How do we move forward?

My road came to an unexpected halt on November 9, 2010.

That morning, I was bicycling to work when a garbage truck turned across a city bike lane. I was in that bike lane.

I was critically injured in the accident. A team of trauma surgeons saved my life, but they had to amputate my left leg. I had a long road ahead of me, physically and emotionally, yet I was grateful to be alive.

An ending can be a beginning too. I started over.

The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.

Gradually I learned to walk again. So I began counting steps. Then miles.

Over time, that journey turned a corner. It became less about my own recovery and more about resilience -- the connection we all share.

Ten years later, I still take one step at a time. Yes, there are bumps in the road, but each step means rising to new challenges, adapting to change, and moving forward with hope.

Are you on your own journey?

WALK WITH ME.

Tuesday, May 11, 2021

What place gives you that "back-to-normal" feeling?

The outside of a bookstore with books in the window and an awning that reads "Eat. Sleep. Read."

At Mile Marker 9,525...

I shop.  

At a bookstore.

In person.

A trip to Inkwood Books is always a treat.  But after 14 months of browsing online, this feels like a luxury vacation!  

Just imagine...

Rainbows of bindings span the shelves.  
New releases are piled high.
Authors, and titles, and subjects... oh my!

I can practically smell the pages -- even through 2 masks!

(Amazon, eat your heart out.)

Not gonna lie.  I'd been looking forward to this outing all week long.

These days, even a simple errand feels like a special occasion.  

Or maybe a dare.

I park the car.  Feed the meter.  Pull my earrings through the mask loops.

Then, as I step inside the store, something happens that I didn't anticipate.

It feels unexpectedly... 

NORMAL.

I wander among the shelves.  Flip through staff recommendations.  Pick out some Mother's Day gifts for my mom. 

The book, "Are You There God, It's Me Margaret," by Judy Blume.
I grab an old favorite to read with my nieces
in our upcoming summer book club.

Two books: "The Last Thing He Told Me," by Laura Dave, and "The Woman with the Blue Star," by Pam Jenoff
And find 2 new releases by authors I know --
in person! :)

Instead of feeling nervous and rushed -- as I thought I would -- I feel surprisingly relaxed.  

Like this could be a normal moment.  
In a normal day.  
In a normal year.  

I bask in that back-to-normal feeling.  

The pandemic made me realize how much I miss "normal."

But it also unearthed a surge of anxiety and vigilance I hadn't felt since the aftermath of the accident. 

Trauma runs deep.  

All these months later, I know I'm lucky to be vaccinated.  

And employed. 
And healthy.  
And all the good things.  

I should jumping with both feet into "normal" again.

But for some reason, I'm struggling.

Then I remember the earliest days of my recovery...

Me, lying on my parents' couch reading, with only one leg visible.
...when I didn't know how I'd move forward at all.

Books have gotten me through some of the toughest parts of this journey.

And to go one step further, writing has too.

(There was a reason I started this blog!)

During the quarantine, I drafted 2 novels -- that's more than 130,000 words -- start to finish.

My desk with papers, a laptop, a coffee cup, and a glass.
They're not ready to share yet,
but maybe someday.

Mile 9,525 is filled with reading and writing -- and best of all, possibility.   

If this is what back-to-normal feels like...

A selfie of me wearing 2 masks outside Inkwood Books, looking happy.
...sign me up!
 
What place gives you that back-to-normal feeling?

Tell me about it.  Maybe I'll go there next.

My legs (one prosthetic, one real) crossed on the balcony with a book on my lap.
Just let me finish this chapter first.

Walk on!
Rebecca

4 comments:

  1. Back to normal is walking around the block twice each morning with your mom. Mental health therapy for free. And remembrance of younger days!

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    1. I know she loves that morning walk just as much!! And I've heard many tales of those walks from younger days too :)

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  2. I miss visiting the main library, pulling a pile of "in-library use only" books from the shelves and losing track of time. soon... hopefully

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    1. I miss browsing in the library too! There's something about being in a book-filled space with so much possibility and so many things to learn. Hopefully soon!! Miss YOU too!

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