I’m learning my boundaries. Every day I step along this tightrope slowly putting one foot in front of the other. Sometimes, I barely move my toes and sometimes I am delicately leaping and gracefully performing a dance. I am balancing myself high above the ground in an effort to perform for the intense crowd around me. The glances, the cheers, and even the critics push me to keep going. The pressure to maintain my posture, physique and emotions have become a penetrating weight carried upon my shoulders. I’m sure you can imagine just how hard it is to keep walking along that rope… no place to fall so the only option is to keep moving forward. I have always relished in my God given ability to move forward with grace… to carefully tip toe through life. But, as you get older the tightrope only becomes higher off the ground. It becomes longer and thinner and you begin to realize that the dance to the other side requires more grace, patience and precision. You learn that at some point you need to rest and sit down with your feet dangling over the edge. This is where I find myself today. Straddling the rope, gazing down at what’s beneath me and longingly looking to the other side.
I am currently finishing up my bachelor’s degree. I am so close to the end I can smell the celebration to come. But, as with any end of program classes the work is intense and requires so much time and energy. As I pour myself into my research and statistics class I find that instead of celebration I feel defeat. I chose to do my research analysis on ALS. Specifically the role a high caloric diet plays in prolonging the life of an ALS patient. I am slowly failing this class as I realize that I don’t have the strength to pour myself into the research. To read the statistics and heartbreaking stories of anything and everything that pertains to this horrible beast of ALS. For the first time in my life I have had to accept defeat. I have had to allow myself to break down. My intentions were pure. All I have done since my mom’s diagnosis is pour every ounce of my being into awareness, research and learning how to truly be her voice. I ran and kept running across this tight rope I find myself on. I didn’t look back or expect anything different. I thought my momentum would push me to the end. Little did I know that one undergraduate research class would send me to a screeching halt and throw me flat on my face lying across the rope- holding on so desperately- to ensure that I didn’t fall into the unknown darkness below me.
As hard as it is to learn I am accepting that it’s okay to fall. I realize that even in weakness I can remain strong and keep fighting. I’m slowly lifting myself up and taking my place in this story- walking ever so lightly one tip toe at a time.
On a lighter note:
** This is the incredible story of Former New Orleans Saints Football player- Steve Gleason. This aired during the pregame show for the Super Bowl. This has been getting a lot of attention on Twitter and several other social media sites. His wife shows raw emotion and at one point in the story she makes the claim that she prays he doesn't lose his voice because she wants him to talk to her forever. That statement alone completely broke me. I know what she feels and I wish we had been given the opportunity to record my mom's voice. I hope this inspires you!**