Thursday, June 3, 2010

How Falling Down A Hill Has Rocked My World & Hopefully Will Change My Life

Do you believe in signs? I never did. But when I look back on the past several years, I can't believe how big and obvious some are, like a huge thunder clap warning me of impending doom.

Like, several years ago, I was experiencing this thing where my heart was beating, literally, 240 beats a minute when it should normally beat at 90. This would go on until I had to be hospitalized and they would have to stop my heart and then restart it. That is some bull shit when you are in your 20s.

I knew it was because I was in a high stress job that I deeply hated. It took me years to get up the courage to quit and take a job with a 75% pay cut to be a writer's assistant. I had to hear that my job was killing me before I quit.

When my cousin was murdered a few years ago, I had some of the most honest thoughts come to me. I'm not happy. I don't like where I live. I have my dream job but I can't help wondering if this is all there is to life?

You would think that would be the perfect time to make some big life changes but I couldn't. If my dreams can reveal anything about my state of mind, I will tell you, I would often dream that a huge wave was coming after me, I would turn to run but another wave was coming in the other direction. Sometimes, the waves were make of rocks. I would not only be knocked down but pushed and buried into the earth.

The fear and immobility in my dreams came to life by day, where I did nothing. Literally spending, 100 days (and really many more) in bed.

You guys know the story from there.

But here I am again with this big huge NEON LIGHT blinking at me, saying "It's time for a change, it's time to stop ignoring your gut, it's time for some action. You are not happy. What are you going to do to get there?"

It all started when I fell down a hill a year ago.

And fell and fell and fell and fell. Until the only thing to break my fall was a huge retaining wall. My head hit that and I was gone. Unconscious.

I am now 70 feet down a steep hill - no one can see me from the street. But a woman is walking her baby and she literally heard the fall and dialed 911.

She told them she thought I was dead.

There was blood everywhere. There was pain everywhere. I had dislocated my shoulder. The screaming started in the ambulance, the pain was so unbelieveable. Every bump on the road made me scream louder. I lost the ability to be polite or a good girl.

At the hospital, I was cut out of my shirt, I was told I could get a pain shot before they put my shoulder back in (which was going to hurt like a mother fucker) but it would take 5 - 7 minutes to kick it. "No," I cried, "Just do it." Just do it with no pain meds. I couldn't wait, I was dying.

More screaming. Then stitching, then head shaving, then staples in the head with no pain meds, then CTs, CAT scans, every scan you can imagine, IVs, pills, blood. Disaster.

I spent weeks in bed, in a giant brace unable to cook, wash myself, my hair (had a friend do that), or in any other way care for myself.

It was a really dark time. But in darkness, in stillness, that's when our guts are screaming to us out loud. All the little intuitive moments about what I should do with my life to make it better - you know what I used to do with those? Play the music louder, call friends, waste time on the internet, have a margarita and make it go away.

When you are unable to even get yourself out of a hospital gown... when you can't physically run from your situation, you can bet you can't escape it any other way either.

Which is why I am so frickin' grateful for that fall. I feel like it's going to change my life. It's a year later and I am several months out from surgery on my shoulder. More time in bed, more thinking, writing, weighing my life choices.

So now it's time to act.

I want to move to New York and start a whole new life.

But am I being rash? Am I, having always made no decisions because of fear, now going the opposite end of the spectrum? A reader, A Living Diary, commented: "I've discovered that moving doesn't help you escape yourself. You can't run from who you are. You need to first learn to love yourself the way you are right now and then figure out how to grow or change."

That was like a punch in the stomach, a shake by the shoulders into reality. What am I really doing? Running to a new life or just trying to run away from an old one?

That's why I am doing these adventures. When I did them last time, I was my happiest and I had so much clarity that I know if I do them again, I will find my best decision making self.

Can pool hopping or gay wedding crashing help me make a decision to uproot my life and move to New York to start anew?

Well, we'll just have to see now, won't we?

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