A few days ago I started writing about how when I was in high school and began college, my dream was to either be an English teacher or a writer and how the dream was sidetracked by my self doubt and other happenings in my life. It seemed my so-called dreams never came to fruition and I always blamed it on things beyond my control. But was it really not my own fault?
I will never blame myself for not returning to college right away as it probably would have been a tremendous waste of money for both me and my parents. I did, however, decide to enroll in a travel program which took only four months to complete but the classes were long and very in depth. I LOVED travel school! I began travel school in September 1992, but how was I to know this was going to be one of the most difficult times of my life? I remember so clearly the moment the worst exacerbation of my life began, thus far. My entire family and I had gone to Chicago (three hours away) to attend my cousin Randy's wedding. On the way back, I was in the car with my dad (we had taken two vehicles) when my legs began to stiffen up and hurt as they never had before. I was listening to one of my favorite cassettes, Little Earthquakes, by Tori Amos and the pain became so unbearable that I asked my dad pull over so I could step out of the car. The intense heat and humidity of the day didn't make me feel any better so I got back in and we kept driving forward until we arrived home.
A month and a half after beginning the travel program, I lost almost all my eyesight and spoke with my instructors, who "owned" the program, and they allowed me to drop out as long as I promised to restart as soon as I was well again. I was devastated and depressed beyond belief that I could hardly see and had lost almost complete use of my legs just two years after my diagnosis. All I could think was how crippled will I become if it's this bad already?
In December of 1992, my parents gave me one of the best gifts ever. They told me if I went back to school and promised to do the best I could do, they would send me to Iceland to visit my best friend, Krissy. Are you kidding me? I finally had inspiration to do whatever I could to feel good again! My eyesight had already gotten somewhat better so I had re-enrolled in the travel program and finished by the middle of April 1993. A few days later, I was in Iceland for five wonderful weeks with my best friend. I was walking with a quad cane and took my wheelchair in case we went on any long outings, but I was thrilled out of my mind to finally spend time with her and her family.
OK, so I went to travel school and know what? I've never used the knowledge I gained in going there. I SHOULD have used it, but just never gave it a chance. I tend to do that a lot in my life. I suffer from a terrible thing that I have found many others do, too. I am not afraid of failure. I am afraid of success. Wait. Allow me to reword that. I used to be afraid of success. I don't believe I am that way anymore. But I also don't have dreams now so I honestly can't say for sure if I am still that way or not. It's funny how we change over time.
I don't find it sad or disheartening to say I no longer have dreams. It's just the way it is for me. I suppose I find myself engulfed in too much reality to allow myself to dream anymore, yet I find happiness in the tiniest of things. Am I making any sense to anyone but me?
At the beginning of my blog I said something about blaming things that didn't work out on circumstances out of my control. I mostly did this with my weight and appearance. Why didn't guys like me? I wasn't thin enough and that was it. What I didn't realize was that confidence is sexier than physical appearance and dieting and then failing wasn't getting me anywhere. Yes, I needed to lose weight and become healthy (and still do), but not to get a boyfriend! I needed to do it for me or not do it at all. I didn't want to take command of my own life whereas now, I take responsibility for my own actions whether the outcome was positive or just the opposite.