What cannot be altered must be borne, not blamed. (Thomas Fuller)
This is going to be a venting blog. You’re welcome to skip it, especially since it’s also my first blog in a month and a half, but it’s been a hell of a week and sometimes, these things just need to come out. You’re going to understand why in the next few paragraphs, trust me.
You saw from my service announcement that there have been some big changes for me professionally, and Holly and I are still trying to figure out the complete impact of those alterations. It’s a careful process to make sure we make the right decisions and don’t royally screw all this up.
On top of that, I also found myself with a significant setback on my road to recovery, as today will be my first day of a second round of physical therapy; as if that wasn’t bad enough, when I went to make the appointment, I found out that my medical insurance will no longer cover said therapy beginning on July 1. So instead of the six months of therapy I need, I’ll be getting two weeks and hoping that’s enough to keep me from being hospitalized in December.
I got rejected from the press line for the Critics’ Choice Television Awards that will take place this Thursday, and with that went my chances of getting to interview (and therefore meet for the first time) Josh Charles and Aaron Paul.
And I’m still not done – yesterday, on Father’s Day, my father was in the local emergency room with a kidney stone while I was coming down with what I think is a cold brought on by the fact that too much stress weakens my already questionable immune system.
So to recap: professionally on perilous ground, personally worked over, there’s pretty much turmoil in every aspect of my life right now, absolutely none of it because of anything I set out to do. It really does feel like I somehow massively offended the universe, and I’m at my emotional tipping point, while getting ready to push myself to my physical limit.
These are the times when people break. And I’m not going to lie, I’ve considered it. I’ve caught myself on the verge of tears at least twice this past week. But these are also the times when people make decisions that change their lives. And it’s my responsibility to make the right decision. Because honestly, whatever gets handed to me, I ultimately have two choices: keep on living or pull the plug. I’m not going to do the latter, so I’d better get my stuff together.
Ironically, before all this started I was working on updating my bucket list. I’ve kept one since before such things were commonplace, and have had the good fortune to complete most of it over the last four years, to the point where I’ve had to come up with new goals. Here’s what’s left on a to-do that’s a lot shorter than I thought it was.
- Meet Josh Charles and thank him for his huge impact on my life.
- Sing Maroon 5’s “Runaway” with Adam Levine.
- Meet Aaron Paul and tell him what a genius I think he is.
- Ride shotgun in a car driven by Tanner Foust.
That’s seriously it. (You can see now why getting dismissed by the Critics’ Choice Awards really stung; I could’ve knocked off half the list right there.) What’s interesting to note is that all four of these things are doable; they’re all going to take some work, but remember that I know both Adam Levine and Tanner Foust, and Josh Charles and I have spoken on Twitter, so you could even say I’ve already met him (but I’m not going to, because I want to look him in the eye when I thank him). I’ve been pretty lucky to grow up with a four-page bucket list and have been able to narrow it down to four things that are within reasonable reach.
(Having said that, if anyone is able and willing to help me achieve any of the above, I’m certainly not going to turn down any help. I did say they weren’t going to be easy. Aaron Paul doesn’t even know I exist.)
I’m looking at this short list in an entirely different way now. Being on the verge of losing a lot of things will make you do that. As I write this, I’m in a position where my job is upside down and there is a very realistic possibility that I will never walk again by the end of the year, and it is absolutely terrifying. But I’ve chosen to take that fear as a positive thing, and use it as the motivation to finish this list for good before my time possibly runs out. I don’t know how, but if I’m going to go down, I am going to do as much as I can before I hit the mat.
Besides, I am incredibly lucky as always to have a great group of friends and loved ones behind me. When I broke the news of my medical prognosis on Twitter last week, one of the many people who sent me tweets of support? Josh Charles. Yeah, knowing you have your favorite actor in your corner is a pretty major morale boost. As has been hearing from many of my other friends, and even some people that I was sure had forgotten about me. Crises suck, but they also really do show you how loved you really are. And even if the world takes everything else away from me, it’s never going to take all of you guys.
I’m really scared. I haven’t been this scared since four years ago, when all my health problems started. And I’m tired, and I’m over-stressed, and I really do think I have a cold. But ironically, Reba McEntire’s “I’m A Survivor” just started playing on my iTunes shuffle, so I’m going to take that as a hint and do my best to get through this turbulence to the other side. It’s the only thing I really know how to do.
In light of everything, I’ve decided that this is going to be my song for this week. Thank you, Barenaked Ladies.