As I’ve grown up, I’ve felt this growing urge to contribute, to be an adult, to be responsible. I finished college and completed my Master’s degree and hit the terrifying world of job searching. As a disabled candidate, the market is somewhat limited.
Recently, I’ve been reflecting over my life due to reaching the 10 year anniversary of my injury back on May 19th. I’ve never seen this accomplishment or anything I’ve achieved so far as spectacular or miraculous. I agree I have done a lot and seen a lot throughout this journey, but at times, like all people I suspect, I tend to wonder what could have been.
The following days after my injury are mostly a blur due to the pain medication I was on but the morning I was scheduled for surgery, one moment stands vividly clear! As I was being pushed to the operating room, I looked at my mom and said, “We’ve got a lot of tough days ahead, huh?” Mom just smiled at me as the tears flowed down her cheeks. I then said, “Well, let’s just hope our bad days aren’t on the same day.” Ironically, I had no idea what that would mean to me later!
When I first got hurt, my biggest fear was returning to high school with my friends. I was so scared that things would be awkward and weird. How would they see me? Surely it would be different. I wasn’t that guy that everyone hung out with anymore. I was the disabled kid that was just trying to finish high school. I needed ramps built and doors widened and schedules altered just to manage. Obviously things would be weird and different now.