Words to Live and Write by

I am willing to fall Because I have learned how to rise.

I craft Love from heartbreak, Compassion from shame, Grace from disappointment, Courage from failure.

I am among the brave and brokenhearted, and I am rising strong.

(credit to Brene Brown)

Thursday, October 30, 2014


I did that thing they kept telling me not to do, called "standing up," and it was totally easy. So I thought I could take it to the next level - literally, by standing up on a chair - because nothing says "I am so over being sick" like Halloween decorations and cobwebs with spiders hanging from the ceiling around your front door, and since I am only 5 feet tall the ceiling is at least an-arm-and-a chair's-length away from me. Inevitably, the thing they kept warning me about standing up happened. I fell.

It wasn't a slip-and-land-on-your-feet fall. While stretched out on my toes, on the edge of the chair, I lost all vision and muscle control, but not awareness and not sensation. One second I was working my hardest to get that pin to stick, and the next I was toppling sideways and knocking the back of my head on the edge of the kitchen counter and landing soundly on the floor on my hip without any brace for impact. I screamed as sight flooded in just behind the pain and saw my dazed husband dash across the room. And then, Pain. There was no blood, but a lot of pain, which is probably how I convinced my husband I didn't need to get medical attention, and now it's some four days later. I'm not sure of all I did in those four days, but I know I talked to several people on the phone, drove my car, and even kept appointments; I have a lot of piece-meal memories that I can't string together linearly. I remember the moments of trauma and ones preceding and following it, but there isn't the usual coherency between them. My souvenirs are a sensitive place on my head that I keep forgetting about and an enormous bruise on my hip.

I think this sort of sums up the life experiences I'm supposed to have learned "the hard way." I think the hard way is about as hard as the floor, maybe harder, and regardless of how hard I knocked myself upside the head those experiences don't stay. I remember them about as well as I remember hitting my head: yeah, it hurt, a lot, but if it weren't for my bruises the memories would be as fleeting anything else. So when I share a story and point to my bruises, you can bet I only retain the lesson for as long as my body is still actually bruised; after that, it's just a story. And this is a really good analogy, but I can't quite clear the cobwebs out of my head enough for it to make sense.

I'm bruised enough to remember not to stand on chairs, and dazed enough to still believe it. In a week, I will tell you I know not to stand on chairs, but I'll do it anyway.