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.
Before I became paralyzed, I was involved in a lot of activities and extremely busy. I had future plans and goals like every teenager. My dreams would lead me to the life I so desperately wanted. Then I dove into the shallow water and thinking back now, that moment in the water where everything seemed to come to a pause was very symbolic. My plans and goals all went on pause. All that mattered was taking every moment one by one while everything hung in a delicate balance. Eventually, I was out of the hospital and had to redirect my life. New plans. New goals. Basically, a new life. It wasn’t the life I had chosen but it was the one I was handed by God. Once I realized that, I knew it had some purpose and that I had to do my best. I admit that things are tough and much different from what I wanted but this is what I got. As time passes, I have been realizing that had I not been placed on this course, I would be missing out on so much. I’ve met people and experienced things that never would have crossed my path before. Although I frequently have thoughts about wanting to be “normal” and living the life I had planned, but I’m constantly reminded of the great things I’d be missing out on. Even with altered plans, my life still has meaning and purpose and I still strive to accomplish great things someday. I suppose I’ll never get rid of that part of me that sometimes whispers, “Why me? Why couldn’t I live the life I wanted?” But, if I didn’t have that part inside me, then there wouldn’t be anything to keep me in check or allow me to realize that things aren’t that bad. I guess the lesson I’ve learned is: Don’t be afraid to wonder what could have been, but remember this is what you got and whether you know the specifics or not, it does have a purpose. Maybe, instead of asking, “Who would I be?” the better question we should be asking is, “Who can I be?”