I never thought I would ever see a waterfall again in this photo; and yet, here I sit, watching a gorgeous, wheelchair accessible waterfall. This was incredibly special to me as a disabled and chronically ill adventurer who is often bed or house bound, who has a rare disease that is (as of yet) incurable, and potentially getting quite serious. I'm naturally an outdoorsy person and I am most at peace in nature; I'd climb mountains, scuba dive, hike forests, swim in waterfalls, and explore temples or caves ... but then I became disabled and in a wheelchair. Then agony took over, and my bones, organs and muscles became weaker from my rare diseases and I stopped being able to move much more than 50 meters reliably, without my limbs failing me or without fainting or having seizures This milestone, I thought I'd never again achieve ... was pure magic, but then I discovered as I sat there enthralled by the majestic sparkling streams and gushes of golden water, that the magic is within me, too. I spent a great deal of time stimming and singing and beaming with glee at this waterfall - glowing with my own mindful magic and enchanted by hope and the beauty of time. I was in severe pain too, yet you cant see the raging cramps, the volcanic stinging burns, the horrific bone and muscle pain, my organs screaming and crying, my brain seemingly feeling like it is on fire. You don't get to see the migraine, or dizziness , or seizures, or fainting, or inability to speak... you see me smiling, and happy, without a care in the world. you see my hope, because hope is not reliant on being care free. Agony, and being care free, can coexist, even for a blip of relief - when you accept that hope sparkles on the surface of huge pain - I call this, agonised positivity (Ill write about it in another blog soon!). Milestones look different to those of us, who are fighting to survive, it looks different to those of us who are Autistic and just getting through the day as untraumatized as possible. Milestones for our mental health seem unobtainable to the healthiest of us, in a society focused on working us to death... and so this waterfall and the insights I pondered as I gazed at its splendour, reminded me of the fact that I didn't expect to live to see my 30th birthday, even though I was desperate to... We all know about some of the milestones we are expected to reach by the time we are 30! Thankfully, I am still alive thanks to lots of medical miracles. Oddly, thankfully I also felt able to milestone hop, too prior to turning 30, because that, is what was safe and most helpful for me as an Autistic person. Yet, as I pondered those milestones I missed before I turned 30, I realised that we fear the roar of time ticking on by. We fear time running out, and yet survival against all odds, gives me hope: in time, even though my own time could well be, running out. Milestones and fear of time running out, go hand in hand... I’m an adultier adult; those expectations wash around all of us at my age; Why don’t you own a home? A car? Why can’t you drive? Why don’t you have kids? Why don’t you have savings? why haven’t you achieved your goals yet?
“You’ve had the whole of your 20s to sort your life out… why haven’t you? Our ancestors had to far younger than you…”
People say trying to motivate with inspiration porn of other peoples forced suffering and trauma. What better way to inspire, eh?! (sarcasm)
They’re wrong though. I know that now. Life is hard.
Whether you’re chronically -sometimes seriously ill - like me, or not.
Whether you’re autistic like me, or not.
whether you’re disabled like me, or not.
In this way I often saw my rising age as a time limit that I should have achieved more because -at the end of the day- there’s no way I expected to make it further than 29… that’s why the fact I haven’t travelled the world yet or volunteered abroad or helped more people has haunted me because I truly believed - even still - that my time on earth of running out.
This is why I never take a moment for granted. Hope is that there’s still time to empower in the present… I always try to be mindful and I am a very positive person, always smiling through hardship and allowing myself to healthily handle my emotions. Yes; time never felt like it was on my side, due to my rare diseases. Yet; through-out all this time there has been one constant- time also shows beauty.
While I once cried myself to sleep because I was told I could die the next day during surgery, after also being told I could die with or die without surgery, time told me that I would be okay. I would survive. All the hard things I thought I couldn’t get through, time flew by & promised me that yes I could. I had that strength within me from the start but time was the one that made me realise my own wisdom courage, strength and power.
Time is not my enemy.
Failure is not my enemy.
Making mistakes is not my enemy.
Not trying my best is and giving up, on my self - IS.
Age is not a time limit; there is nothing that diminishes your value as a human; time will tell you that your productivity was perfect after all - because it least you had good intentions and it least you tried in a away that was healthy for you at the time. Your good intentions is all that matters. While I would love to travel more, climb more mountains and swim in more waterfalls, my acceptance of my fate doesn't have to be based on this achievement or next milestone - my acceptance and happiness in my journey as a disabled, autistic and chronically ill person, is based on my inner good intentions to help, because that's where my values lay - being humane, no matter what.
So, I’m not giving up on myself - because I have time, to empower in the present moment, even when I don’t feel it, even when I struggle even when I fail, even when I make mistakes, even when I am super disabled and super bad at things… even when I’m… me. I like to think even in my last moments, those good intentions will shine through. Good intentions for the time we have left is all that matters.
Remember your worth, remember your power, and rise above it with humility and inner faith. Just like you, just like the magic of mother nature with all her mountains, and waterfalls the mountains of power were always there, within you, too. You are a waterfall, the water is your values and good intentions, forever streaming to showcase your inner beauty. when you look at yourself in the mirror, remember the beautiful waterfalls, and see the beauty within you, too. There it is... hope, smiling back at you... even when you least feel it. What will you do with the time you have left? Let some of that time be something beautiful and worthy of YOU and your values, because time and time again, you will make new milestones, that most matter to you ... and there is nothing more special, than that hope in time - not even a waterfall :-) x <3 x