Above: Eliza, 4 years old, learning to walk on crutches
2010 is finally over and all I can say is hooray. 2010 was not a bad year, it was a challenging year and it’s like when the really important mid-term that you have been cramming for weeks is finally over. Hooray.
2010 taught me about resilience. I know about resilience, at least I thought I did. My whole childhood taught me resilience.
At 3 months I was first hospitalized for Hypervitaminosis A, an overdose (accidental) of vitamin A supplements. The overdose caused bone deformities and slowed my growth which became evident when I turned 1 year old. In the first 18 years of my life I had over 20 operations on my legs.
The problems with my legs was orthopedic and the treatments were operations combined with lengthy hospital stays, months at a time. I learned to pay attention to the end goal, to mark time based on the objective and wait. I developed patience for the long haul.
Now as an adult I have lived my whole life with my legs not being quite “normal” yet still doing more than many people who don’t have my issues. But the reason I can ride a 50 mile bike-a-thon or study tae kwon do is because I push myself and keep trying even if it’s hard. I don’t quit or let myself get deterred by bumps in the road, I have an unflappable resilience.
Yet 2010 was different because in that year, it wasn’t about me pushing myself harder, telling myself not to give up, I wasn’t going through this alone. In the past I had always been alone. This time I had to believe in someone else. I had to trust them, to trust my heart.
My fear has always been that I would be left alone. It is what I learned: nothing will last. My childhood was fragmented with a divorce that had me shuffled between homes, in and out of the hospital, people coming and going — nothing stuck.
Then in my adult life I repeated the pattern, moving a lot, picking totally unsuitable romantic partners, never reaching stability. In fact, stability scared me because it was so foreign.
But what can’t happen does and all the fear, all the sh*t that you have held in check, that you have managed just hits you in the face. That was my 2010.
So that is when I really learned resilience, when I could keep going after all my fears surfaced, when I could completely trust that my love was real, that he would go as far as me, he would keep waiting.
So for that lesson I am grateful. I feel the shift. Our relationship has matured, priorities have shifted. The only thing that matters now is that we are together as a family.
For some reason I feel positive about 2011. No particular reason, just a sense that things are moving forward and that within a few weeks I will start to see it. Here’s hoping.
2010 may it rest in peace.