I’m Off

I’m off to San Diego tomorrow for my trial visit at Project Walk.  I’ll be gone for exactly one-week and I don’t plan on getting on the computer at all.  The computer, more so the Internet, tends to be my addictive crutch which I use to smother up the moment instead of experiencing it.  The Internet if used in moderation can be an excellent tool, but it can also become an addiction.  Everyone has addictions.  It’s whatever one does to escape their emotions instead of facing and experiencing them.  It will be good for me to be completely away from the computer for a while.

I think the computer is a big part of a lot of people’s lives who are like me.  With such lack of independence, the computer becomes the one thing that we have complete control over.  With the push of a button, you can go anywhere and do almost anything you’d like.  But I believe many times it becomes a false sense of experience because the true experience of life does not take place in front of a computer screen.

I faced another fear last night.  I wanted to exchange these shorts I bought at the mall but the person I planned on taking me could not do it.  I was pretty bummed out, not really because of the shorts, but because I was hoping to run into a young lady who struck my fancy last time I was there.  So I got the thought in my head of doing it on my own.  My dad would drive me over there, drop me off, I would go inside, spit some game, get some digits, of course exchange some shorts, and come home.  Once the notion was there, I took me only a few moments to realize it was something I had to do.  The reason I knew this, was because a huge amount of fear began to rise inside of me.  In my opinion, whenever a large amount of fear becomes obvious, unless it is a dumb idea which will leave you with a broken neck, it is probably something you should do.  To face fear, is to rid yourself of insecurities, and to rid yourself of insecurities is to become a stronger, more fulfilled person.

The same type of anxiety and nervousness sprang forth as it did the second time I went waterskiing.  I took deep breaths, and focused in on the moment and surprisingly several times found a strange feeling of peace within the unwanted emotions.  During these moments it was as if a clarity of time and space was suddenly right before my eyes.  The fear, anxiety, and nervousness was all still there but for that brief moment, I didn’t care.

Anyways, I got to the store and the girl wasn’t there.  As soon as the girl was out of the equation, saliva came back to my mouth, my heartbeat returned to normal, and everything was OK again.  I felt kind of defeated but I was still doing something I had never done before on my own.  And I ran into a nice young lady who retained the ability to walk after a C3 C4 spinal cord injury.

I’m really trying to put myself out there more.  I want to face my fears constantly in the hopes of one day, breaking through many of them.  But I do realize that my fears will never completely go away.  I’ll be facing them my entire life.  I do think I should be able to create a more confident me through experiences of things like the “exchange of the shorts”.

I’m also going to start talking to myself in the mirror.  Saying things like, “You’re the man”, “You’re confident and good-looking”, and “Women love you”.  HaHa.  I’m not sure if I should admit that last one, but I’m going to anyways.  I’ve known about the technique of talking to oneself in the mirror but I’ve always seen it as too simple and ignored it, but I think it may actually be an excellent method for me.

It’s getting late, and I have to wake up at five in the morning.  It’s just now hitting me really that I’m going to San Diego tomorrow.  Crazy.

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11 Responses to I’m Off

  1. Sritala says:

    It\’s difficult to face with something that we scare….but when we pass that experience, we will pround and ready for another fear 🙂
    You can do it
    good luck 🙂

  2. Anita says:

    Good luck out there!
    I will stop by in a week or so,
     
    Anita

  3. BP says:

    Once again, a bit of anxiety is always experienced whenever one is getting into something with which they are not entirely confident. Your attitude about facing anything which is not detrimental to your health is very healthy and should be encouraged; but it doesn\’t sound like you need any encouragement. Hell, just go in without any pretense and talk to the girl. The first time I did this after I was in the chair was a big heart beating experience, although now it really doesn\’t bother me too much. At least that\’s what I tell everyone.
    Good luck down in San Diego. I sure hope you end up walking.
    Billy

  4. Patricia says:

    I\’m so excited for you – I hear that San Diego is a fantastic place. I hope project walk goes well. I just read your paper that you wrote for your class and smiled the whole way through with a lump in my throat – you describe the way that I felt when I once told you about the peace I felt but couldn\’t describe from the brain injury. I think when things "fell apart" for me – there was much coming together in the knowledge that I never had it together – the fact that that perception that I was together was false – it was hard but also a release in a way of trying to control everything. When I couldn\’t think through things and identify them anymore because of the injury was a very interesting time – there was a sense of loving kindness – it was not strong nor frail – in fact for the most part I felt lost – but during that time of lost I found that I was still existing even though everything I knew and thought was gone. BEcause it was hard for me to remember the course of a day – everything was new all the time this was both a scarey thing but also looking back I suppose there was something sort of freeing about it. I couldn\’t maintain hindsight for long..I couldn\’t hold onto the words I may have spoken and beat myself up about them..I had to just continually act in the present moment. obviously we learn from mistakes and that is a blessing and when my memory got better and brain began to heal this other "only present" thing would disappear – but it was such an interesting time. It taught me much – I was lost and it didn\’t make a difference…at once a blow to my ego and yet some sort of amazement at still being okay. 
     
    Your ability to face your fears and do it anyway – a title to a book I once read – is so inspiring and I think such a part of life. I question if anyone can honestly say that there is no fear in the unknown ever or in trying new things – I think people just word that feeling differently – what I might call fear others might name adreneline. For a long time I did only the familiar and hid from any unknown stuff – it didn\’t seem like any way to really experience anything and didn\’t feel like I was living. I think we always need to do things – if not a new experience, then by looking at it from a different point of view or noticing other things. THis was how the camera began to save me. If I couldn\’t experience new places I decided to at least look at my familar places differently and as soon as I did the world seemed to blossom right before my eyes.
    I am so thinking of you and hoping that you are smiling out there on the coast!! Best to you – dream big my friend!
    -patti   

  5. Unknown says:

    Quote:
     
    The computer, more so the Internet, tends to be my addictive crutch which I use to smother up the moment instead of experiencing it.  The Internet if used in moderation can be an excellent tool, but it can also become an addiction.  Everyone has addictions.  It\’s whatever one does to escape their emotions instead of facing and experiencing them.  It will be good for me to be completely away from the computer for a while.
     
    Great quote. Love it.

  6. Ready to fly? says:

    Colin,
    I guess you\’ve already departed, but I\’m pulling for all the best for you on this trip. Will-power like yours, you\’re going to make things happen, one way or another. I\’m looking forward to reading your impressions on your return.
    Good perspectives on challenges, fear and the Internet, all. You put it just right.
    Abe Munder

  7. Dot says:

    I admire your courage so much. Your courage does not mean absence of fear but facing your fear and accepting it as a part of your feelings as a person. I respect you so much for this. Please keep on writing. You are giving us much enocuragement to face our own fears.

  8. eightnotramp says:

    Hey Colin,
         I\’ve been disabled for almost 30 yrs., through illness, and I know one thing for sure – attitude is all, and you can pick whatever attitude you want…sounds like you\’re on the right path. 
        I have more good news for you….you are good lookin\’, and one of my dear guy friends is a  king among men, and a quad.  He has been married for over 15?  20? yrs. now to a beautiful woman.  He married in his late 30\’s….she loved him, his attitude, and his incredible sense of humor….and he was/is good-looking. 
         You\’re in my prayers….can I recommend a great book?  Check out  \’Sermon on the Mount\’ by Emmett Fox – it won\’t be what you expect, but keep your heart and your mind open.
           Good courage to you – and lots of blessings!!   Nikki B.
     

  9. Patricia says:

    Faced some fears in NYC this weekend. just got back and checked my mail and was thinking of you and wondering how you are doing. hope all is well. best to you and hugs, patti

  10. Tina says:

    Hey Colin,
     
    I\’ve been thinking about you and wondering if you were back yet and how everything went.  Its good that you went without your computer and decided to live in the moment.  But not good for us – who are waiting patiently to find out how it all went.
     
    This entry made me lmao – only you could learn so much from returning a pair of shorts!  You\’re the man!  (Does it work when I say it?  lol!)
     
    Hope all is well!
     
    (Oh and binky = pacifier)
    Tina

  11. Unknown says:

    Colin,
    Hope it\’s all going well!!
    I second the recommendation for Emmet Fox-Sermon on the Mount.  It\’s a
    look beyond the obvious.
     
    blessings to you
    JLo

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