Recently I’ve had some successful adventures that produced so many smiles that my face has hurt! I’ve mentioned numerous outings that have resulted in headaches or over-stimulation or general disappointment, so it’s nice to be able to mention some of the ones that exceeded expectations. A few weeks ago, I rode go-karts! Since I do not drive anymore, I really wanted to try something that would let me simulate that experience to just see how it felt with the world zipping by me. Last summer my friends suggested go-karts as an option. When I got the chance, I jumped on it! I had a little trouble with the car getting started, but once it did I had a blast. I rode around that track with rain falling on my head and skidding around the corners and it was fantastic. Although the rain shut the track down after only one session, I was happy to have gotten the chance and know that I will be able to do it again.
My most recent adventure was roller skating! I had no idea that people still did this! We went to an outdoor roller skating pavilion in a park where you just give them your ID and they give you skates for free. My first time roller skating in over 20 or 30 years probably shouldn’t have been done on concrete, but I had a blast and didn’t injure myself. The place was hopping, there were all kinds of crazy outfits, there were even people who could seriously skate, dance while skating, do spins and other tricks, and just look super smooth in general. Watching them was just as much fun as skating! There was so much joy in that pavilion.
I hope we all find more of these joyful, carefree adventures and do them more often!
I have been having an internal conversation with myself lately. We have all heard about the power of words. Our internal dialogues are as important as the words we speak out loud. Speaking positive affirmations out loud is even supposed to impact our DNA. I have noticed how much I mention my wacky brain or having half a brain or being blind, etc. I say these things sometimes in a joking manner, sometimes in a matter of fact explanatory manner. I don’t even really think about it. I’m just speaking my reality. The awareness, though, got me thinking about what impact, if any, this is having on me. Humor is certainly a valid way of dealing with difficult issues. It has helped me over the last couple of years for sure. I even think I’ve probably had more laughs related to my brain tumor than the average brain tumor landlord. I suppose the humor is my way of letting the people around me know that I’m OK and it is not a sensitive topic. I would say the humor has been a positive thing overall and as I write this, I realize that I think I have answered my own question. It has brought positivity to my life, so I think I’ll keep it around. I’ll remain a positively awesome, partially blind girl who likes to laugh at my wacky brain. It’s probably more fun anyway.
I still struggle with feeling like I’m a productive member of society. I volunteer one day a week, but I’m on full time disability because my brain is still healing and adjusting to its limitations. I wrestle with wanting to do more but not being capable of what I used to. Today I decided “my job” would be to spread some joy by wearing my “Smile. You’re Awesome.” shirt. I had this shirt custom made a while ago but forgot about it. I find that the shirts that say “Smile IF you’re awesome” don’t have the sentiment I really want to convey, so I made one that did. I don’t know how many people actually noticed it beyond the two women who work in my building, but it made them both smile so I consider that a success. If it also has the same effect on you, then more success!
In addition to my shirt, I picked up trash during my morning walk, I said “Good morning” to everyone I passed, I helped an older gentleman cross the street, and I gave a flower to my building concierge. While I may not be solving world problems, at least I can influence the space around me for the better.
Although I mostly write about my bizarre experiences with my brain tumor and my wacky vision, I thought I’d give a few words on brain tumors overall for the month of May.
Did you know that the ribbon color for brain tumors is is GREY? As in grey matter!
The best article I’ve come across that speaks to what it is like to have a brain injury is this one and so many of these things ring true for me (I couldn’t remember whether I posted it on here before (which will not be surprising once you read it!)
Celebrate Brain Tumor Awareness Month!