some extra pounds on my body, and a still recovering ankle, but overall I am in pretty tip-top condition.

And such is life. I have made a lot of mistakes, yet in the main I”m doing very well.

And in the case of my ankle, as for other things, the fact it took me so long to admit how bad the problem was probably increased the severity and the healing time. With the ankle, there was the whole matter of getting my health insurance straightened out, but even stil, I should have taken care of it earlier.

But you know what? I am living in a foreign country, killing it at my job, speak French so well sometimes people don’t even compliment me on it anymore, they just go about their business of treating me or whatever it might be, and yes, I got health insurance. And o by the way, I dealt with being immobile and out of work for two weeks this summer with a lot of help from one friend but navigating a foreign medidcal system on my own, from emergency room to finding a doctor who would come to me since I couldn’t leave my apartment.

It sounds more overhwleming than it felt at the time; I just dealt with it.

But sometimes for me it’s a delayed reaction, and I”m just thinking, damn, that really sucked, a few months or weeks or whatever after the fact.

I was soo sad after seeing the doctor. His compassion and not being hard on me when I was being hard on myself just really let a lot of feelings come out.

I’ve been in a good mood and pretty high energy, especailly after cleaning my room from top to bottom and geting rid of a bunch of stuff, but this just brought me back to my dark days- of first world problems.

Tha tbeing sad, it was pretty hard.

The truth is, your dreams don’t come true and you don’t get the life you want without a little bit of resistance and pain. SOme things have to die to make room for others to grow.

The life I am living is the one I want now. Though sometimes, we dont get exactly what we want, or what we want isn’t what we thought it was, or what we expected.

Although in my experience, when you are acting from your most authentic self, GOd and friends and a friendly universe lend a hand.

Though I ask myself, why did I suffer so much in the midst of so many good things happening to me? WHy was I so sad when I had every reason to be happy?

And I think the reason comes from thisese circumstances forcing you to confront old beliefs.

Old beliefs that almost everyone holds.

Like, I am a horrible person for not being a size XX.

Or, I should always mange to save some money, especially since I”m finally making a good salary.

Or, why do I keep making the same mistake with the sam eguy, over and over? WHy did it take 3 years for that lesson to sink in? If I’m so great, why doesn’t anyone want me?

And on and on like that.

Instead of saying, I am beautiful, but I have flouride stains on my teeth making them appear more yellow and I am too heavy and am not slender and elegant and willowy, why can’t I say, I have a beautiful smile and gorgeous curves?

When I make my plans for myself, I alway s exepct the absolute best from myself. Like today, when I said I would finish my cleaning job but I didn’t because I was feeling down and had low energy.

That being siad, that justified a whole lot of inaction on my part in the past few years, and led to all kinds of problems, but sometimes you have to just relax for a bit.

Sometimes that’s the best thing you can do for yourself.

And you know what, I’m only human.

I need to forgive myself those mistakes, the frustration.

I need to stop feeling like i have to make up for everything before I can be forgiven, before I can get back to zero. I will have to bear the consequences, sure, but ultimately, I need to feel good about myself too.

Punishing myself hasn’t really helped.

It just makes everythin ffeel like shit, even when you do do a fabulous job, because nothing is ever as you expected it to be.

But you know what, that’s ok.

I am not living the life I expected, I am living the life I imagined, more and more.

It’s amazing, but it’s not “perfect.”

It is not hte Platonic form I hd in my hea. I am far from the Platonic form myself.

But maybe life is not about finding Platonic forms where you expect to, or perhaps not the form of perfection you expected.

Maybe it’s about living in Paris.

Maybe it’s about finding the perfect partner, but the one you least expecte and wouldn’t have picked out on your own. I  have always struggled with this.

Maybe it means that you are not in the career you wanted to be in, which was initially a compromise but now you are no longer attracted to your original dream. It requires a bit of an identity shift.

And you may fin your new job, lover, or lifestyle, has the very essence of what you hoped for, if not in the form you imagined.

It is a huge blow ot the ego to not gt what we thought we wanted, or to find that something we idn’t expect makes us happy. It’s really hard to admit ou are not the person you thought you were.

But liberating.

And when you take the blinders off and stop looking for somethnig in particular, life as a whole is pretty beautiful.

love,

MJ

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