Let us start with a little background. I’m 34 years old. I don’t party. Once a month or so I have a few beers, other than that I’m fairly lame. I haven’t felt like myself for quite some time. Most who know me would say I’m a fighter and always have been. Truthfully I was getting sick of it. I was confused, forgetful and miserable. My speech was screwed up.
So on to the lessons that I have recently learned and possibly relearned.
Alright we’ll start with a doozy. I just had a stroke, that’s right 34 in decent health and I had a stroke. I’m gonna tell you what that was a shock. I lost almost 130 pounds, walking five or ten miles a day and bang. I was in class and forgot my own name. I still came home and put a shift in at work before I went to the hospital. I figured they would fix me up over the weekend so I could be back in class on Monday.
WRONG, Jim you had a stroke.
“You’re going to be here for a while.” Beautiful! There was one upside, for the first time in I don’t know how long I got to sit back relax and watch the game. Granted I was interrupted by tests and only one of my eyes worked right at the time. Still it was so nice to just get into the game. My Pittsburgh card might get pulled for saying this but I was so happy to see the Pats beat the Ravens and yes I was hoping Hernandez would catch that ball in the super bowl too.
Lesson 1: Learn to take time and relax. Working yourself constantly is not as honorable as it sounds. Take some time for yourself or your work will suffer anyway and you will not be happy.
So a little more about the stroke or CVA if you like. It was caused by … “and the envelope please” A congenital anomaly of the arteries in my brain. That’s right folks I was born with it. All the problems over the years the mysterious forgetful moments, the headaches, the seizures when I was a baby and 34 years later they found the issue. My mom took me to a ton of doctors over the years and it took a stroke to finally find it.
Am I bitter? I was for a day or two. I screwed up more than a few times due to the problems and I hate that my mom had to see me in that condition. Who knew that one little over the counter pill could have helped this all.
Now I am liberated. I haven’t felt like myself in so long and now I am back. A little battered, my left side weaker than my right and a few other problems, but the important part is I am myself again. I’ll take Jimmy at 75 percent over any alternative there is.
Lesson 2: Shit happens. There are just certain things in life that we can’t change. I know serenity prayer right. This is still an easy one to forget at times. I could whine, bitch or complain. Frankly that would just be stupid. Wah wah I had a birth defect and it did this and this. Look at all those fantastic people out there who were born with severe congenital problems and are still happy wonderful vibrant folks.
In the grand scheme my problem is minor. With work I’ll fully recover and eventually be better than ever. Best of all if I do everything right I shouldn’t have to worry about it again. Now I can make the most of every moment I have and there will be a lot of them. I will change the world.
Wow I did not plan on making this post so long. Just a bit more I swear. Some of you may know I just went back to college. I had this big plan of going all the way through law school. Law school hmm will it happen? I’m not so sure anymore. I may change my major to something that involves early human development and congenital disorders.
When I started back to school I let my writing career lapse. I took an actual contract job and figured forget about writing. Here we are four or five weeks in and I’ve heard that same old story. “Jim you have a gift.” “Jim face it you are a writer.” Why would I want to resist it anymore?
Lesson 3: Own your talents and hone your talents. Your talents are a gift, not everyone is fortunate enough to have a valuable talent. If you are, have some balls and put yourself out there.
Over the years I have crafted quality pieces and then sold them for a few pennies a word. Then someone else put their name on them and that was that. As I look over my past work. I see something unexpected. One would think that my work should improve with all that practice. The opposite happened. I was getting paid crap so I started writing crap. Not anymore. I will still sell first usage rights at times. I will never do it for pennies again. As I have started writing essays and research papers I have found my joy again.
Lesson 4: Never sell yourself short. Realize your own value.
Summary: Love yourself, value yourself, and take time to enjoy life. Let the people you care about know how you feel. Embrace the things that you are good at. Never be afraid to shine or you may regret it one day. Make the most of every moment you have. Sometimes there are things in life that you just can’t change, try not to sweat it.
Oh and one more to add help somebody if you can.