He is a really big one, and his name is Life. And he quickly deflated my little bubble of an existence.
It looks as if I’ve triumphantly set off on this one-year trip around the world to figure it all out (hah), only to limp home four months later.
Go ahead, read it again. And yes, I mean limp home literally.
I am a wimp! I am a failure!
Remember when I fell off that curb in Thailand and twisted my ankle?
Okay, well it was a big damn curb. [And I'm making up another story that sounds better... stay tuned.] I’ve spent the last 7 weeks and 4 countries waking up, wrapping the ankle up, and then… climbing the Great Wall, trekking through rice paddies, biking city walls, and more generally just carting around myself and my 44 pounds of worldly possessions.
But on the plane out of Asia, I met a lady named Theresa, who drug me to the doctor.
Who told me, post-ultrasound, that my ankle is a little busted, and I need to get surgery if I want to play sports again.
Since I got the news last week, I have ripped my fingernails off. Eaten my weight in kebabs and chocolate. Not brushed my hair. Stayed up all night. Slept all day (uncomfortably, in the Australian heat). Read three horrible books. And woken my Dad up in the middle of the night twice (speaking of which, he needs to come up with some better lines; his response to the news was “well, flexibility is the key to airpower.”).
It’s really affected my self-conception. It’s like I woke up with green skin and a hook nose (okay, maybe I’ve been listening to the Wicked soundtrack on repeat). I’m suddenly inanely self-conscious. And jealous of anyone with a serviceable left ankle.
I must look like hell (after all let’s not forget the bed bug bites on my face) because last night the lady at the airport cafe gave me a meat pie for free.
Remember in Tiananmen Square when I said I felt so… strong? Well yesterday on the plane (Perth to Adelaide) I was thinking how I felt so… weak. Like a reed bending the wind. And the next gust might emotionally snap me in half.
Then I was like, okay, Luce, really, stuff a Hong Kong BBQ-pork-stuffed pastry puff in it, get a grip, and claw yourself out of this melodramatic abyss of wallowing and self-pity. Get your MRI (tomorrow) and then hop off (hehe) onto other adventures.
And, more generally, just attempt to pull your head out of your arse long enough to appreciate that this could be your street:
This could be the alley to your home:
And this could be your job:
Life is good, even a little gimpy.