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Herniated disc healing – part 2

Most of us wish to live a meaningful life, I guess. I don’t know about you, but I thought a lot more about this during the unpleasant year 2020. I was telling you about the silver lining in Part 1. It has never been so clear for me: my lifespan is limited, and every day or minute I spend doing something else than my soul wants is wasted. Because in the end, it is not the paycheck you get at the end of the month nor your position that really makes a difference in the long run.

How does it feel like after 6 months?

Half a year had passed since I had my surgery in April. The mild autumn sun is entering my apartment early in the morning. I listen to the seagulls in the morning, and if I close my eyes for a moment, I have the feeling I am somewhere near the sea. I didn’t have the chance to see the sea this year, but just dreaming about it is good for the soul. Maybe this is the reason I wanted to install a small bamboo fence all around my small balcony. To see less of the grey buildings surrounding me and, for a moment, imagine that I am someplace else, near the sea.

Never in a million years, I thought that my life will change so drastically since last year. My back has recovered well, though. All the regular exercises that I do almost daily are efficient. Still, my right leg is not healed; the nerve is still affected. I cannot run nor walk for too long or too fast. I am grateful for my progress and thankful for the people around me who help me and contribute to my recovery. In a way, this situation forced me to slow down, metaphorically, and literally speaking.

Probably the most challenging part is keeping my optimism and dealing with the fear that this situation may happen again. I saw many people who were already doing their 2nd or 3rd intervention for a herniated disk in the hospital. I see myself fearful of not having to go through the experience again.

Thinking about my love for adventure and travel I ask myself how will I still be able to experience all of that in my current situation? It is a question I yet don’t have a clear answer to right now. But somehow, I keep my faith that I will find a way.

tandem paragliding
Tandem paragliding in Clopotiva – 2019

If anything, this has been the most challenging time for me to exercise patience and faith.

Are you also waiting for the right moment?

I think about the days before the surgery and the kind people who called me. It’s been so relieving to talk to those who had gone through a similar situation and have recovered. I guess that gave me the confidence that recovery is possible, and life can go back to normal at some point.

Some interesting things to think about, maybe without the need to go through a painful experience as I did:

  • How many times did you have days, weeks, months pass you by, and never realize what is happening because you lived on autopilot?
  • How many times did you prioritize what’s really important in your life over what’s less important but urgent? (health vs. working hours, family time vs. smartphone time/emails/social media, etc.)
  • What is it that makes you really happy?

2020 slapped these questions in my face, and I only partially liked my answers. So, during my medical leave, something changed, something shifted. I already had this idea to live more intentionally and to start a business somewhere in the future. While I could not walk or sit at my desk for that matter, I realized that I might be repeating one unpleasant pattern: waiting for the right moment to act.

What 2019 has taught me

Let me tell you my story of the year 2019. The year before all the Covid-19 crap started.

In 2019 my marriage ended. So at the beginning of the year, I was already living alone, and finally, the divorce happened somewhere in July. In 2019 I also went on a trip to Nepal shortly after I got separated from my ex-husband. It was a trip that I had on my mind for some time, but never actually did it until that moment.

Bhaktapur, Nepal trip- 2019

There are always reasons that got in the way, you know? So at that point, I wanted to spend some time away from everything and reset. 

“Stop waiting for that perfect moment that will never come!” I said to myself.

I loved it partially because it pushed me out of my comfort zone. Suddenly in a new environment, with new people around, a new reality. During that short trip, I realized that there are, in fact, a lot of things that bring me joy, happiness, and the sense of a meaningful life other than the overly civilized life I had back home.

I returned home, and I felt trapped in the morning going up in the crowded elevator with my coffee in one hand and phone in the other. People seemed so disconnected from themselves. For a week, I couldn’t adapt to my working environment. Suddenly I felt like the office was too small, the windows not allowing enough light and air to get in. It felt suffocating. And I was spending like 9 hours of my life every day in that cubicle. Waiting for the day to end, for the week to finish, and to enjoy my weekend. I really couldn’t complain about my job, because I liked my work, and it paid well, in general lines. But still, compared with the joy and excitement I felt while I was away those 2 weeks, it was not even close.

What 2020 has brought me

I had planned another trip in the Himalayas for 2020, not knowing what a crappy year 2020 will be, ugh!

Unfortunately, my back “broke” I had to undertake the surgery, and now I am still working my way through this, hoping to be able to trek on the mountains again.

I still have that folder on my desktop, with materials and treks in mind for my 2020 trip to the Himalayas. Hopefully, it will become a reality someday.

“Courage is the most important of all the virtues because without courage you can’t practice any other virtue consistently. You can practice any virtue erratically, but nothing consistently without courage.”

Maya Angelou

So, part 2 of my journey, the herniated disk healing, is about consistency and courage. If you want something, don’t give up, do whatever you can to make it happen. There is no such thing as the perfect moment and will never be. It’s up to you to make room and time, prioritize the things that you love. And don’t take tomorrow for granted. Things can change so fast that you won’t even know what hit you. Do your best with what you have. Make mistakes but live with purpose. 🙂

And now I want to share with you this awesome video of Jean Baptiste Chandelier, which inspired me to keep my focus and be consistent with my training, hoping that in 2021 I will be able to fly again.

If you liked the video, show the man some love and follow him on his YouTube channel. He has some amazing content.

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