And one foot pointing toward my dreams…
I haven’t been able to write as much as I’d like recently, because I’ve been busy focusing on my real-world exploits: specifically, earning money for grad school.
It’s hard to find the right balance. Follow your dreams and the money will come, they say. But when your dreams involve $70,000 in student loans, and three years with no income… blazing ahead with no thought of the financial risk is a little easier said than done.
For now, I just have to remind myself to slow down, and check in with the part of myself that knows exactly what my dreams are. The part that, despite whatever else is going on in my life, never truly loses sight of what I want to do.
After all, a lesson I’m learning is that it’s not just what you do as you go about your daily life– it’s also how you go about it.
A mistake I’ve made in the past is to cut myself off completely from my dreams, focusing only on the pragmatics of what I need to get done. At times, it’s seemed easier. Safer.
But I’m realizing that was not a sustainable way to live. When you try to numb yourself to pain and doubt, and rush through life distracted trying not to feel anything… you also miss out on the good.
There is a certain pain that comes from trying to suppress your dreams. If you block it out for long enough, it will grow until you can’t ignore it anymore.
My goal right now is to remain focused on what I need to do in order to achieve my goal, without letting myself get so mired in the details that I lose sight of my original purpose.
I’ve written a lot about helping people through chronic pain, and that’s a huge part of what I want to do as a PT. But ultimately, it’s about something bigger.
Really, it’s about providing a space for people to begin, wherever they are. To create a space where there is no judgment; where I believe my patients when they tell me how bad it really is, without giving them any reason to feel ashamed, or to censor themselves.
And then, using that as our starting place, we’ll work together to find answers. I know how hopeless things can seem at times, because I’ve been there myself.
Sometimes it can take years to find the right answer– or answers. Sometimes you don’t discover everything you need at once– you discover what you need in stages.
I want to create a space for people to be in touch with their bodies, in whatever way works for them. To show my patients that you don’t have to wait until you are completely “better,” by some objective measure, to begin to create a sense of peace in your body.
You can actually begin the process right away– before you do anything else, before you’ve spent weeks in PT exercising. It can actually be the very first thing you begin to work on. Sometimes, you just need to have the right person to show you the way.
I know, because I’ve been lucky enough to find those right people in my own life. And I hope, someday, to give back what I’ve learned, and be that person for others.
I’ve come so far since the days when I was a terrified teenager with compartment syndrome and an eating disorder. I may not have gone back to running 40 miles a week, but on the inside, I am millions of miles away from where I was.
There is so much that has gone into changing my perspective, and I hope to share it all with you. I hope you’ll come along for the ride.