Sunday, January 15, 2012

The Speed Bumps of Transition

Friday evening I sat on a bench near Pizza Hut and watched the world go by until the bus arrived. Clutching my Clipper card, I carefully hobbled up the steps into the bus and sat myself down near the door in those seats with the blue and white graphic label. The rest of the people on the bus were seated all the way near the back and held an interesting and lively conversation littered with expletives. As I exited at the BART station, the bus driver yelled at people to get out of my way. I did a sort of quick limp run through the gates and to the escalator up to the platform and stopped just as the train pulled in. Sinking into a regular seat, I killed the time working on my knitting. This time my knitting is a lacy handwarmer/ mitt type thing in a variegated orange cotton, but I was unknitting rather than knitting in order to find the 2 stitches that disappeared from the 32 I should have had on my needles.

Off at Ashby, I crossed the street one way and then the other as I attempted to regain my directional bearing. The walk wasn't very long and I arrived at the pub before my companion. Lucky, I claimed an entire table and settled in for the show. All I needed was some food, but pub food isn't friendly to the gluten-free diet and I ordered cheese-covered french fries. My body is sure to take this out on me later, I thought to myself, but I so love the lactose-y goodness of the cheddar cheese even as it embeded itself into the paper liner of the plastic red basket my fries were served in.

My company for the evening finally arrived and after we gossiped and caught up on each other's lives a bit, the first band came on stage. I immediately had to resist the urge to get up and dance as what appeared to be a Rastafarian Leprechaun in chic hobo attire began to sing and dance around the stage wildly. How can you not smile and laugh out loud at such a wonderful sight?! And the music was great! Who'dda thunk they only had two rehearsals EVER before this show? Crazy! A hippie punk guy who was obviously friends with the band danced around the floor and every muscle in my body longed to jump up and join him. The headlining band came on next, a Celtic rock band I've been a fan of since before I was old enough to see a band play in a bar. And then it hit me a little bit harder. I have NEVER been to a Tempest show and NOT spent most of the time dancing till my sides ached. And here I was, stuck in my chair. I did try a few times to get up and dance, but all I could manage is nothing compared to what used to be normal for me. Each time my body ached more and more. So I opened myself up to this new experience: watching the dancers rather than being one. Another piece in this transition fell into place. I gained a new appreciation for the band, noticed things I never had before and still had an amazing time.

Now each time I dance, it's a conscious decision to attempt something that will most likely hurt me and make it harder for me to walk tomorrow. Each stepping stone (or speed bump) on this transition path feels like the unthinkable loss for a moment. Sometimes I get angry. Sometimes I get sad. But then I allow myself to let it go. (Whether I actually manage to let go all the way or not is a different story.) I can't change everything, but I can change some things. That is what I need to focus on. Stay positive, enough of this sucks that my attitude shouldn't.

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