Should I Stay or Should I Go

Should I Stay or Should I Go

Opportunity…commitment…

Upon completion of my program coursework and hours, I have a lot of time for self reflection…free time to decide what to do with and not-so-free time to apply for work. In this time, I find it difficult to commit to any one idea that comes to mind. Just applying to a job that outlines physical requirements that I am not confident my MS and I can perform together is quite an ordeal. Even applying to a job that, if I am successful, that will require me to relocate is anxiety provoking. Why would I apply if I am afraid to commit?

This is just one example of the way I’ve spent my time the past couple of weeks; with hours given to searching for description of work that would be perfectly suited to me…for me. Unfortunately, now that I reflect on my search methods, I realize that there is no such thing. And, for that reason, I HAVE applied to numerous postings. But this itch of anxiety follows me…What if, in my impatience, I get called and commit – out of fear  – to a workload I am incapable of executing? What if I am NOT what they are looking for in the end because I tell them what I can and cannot do? These situations I fear, terribly.

It’s not just in the employment fear aspect that gives me commitment anxiety. Addressing that summer and warmer weather have begun to settle, it’s only natural that I would be surrounded by others who want to do “summer” activities/outings and to enjoy these, myself…to participate. I am overwhelmed by the anxiety and fear of agreeing to go along with the group, then find myself caught in my MS net; tangled and unable to continue. I want so badly not to be that one person who determines when the activity/fun ends. I want so badly to DO without planning or anticipating when I’ll need to stop. I miss those days when walking was infinite…

So, I find myself in this sticky mess; asking myself if I should stay or go – if I should go and enjoy time with loved ones and put myself through the emotional and physical turmoil that my MS brings, because it insists on coming along…

Honestly, I very much enjoy my me time. However, I know that – given the opportunity – I’d rather spend the time with others and enjoy the bit of activity I can participate in, than stay alone in my pity basement to avoid those personal upsets; wishing that I’d gone outside. But, of course, always easier said than done. Because, once I’m at that point where my body can no longer function, the focus switches from play to panic; the primary goal, now for everyone, being to find a seat and cool me down.
It’s incredibly difficult to express how awful this feels because, once this cycle begins, I know the next bout is close behind. It takes a rather emotional toll – getting my hopes up when my body seems to be cooperating, just to find out that there’s a finite moment.

I don’t say any of this to focus purely on the negative aspects. I say what I feel, what I am going through to provide perspective; an insight that can possibly be related to. Though I am drained when I participate, I also acknowledge the accomplishment. I feel happier…lighter (once rested, of course) to have been able to DO, regardless of the amount done.

Many people tell me that I shouldn’t be insecure about what I cannot do. Unfortunately, I still struggle with this. I wish I knew what others thought, beyond the kindness/pity expressed to avoid making me feel inadequate. I wonder if they are disappointed by my limitations when they try to spend time with me; if they want to tell me to “keep going, you’ll be fine…relax.” If so, I can’t say that I’d blame them because those thoughts come to my mind too. I also know that, most of the time, it takes a lot of convincing…So, I then wonder if they think there’s someone else they’d rather be with who CAN walk/run/climb without the limits that I have.

I apologize if I’ve sounded depressing; as that’s not my aim. I  aim to share my own thoughts and personal insecurities, to give perspective, to provide relative material.
In the end, I know that others just want to help and see me succeed; as I want for them. I really shouldn’t let what I fear others may think feed my insecurities. If I never “go” because I am too anxious about what may happen, I’ll never be able to say that I DID…that much I do know 🙂

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All The Time That’s Gone

All The Time That’s Gone

I often catch myself looking back on my life; on all the things important to me. Moments that I remember…moments that, together, have made me who I am now. I don’t look back wondering or wishing that I could change any part of it…just to reflect and fill my mind with ease; with the innocence of childhood; the carefree world, the naive peace of mind unperturbed by the wrinkles that now fill my brain and my world. I don’t say this is a negative sense. The wrinkles come from learning, from experience, from hurt, from choices, from joy, from living. To think how much I’ve been through is incredibly enlightening.

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I remember being young on the farm and playing without an agenda. How easy life was then to be a kid; knowing you were safe, knowing you were loved, and feeling that your world was unbreakable. When I think about my childhood, that’s what I think about.

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I loved playing the piano and was filled with jealousy when one of my sisters were playing.I would sit at the piano for hours; pressing random keys, picking my favorite notes, counting the notes on my mom’s music books, and playing them to the beat of the metronome. Very little could break the peace I felt then.

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I remember helping my dad with the cows, feeding the odd stray calf, and sitting in our rattly brown truck to check on the herd. I was proud to be allowed to hold the steering wheel; not a lot of kids get to do this!

Then came dance; the most dear to my hear…the love of my life. My sisters and I were the power trio; the Three Musketeers. We did it all and IT was my whole world.

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Unfortunately this is where I struggle with not wanting to change things. And I’ll explain why…
I was given a wonderful opportunity after my final high school year to dance professionally. This point is probably my most treasured accomplishment. I danced in the production shows on a cruise line for two, 8 month contracts. Not only did I get to do what I loved most everyday, but I met so many wonderful and supportive people who shared my love of dance.
I was also fortunate enough to do a contract with my wonderful twin sister.DSCF1687P1000470

Now, here is where I explain the part I sometimes regret because I decided to put my energy toward something else, someone who I thought needed my time more than me; and I stopped dancing…just like that!

In life, you learn about what it feels like when people want to grow with you. You learn about what it’s like when people want you to continue to grow. And you learn what it feels like when they don’t. This is why I like to remember my past. In reality you don’t want to give up something you love in order to keep another thing you love around. I don’t think life should give that kind of ultimatum…but it does. So now, sometimes I find myself wondering what it’d be like if I’d kept dancing; where I’d be and how my MS would’ve played along. Would have I got myself checked out earlier than I actually did? Would I be more physically able? Would I be happier?
I’d like to think I would be. But, I know that this is virtual. These wishes and questions are all fabricated from a point in my life where I felt untouchable. And, though those after thoughts aren’t real, it still gives me joy knowing the real parts DID happen and they were incredible.

This past year has really got me focused on that kind of love once again. That love of something that’s so powerful it encapsulates you and you truly love yourself. For this refocus, I thank my MS. So…I dance in my basement. Not at all how WELL I used to…with my coordination askew …but in the WAY I used to love. Feeling the rhythm, finding that groove, allowing my muscles to remember as my mind does. And, in those moments, I find that peace of mind…that serenity…that love; like no time has gone.