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Saturday, May 5, 2012

To dream or not to dream.....

It never ceases to amaze me how I can come to my blog with the idea of writing on a particular subject, when I suddenly find my mind taking a complete different direction than I had imagined.  This is what happened with my last post, although I am quite satisfied in how it turned out.

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?

Once upon a time, I dreamed of seeing as much of Europe as possible but I know that is no longer a possibility due to lack of funds and lack of mobility.  I have accepted this.  And how I'd love to see Egypt, especially Alexandria and see the places Magdy had seen and walk the streets he must have walked hundreds of times.  Instead, I choose to live vicariously through the travels of friends and family and revel in their happiness as I hear of their adventures.
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.

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