Friday, June 3, 2011

Courage and Confirmation

Wow, what a week!  I've managed to start a garden, take my secret Capris out of the dresser (and wear them OUTSIDE my apartment,) and win a writing contest without even breaking a sweat! all honesty I did sweat a little when I walked to the mailboxes in my Capris, and it wasn't just because of the walk.  But I was determined not to let another year go by without finding the courage to wear those pants in public.  Does that sound ridiculous?  Probably...wearing Capris shouldn't take all that much courage.  Though for me that's a step I haven't been brave enough to take until now.  As the poem in my recent post Just Like You may indicate, I draw a lot of stares because of my disability.  And anyone who knows me has figured out that I don't look like Julia Roberts or Sandra Bullock, even on one of their bad days...I'm just an average looking woman (who happens to wear braces.)  So I've always figured the stares would just increase beyond what I was willing to tolerate, and despite the summer heat I have never worn anything other than regular pants outside of my own private domain.  Until now!  One of my resolutions was to find that courage, so I dug down deep and forged ahead...and I want you to know--I  even went beyond the short walk to the mailboxes.  I also accompanied my mother to a local nursery, to find the plants for my garden.  And there were lots of people shopping there, all with the same gardening goals in mind.  Did I see the stares??  Yes, though I was determined not to let them stop me.  And I must admit, I made it home without passing out from the intense heat and was none the worse for wear!

Which leads me to my next accomplishment...starting my garden.  Now, I must put this into the proper perspective for you...I didn't actually start a whole garden.  I don't even have a yard!  And I'm not like my friend K who has such a green thumb, she even grows fresh catnip for her cats to enjoy...amidst all the flowers and vegetables she also creates.  Believe me when I tell you that my thumb is BLACK...with a little gangrene on the edges, and some pesky mold spores underneath.  And I wouldn't recognize fresh catnip if it stood up and bit me!  Though I was working very hard on being brave this week, and I was determined to start my own little garden oasis on my back porch, in order to grow my own vegetables.  So I did what every non-gardener (with a thumb so black it's about to fall off) does...I got two Topsy Turvy's and some plants, and said a little prayer!  I chose yellow squash and yellow bell peppers, and followed the TT instructions to the letter.  I know it's kind of like a 'gardening for dummies' option, and there's still a chance my gangrene-encrusted digit will take over...forcing me to buy my yellow vegetables at the grocery store for the rest of my life.  And if that happens, so be it!  I can handle it...after all, I'm a rebel now--I wear tan Capris and show off my braces with pride!  Here I am,, gangrenous thumb and all!!

And now for my last bit of news...the writing contest!  When I entered I didn't actually think I'd win.  Sometimes when you assume the best results will happen, the let-down is so much bigger when you fail.  So the easiest thing for me to do was to assume I wouldn't be chosen, and that way the disappointment would be minimal...though lo and behold, the opposite happened!  I've never won a contest before, other than once when I won $100 at the track.  That was certainly a good thing, and I wouldn't turn my nose up at another $100...but winning a writing contest is somehow different.  After all, winning the money was pure luck, because I chose the right horse.  Having my poem picked as the winner gives me confirmation of my writing abilities, and lets me know that it touched someone's heart.  And it will be shared with others, hopefully giving them something to think about...which will assist me in my quest to raise awareness for CMT.

So now that I have taken steps to fertilize some new growth in my life, I can check off some goals on my resolution list.  I am by no means done, and will still have to face my demons when the temperature gage hits 90 again and I have errands to run.  Hopefully I will pull those Capris out of the drawer every time, pushing my fears aside until there are no more fears to move.  I'll try my best to keep my new yellow plants alive despite my past history, and if I am lucky I will be reaping the rewards soon.  Most of all I will continue to open myself up to new opportunities that come my way, especially any writing contests--even the ones that require me to stand up in front of others and read my work.  That will take a whole new brand of courage that I have not yet found...though I know I can get there--if I take just one BRAVE step, at a time.

1 comment:

  1. Sooo happy for all your recent successes ! How liberating, to finnally be comfortable , and
    so in fashion . Ms Roberts & Ms Bullock have nothing on you ! [ They wish ! ]
    Let me tell you a quick story of my time wearing a brace / though nothing permanent like you / it sure felt like it . After a very severe accident in '85...I was forced to wear a very large custom made leg brace on my right side ,for 14 years to be able to stand and sommwhat walk.All my pants were altered to make the right leg larger by 6" to accomadate the brace , I wore shorts whenever possable [ even winter ] People would stare [ boy would they stare ] it went from my upper thigh , to my mid calf , with a very large hinge connected to my knee surgically. The prominent starers, I would engage them in "conversation " / "Want to know what it is ? "..... They would walk away amazed , as I turned the tables on them , and educated them . After all you are a teacher ....
    don't shy away , engage them , futher your cause , you'd be surprized how much better you feel about yourself instead of "wondering what people think " .I was finnally repaired { ? ]
    by a specially made artificial knee , 8" rod , and 4" of cadaver bone .As someday you too will benifit from new and amazing medical reasearch !
    Fight the good fight Warrior , be not afraid of stares and glances , you are made in God's image , and nothing is more beautifull !
    Many "Kudos " on your writing award ! This being only the beginning , those huge doors are now opening up for you , so that you may continue to get your message out . Just imagine how far and wide your words may reach if you continue of this path you've chosen . This reader is very proud of you , and know you will proceed forward !
    As for your recent venture into gardening , with all this success reigning upon you , I forsee a bumper crop on your yellow veggies. These Toppse Turvee things are quite the rave ,and I'm sure you'll find your finger turning green in no time . That being said , if you recieve a bumper crop , I'm putting in my request for a yelloe pepper .......