The shadow behind

Neurologist appointments always got me feeling depressed after. Not from the appointment itself, but the mental preparation and emotional baggage it entails. In the office, and when I tell my family about how it went, things are stated just as is…facts. To evaluate it like an outsider, to think about options and treatments, to be wholly objective. But once I’m in my room, the floodgate of tears open and I can’t help but think how taxing it is to put all the physical and emotional pain from the headache into words and numbers. I can’t help but think about how you just can’t translate into words and numbers the feeling of being in constant pain for the last 5 (reaching 6) years. And the feeling that yes, I have come to accept the fact that the pain may never go away…but the meaning of that acceptance doesn’t necessarily mean that I’m okay with it. And all the talk about more options and treatments? But when they don’t work…how do I deal with the disappointment that you can’t help but build as you wish your hardest for some….for any relief. So there goes yet another night of crying myself to sleep.

Then I can’t help but think…rather than living a long lengthy life and dying old after decades of being in constant pain, what I would give to die young (if life allows), yet still have a fulfilling life. And I guess that thought has always been there for me. I might be so impulsive at times, wanting to do everything that I can once its possible instead of waiting, because I don’t know if the opportunity will come again. And thinking that life is going to be short, I think will make me try to live it to the fullest even more. Cuz who knows? The headache might even get worse as I get older and make it even more difficult to accomplish the things that I want to do.

So I’m going to allow myself to be a lil more reckless, be a lil more impulsive, and be a lil more adventurous. I’ll keep pushing the boundaries my headache’s locked in for me, and step over the comfort zone. And so a week-long trip to Taiwan is being planned, another tattoo is being scheduled, and I just might sign up for a class at a gym to stay accountable to working exercising into my routine. Just like how I don’t want people to view my headache as a disability, I want to do everything that I can when the sun is at its highest point and the shadow of my headache is barely there. All the small victories count in this endless battle against the headache.

I’ve always been scared of the dark, and shadows are hardly any different. The darkness, the unknown. Even if the object itself is not scary, shadows just feel like there’s so much that could be there. There are so many what-ifs. There are things that we want to avoid, but they follow us like shadows. But, no matter how large the shadow is, or how large the obstacle that makes it, the shadow is proof that there is a light somewhere. A light that is beyond the limitations of the obstacle/shadow.

If you know me you know I got nothing to lose
It’s do or die but this time I’m gonna do
If you know me you know I got nothing to lose
Wake up the statues
Breathe out the dust
Shock of a heartbeat
Rush of the blood
Breaking in to my skin
Feel the burning again
I can’t escape it
It’s time to
Rise up from the shadows
– Shadows – The Afters –

Cherry Blossoms

Sitting in the car after yet another final exam, I looked outside and it amazed me yet again how beautiful cherry blossoms are. It made so grateful to live in beautiful Vancouver where streets are lined with rows of cherry blossom trees. Watching them slowly drift to the ground from the branches onto the street below, a carpet of soft pink petals lining the sidewalk. At that moment, I wanted to be a cherry blossom tree.

No, I don’t think I’m insane from studying…yet. So why a tree? Let me see.. From field trips in elementary school to visit the huge old trees in Stanley Park and learning about how the rings in their trunks showed its age, to seeing the blossoms, trees are quite interesting. It’s history is kept in each ring and it just builds up every year. From the weak saplings, it grows into something so thick and strong. With each year of enduring rain, snow, and wind, it grows stronger. Its branches keep reaching higher and it just grows better when if its pruned. It grows so strong that its roots can uplift concrete, creating the cracks in the sidewalk that made it oh so fun for biking when I was a kid. If there is something in its way of growth, it just grows around it, changing the curve of its branches.  And it provides shade when its too sunny and refuge when its raining. Its thick bark protects it from everything. It just thrives on pure nature outside. It becomes bare in the winter, but every spring, blossoms bloom yet again. Then they drop, and make it beautiful all around them. The fragrance of spring that it gives calms my spirit every time. And as I seek shelter from the sweltering heat from the sun in its shade, its ever-increasing strength and tenacity to grow inspires me. If something that is just literally a block of wood can be so strong, so can I. And I can make life around me beautiful too. That’s how amazing life is. Trees are living things with the ability to grow, reproduce, take in and use energy, excrete waste, and respond to the environment. And although not exactly the same type of living, but we live too. “Life” can be pretty fascinating don’t you think?