It’s been 2 years since my stroke. The anniversary was actually 4 days ago, but I’ve been so busy, I’m just now writing about it. Two years is a long time. I spent the first year expecting big things to happen: get out of the wheelchair, ditch the walker, go back to work…Then the first year came and went and not all of those things happened.
I’m still not able to work and I admit that for a long time that was a massive source of stress and anxiety. Women in their early 30s are either career-oriented or embracing their domestic prowess and kicking ass on the home front. I have never considered myself a stay-at-home-mom (SAHM,) nor have I considered myself cut out for it. Now that I’m disabled it’s a bit of a stretch for me to identify as a SAHM. So what the hell am I?
I’ve spent all this time waking up with nowhere to be, no schedule to follow and it has taken a toll. When you’re working you fantasize about that sort of thing, but it’s a bit shocking when you get it. After my 1st year anniversary I realized that I wasn’t going to ever not be disabled and if I don’t find something to do with myself, I’m going to lose my damn mind and drag my poor family down with me. So I decided to go back to school.
WAIT. Hold up. I’m not actually going to school. School is coming to me through the magical powers of the interwebz! I decided to take two classes online through a local community college, just to see how it goes. I’m happy to report I’m kicking ass. You know the best part? No, it’s not the glimmer of redemption in my college professor father’s eyes or the “Excellent work!” comments from my teachers (OK yeah it kind of is those things) but the really super-duper bestest part of the whole deal is that I get to wake up in the morning and say,
“I GOT SHIT TO DO TODAY!”
It’s a glorious feeling! Oh, you’re too busy to have lunch with me? Well that’s fine because I have a paper to write. BOOM! You know how fucking good that feels? I have deadlines now! I have rules to follow and bureaucrats to roll my eyes at! Oh sweet heavens, I have a purpose!
It’s incredibly liberating to know that I’m studying what I want and not what will get me a job. This is for ME. I’m getting a Liberal Arts degree with an emphasis in Sociology because I want to understand people, so that I can write about them. Actually, I want to understand people because in turn, I’ll better understand myself. There are so many facets to who I am: Mom, Disabled, Atheist, Multi-ethnic, Woman, 30-something, child of an immigrant…the list goes on. Understanding these elements from a sociological perspective will equip me to reach out to others like me. And holy fuckballs will I have loads to write about!
So that’s what I’ve been working on. That is why I’ve been so busy. The day of my 2-year stroke anniversary, June 8th, I was studying for finals and finishing up a term paper. I was so busy I didn’t realize what day it was. I had a total brain fart about it. Later that evening when I finally remembered, I couldn’t help but feel comforted that June 8th was an afterthought. That day changed my life but it hasn’t defined me. I don’t have it marked on any calendars, and I sure as hell didn’t sit and brood over it all day. It’s worth mentioning, but that’s about it.