The more this website comes together and the more consistent the posts and content, the more you will notice and get use to how much I love “the cinema” and movies! 🙂 I warn you now because the title of this blog is an example of one of the first, of what will surely be many times, that I do what I’m speaking of.
What’s that? you might ask… 😉
I love referring to different movies and characters that remind me of what I’m thinking or writing about and using them as analogies in my posts :). If you know the show NCIS, it was like finding my twin brother when it came to that exact personality trait, when they made it a staple characteristic of Tony. He of course became one of my favorite characters right off.
Back to this post… Did you recognize the all too famous line, from a certain romantic comedy… said by one of Hollywood’s most beloved sweethearts?! Quick, name that movie! 😉
In reference to this post though, I see it as another way of saying “I’m only human”.
As my sufferings mounted I soon realized that there were two ways in which I could respond to my situation – either to react with bitterness or seek to transform the suffering into a creative force. I decided to follow the latter course.”
– Martin Luther King Jr.
This quote is at the top of my “Meet Maria” page, the page still in the process of being written. When I came across it, the words held me, echoing back over themselves as I saw all that I was trying to do, the dream I was working for, reflected within them…
I saw my website, the ability to start sharing my story and all that I’ve learned and done to make it this far, being able to connect with people now while working on writing the full story as time and health allows. I saw the first Apt. being used by other families and the smiles of relief and happiness on their faces for that little bit of comfort… and then saw myself getting to use my passion for design to create more spaces, ones that could help more families and even more after that, and I felt tears of excitement and eagerness and hope that I will live to be part of that long-term goal. Then I felt the impatience of wanting that first space we already have to be ready now, so I can at least be part of getting it started, knowing how much something so simple truly means when you are going through something so big. The project held up because of our own financial stresses, I happily saw how yet another of my dreams and my passion for design and architecture also allows me to help my family, to be specific my parents, who are financially in debt for the very first time only because of their unconditional love and support of me. (And I know they wouldn’t have it any other way and neither would I xoxoxo!)
In the short time frame of this quote, all of that played out like a film reel in it’s words, reflecting the creativity that I hope will take all that has happened and turn it into something good and positive…something that will hopefully help others in ways I may not even know myself.
Days like today though, when they aren’t just one, but have repeated themselves back to back until you can count them in weeks… when the pain levels are at their highest and my memories and flashbacks are the type you can’t control, the ones that stir up the kind of heartbreak that simply can’t be avoided by anyone who is only human (movie reference 😉 ) and seem to be sparked by almost everything… these are the days that I have to remind myself of this quote. I tell myself to take all that emotion that I’m feeling, everything inside of me, and put it into the passion behind those words… transforming it into a positive strength that fills my heart and gives me strength, helping to keep me going. It gives me purpose to all thats happened and to the unknown I continue to fight through one day at a time.
I had my first couple of experiences last year, when people I had never even met, thanked me for helping give them strength through the hardest times of their own struggles. One girl even broke into unexpected tears when she said “It was the first time she didn’t feel completely alone and totally hopeless because of it.”. I hadn’t even started sharing my story, or so I’d thought, but there was this one letter and gift… and her unexpected tearful conversation… that both brought tears to my eyes, feeling my own love and appreciation. What they didn’t know, is that they were giving me the same if not more strength, reminding me of why I’m doing what I’m doing and increasing that drive…a purpose bigger than myself, but for my parents and the hope of helping others. xo
As I write this it leads to so many other thoughts and feelings that I can easily see myself getting lost in, letting my fingers type my way right through the virtual doors that are opening up :). If I let myself do that though, this will become the never-ending blog!… LoL… And those thoughts are all things that have come up for me already, that I’ve been collecting as content to share with all of you when this site was finally ready. As much as my eagerness to finally be able to do so would love to keep writing, I’ve learned shorter is better and that one topic is enough per post! 😉 Besides, it gives me that content still to share, but now already linked in!
That being said, there are two thoughts that brought about this post, and something doesn’t feel complete without mentioning them. A lot of people could read this and say they understand, and I have no doubt that they do… but like everything in life, understanding is all relative, and comes with knowing the story in discussion or connecting to it through what they’ve seen or experienced themselves. Since I haven’t exactly told my story yet, I feel like I need to share two things that are a little different about it, things that will help you understand why remembering this quote is as important and meaningful as it is to me… And to feel understood is a pretty important and wonderful feeling too. 🙂
I won’t go into details, save that for another day ;), but to summarize… When I speak of memories and flashbacks, and the grief they can bring, I don’t just mean the things I’ve lost from before. I also see pictures of what could’ve been, like little video clips that play out, of the happiness I missed out on, dreams as simple as weekend BBQ’s with friends, traveling, finding out if the guy I loved was for real or would there have been someone else, having a family. It wasn’t even so much the dreams themselves though, none of us know how things are going to turn out or what would have been anyway, it’s about having the chance to go after your dreams to even find out!! This is where my story is a little different from the average and what I find makes it a little harder for myself… if it was the usual misdiagnosis you hear of, one that doctors did because they were only human, but were searching for the right answer and doing the best they could, supporting me in the process… that would be one thing. To find out it was misdiagnosis based on stereotyping, never even running the correct tests… and then discovering that they also had all the information they needed to find and fix the problem when I was 18… that tilts the emotional scale just a bit, I think you can imagine.
Second, letting go and moving on is a lot easier when you have the ability to fill the empty spot with something new. Accidents happen every day that change people’s lives. How someone chooses to think and respond is the one gift we have control over :). These last six years have been different than ever before and by far the hardest and the most extreme, but basically what’s different here is that it’s like living in limbo… never actually getting the chance where my body is physically functioning correctly, where I can fully heal and see what dreams are realistic, most of all start living and creating a life based around the healthy person I’ve become, now that the physical is fixed. I laugh sometimes, telling my parents the best comparison I can think of, would be like telling someone who has been married for over 20 years, to the love of their life, who just got divorced after finding out their partner left them for someone else…or basically telling anyone who just broke up with someone who meant everything to them, who is feeling the kind of heartbreak they’d be feeling… to let go and move on. But then, every morning, they have to wake up with that person lying in bed next to them! HA! Not exactly easy to let go of something when you’re stuck in it, by forces outside of your control. 😉
That’s what it can feel like, some days harder than others, always the ones when the physical stand in the way of even being able to do the few things I still can that fill my heart and make me feel alive. So when these days build up together, this is when I remember this quote and remind myself why I’m fighting for my dream. I turn my emotion, whether it’s tears or frustration, from happiness or grief, into passion and purpose that can make a difference. Who knows if it will help one or many… or what will come of it at all :)…what matters is the gift that it is today, this very moment.
Now is what matters, with dreams for the future. It’s important to have something in your life every day that you find happiness and purpose in, especially when times are hard… something that fills your heart and gets you to tomorrow. 🙂 I hope you have fun finding your happiness today and go to bed smiling!
My love & happiness to you all!