Published on Friday, 24 August 2012 23:47
Written by Jules
Sometimes I walk through this world feeling like a visiting alien.
I look at the people around me having conversations, playing with their children, working at their jobs, and I feel very different from them. I look at them and think, "those people are not in any pain!" I catch myself staring like one would look at a beautiful bird, caged in a zoo. Or maybe I'm the caged one?
I have reached that point of not remembering. When was the last "normal day"?
Yes, I have days of less pain, even stretches of them. Still, there is always something chronic about those days. One day, sooner or later, I'll get back in my ship to return to the planet of Chronically Awesome, and I will try to explain this.
"Many of them run as a hobby!"
"I've seen them stand for long periods, in groups, talking to one another. They don't stop to sit and rest their tired feet and legs!"
"Would you believe, some only visit the doctor yearly, and only take pills to supplement their diets?"
There are times when I feel that, as a 42 year old woman with a cane, that I must appear the freak in this population. Little do most people know, that I am staring back at them in wonder. How do they do it?
The really crazy part is, that things have been improving for me. So, when I take my walks around town or in the park and see people, this in it's self is pretty impressive (if you ask me). I had my first migraine today in some time, and when it let up, I walked to the bodega for a sandwich and some groceries. That was a cool alien superpower!
This is when I stumbled upon this idea.
It was outdoor movie night in town, so everyone was out and getting their seats in the park to watch "Grease" on an outdoor screen. I live in a small, über planned community in the midst of West Los Angeles. The whole town turns out for these events. I looked around at my neighbors in sheer wonderment. These were people that made plans, and carried them out. It was a chilly night, and they had no issues with spending a few hours sitting on the ground, in the chill of the incoming marine layer, and knowing they could make it through the whole event comfortably. This has to go in my report to the mother planet!
I do so love my visit to this place. I love watching the people, the beautifully whole inhabitants of this world, as they live thier lives so blissfully unaware of their great fortune. I love the great leveler of the early morning dog walk when we all wish we were still in bed. For some reason, six or seven AM is now when I feel my best. Many people feel their worst then, so at that point we are even. We shuffle thorough the park, letting our dogs sniff at this and that, and hoping they hurry so we can get back to our coffee.
I love the uncombed bedheads, and the way that pajamas have been disguised just slightly so that we all look semi dressed for this morning ritual.
I love that we all know each other by our dog's names. I am simply Denny and Truman's Mom to all of them, and without them, I am not recognized on my other walks around town. (or could it be that I'm not in pajamas?)
I have learned to love people. I have learned to do away with envy and jealousy. I have learned to celebrate others just as I have learned to celebrate what is good in me. Even when I feel like an alien, even when I catch myself staring at the human subjects in my midst, I am learning something very important. We are all different.
The woman in line next to me may not have a rare genetic disorder, but maybe she's a workaholic, or her husband is. Or maybe she is different than me simply because she is 5'6" and I am 5'9"? We are all different, and we all see others through different lenses. Where I am at in my life right now, I wear the lenses of the chronically awesome. I see the world a little differently than some. While I try very hard to find the benefit before I cast anything aside in a giant fit of the "I can'ts", I still have a different shade over my eyes, a bit more planning, and wondering how I can, before I step into anything.
So, when I see these people doing what they consider ordinary, and I find it damned fantastic, that's me making a note, a report of celebration, a plan, a goal.
Earlier this week I could not walk, I had to be carried to places in my home, then I could walk to the curb. Next, I was walking the dogs in the park again, finally, I was walking to town. I would like to report to the home planet of Chronically Awesome some time soon, that instead of gawking at this world's inhabitants, I joined them in town on a street corner for a chat that lasted as long as we wanted, and I did not need to stare, nor did I need to stop to find a place to sit.
I can do it, I am CHRONICALLY AWESOME!