The Ditzy Decision

On Monday night,  I made the ditzy decision to dismount from a trampoline onto a plastic, unstable kiddie slide, leading me to fall forward, land on my forearm, and dislocate my elbow.

But I’m not really here to talk about that in detail. That dangly, dislocated elbow was GROSS, like, GRODY GROSS NASTY TO THE MAX and I’m trying to get it out of my mind. (Thank heavens no one took a picture of it.) What I’m choosing to focus on, instead, is how this experience surprisingly ripped me open. I can honestly say that it was the first time in a long time where I felt raw, intense, physical and emotional pain.

And with pain, always comes awareness.

My emotions have been ALL over the place these last few days. I feel depressed by the realization that I’m not able to do Crossfit and yoga until I’m healed up.  Working out is part of my therapy. When I work out, my body releases endorphins that makes me want to be a better human. So I’m afraid of what I might feel in these few weeks without being able to connect with my body in the same way.

However, I want to also take a moment to be thankful to my body for not breaking. The doctors were SHOCKED that my bones didn’t break. The physical therapist I saw today told me that I “must have superhero bones.” And I’m also thankful that because of the strength I’ve developed through Crossfit and yoga, I’m able to maneuver my body in unexpected ways. For example, the paramedics were surprised that I could move my entire body, inch by inch, from one side of the mat to the other. This was by slowly lifting my glutes, legs, and shoulders off the mat. You guys, YOGA TAUGHT ME THAT. I need to take a moment to just be thankful for the hard work my body has done in preparation for healing me in this moment. I feel strong, and that physical strength has prepared me for what is about to come.

While in the hospital, though, I literally COULD NOT STOP CRYING. I felt so out of control. I was quite possibly THE most emotionally intense patient they had seen in years. 🙄 I spent the first two hours (prior to them popping my elbow back into place,) crying and wailing and moaning about how I was feeling. “I’m scared! What’s going to happen to my arm? Oh my God, I’m so sorry I can’t stop crying! OH. MY. GOD!” were some of the statements I was wailing through tears.

“Ma’am, do you have someone you can call to come and stay with you,” they asked me, as I’m sure they were totally over me.

But my stubborn self kept saying, “I don’t know,” because I didn’t want to call anybody. I didn’t want someone that actually knew me to see me like this. I wanted to do it alone, because I thought that was what a strong person would do, even though I wasn’t feeling strong at all. And none of these hospital people knew me or what my norm is like, so I was totally fine with THEM seeing crazy, wailing Emily.

Then the staff began to ask me why I was afraid. I finally responded, “I DON’T KNOW. But can you guys please stop repeating the same questions, and, like, consult together so I don’t have to keep talking and I can get back to wailing?”

They were SO over me.

My friend, Terra, by the grace of God, texted me at that very moment, “just to say hi” and I responded by calling her and telling her through my blubbery tears that I was in the hospital and that I broke my arm (the xrays hadn’t come back yet to reveal that it was a dislocation, and not a fracture or break).

My friend Terra was there in a flash. And wouldn’t you know… I began to calm down. I’m not saying I was totally calm, but I suddenly had someone next to me to listen to my cries and worries and rants and talk me through it. And you guys, that’s what we need. We all need to not be afraid to call a Terra–a person in your life who loves and cares about you and who shows up.

When they had Terra leave the room, right before they sedated me to pop my elbow back in, I called out to her: “Just tell me again that I’m not gonna die!

“Emily. I promise you that you won’t die,” she said calmly. Thank GOD for that woman.

We ended up laughing when we were stuck there later into the night about some of the characters in the hospital and what an adventure I’d had. This is pic from the part of the night where we laughed:


I am home now. I am calm. I am peaceful. And then the next moment I’m in turmoil. I’m raw. I want to jump out of my skin. My heart feels like it’s been split open.

That’s what pain and injury does. It forces you to stop, and start all over again in a new way. And all those tears I cried in the hospital were like my rebirth, I suppose, my renewal of sorts.
Crying is what makes us human. It’s an emotional release. We are not robots, we are emotional human beings who FEEL things.

And that’s what I’m going to continue to do–heart wide open, feel the feelings. That’s what yoga taught me. ❤️


Hey look! It’s my new and improved splint! 🙏🏽💪🏽

Visions

I don’t remember my dreams that often. But when I do, I can usually extract something valuable from them. 

Last week, I had one of those valuable dreams. I dreamt that a friend, (I will give her the pseudonym, Rachel), was visiting me. I was making dinner for Rachel and a few other friends, who were in my house. While I was cooking in the kitchen, I heard Rachel in the living room, laughing. Like, BELLY laughing. Hard, deeply, and wildly. 

This would not have been totally weird  except for the fact that in real life Rachel is walking through the fire of some real physical and emotional pain. She’s walking through the valley, and she’s in much need of some rest. My dear friend, Rachel, is weary.

But here we were in this crazy dream of mine, and she was LAUGHING HYSTERICALLY. And then, she shocked me even more by beginning to DANCE. AND THERE WASN’T EVEN ANY MUSIC, but she was leaping across the room, laughing, and engaging in this liturtigical-like dance.

Seeing this caused joy to wash over me. I looked at my chicken that was boiling for dinner in the kitchen. It had started to bubble over, so I turned down the heat. My friend’s laughter was contagious, as I began thinking of all the magic of the moment, right there in my kitchen. Rachel, who is in pain, is now filled also with joy.  I couldn’t help but be moved by her ability to put her circumstances aside and rejoice in life for just a moment.

Then someone else came into the kitchen in my dream and commented that he was so glad I was finally cooking these chicken drumsticks, since they had been in the freezer and other people thought they were from New Delhi, India from the 16th century, and it was ABOUT TIME someone finally decided to cook those drumsticks so they wouldn’t go to waste (random neurons firing, I’m sure). 

And suddenly, I was on the floor, laughing my ass off in this dream. 

Rachel entered the kitchen. I was laughing so hard that I couldn’t speak. So she offered me her hand and pulled me up off the ground. She, who walked in the darkness, lifted me up in strength to walk with her in the light.

I woke up in that moment and called my friend and left her a four minute voicemail telling her my dream. I had to tell her all of it, before I forgot. 

And because I wanted her to know that I had this VISION of her, in a lively, carefree state. That vision, I felt, was there for a reason. And I had to tell her. 

I cannot tell you how important it is to hold a candle in the darkness for those around us. I have such strong, specific memories of the times in my life when people have held that candle for me. 

About ten years ago, I went through a period of time when many people had stopped believing in me. I depleted my small support system by making poor decision after poor decision, and continuing to suffer. I was a giant ball of self destruction. I swirled through darkness, collecting it like dust. 

But there were a few people remaining who, for whatever reason, never gave up on me. They listened to me even when I’m sure they were sick of listening. They told me I could do hard things, and some even told me they envisioned me doing hard things. 

My mom, for one, told me she had a vision of me crawling out of a pit of darkness, into the light, and blooming. While she recounted this to me, I looked at her in despair, afraid I would continue to disappoint her with my lack of growth. 

My uncle Roy, who is like my second dad, listened to me everyday on the phone. He told me that he envisioned me laughing, and strong. He told me he saw me building a life with my daughter. 

I was afraid of these visions, which were, in fact, glimpses of my potential. These visions were a light, streaming through the cracks, guiding me in the direction of the way I needed to go. 

More recently, I had a friend text me in the middle of the night, sharing about a vision she had of me that came to her during prayer. She had forgotten about it, but felt prompted again, to remember and share it with me. 

“Emily, I envision you with a crown–a beautiful crown. I see you personifying the verse in the Bible from Isaiah of beauty for ashes. All of the pain you’ve had–that has formed you into this beautiful person. You are going to receive so much beauty into your life,” she said. 

And just like that, I had a vision for myself–a new one, a beautiful one that someone had seen for me before I ever could. 

Visions. Changing lives since the beginning of time. 

And now for a random photo of me and my love. We envision that you think we are weirdos. 

The Time I Picked Up a Waiter

Last October, my friends and I decided to go out for dinner at a delicious restaurant called Late Harvest Kitchen. 

The waiter caught my eye as he came over to our table. Like, in a good way that made me blush. 😳

We started chatting. 

“I feel like I know you,” he said. 

“I feel like I know you, too,” I said, trying to figure out if we were just feeding each other flirty lines, or if we did, in fact, actually know each other. 

We began to ask each other questions to determine if we had indeed met before. One of the questions I asked him was for his full name. Cause, you know, I’m super nosey like that. 

“John David O’Connell,” (name has been changed of course) he said. 

We talked a bit further, and then he walked away from the table. When he was gone, I asked my friend, Terra, “What did he say his name was again?”

“John David O’Connell,” she said. 

“Good job,” I said, thankful that my friends have minds like steel traps.  

I got out my phone to look him up on Facebook to see if we, indeed, do, know each other through mutual friends, you know?  As I’m pulling up his profile and I see that we don’t, John David suddenly appeared, hovering over my shoulder. 

“Aahh!!” I yelled, throwing my phone across the table at my friends. 

“Don’t worry,” John David said. “I didn’t see anything,” he said. “Anything, that is, except for you looking at my Facebook page.”

“Oh my God! I’m so embarrassed! 😱😰” I said, covering my face with my hands. I now was apologizing to my friends for hitting them with my phone, while simulataneously over-explaining my reasoning to John David for why I was looking him up on Facebook. 

Thankfully, my friends know me and understood that my phone throwing was a knee jerk reaction. Surprisingly though, John David seemed flattered that I was looking him up on FB. 

“You know, ” he said. “You should send me a friend request instead of just looking.”

And so I did. And we continued to talk. However, we discovered we were, in fact, not a match, and pleasantly parted ways. 

But there was a reason for that interaction. That interaction was a reminder to me that there is no one else in this world like me. Just like there is no one just like you. And we have to just keep on being ourselves and having compassion for ourselves, even when we do ridiculous things. John David, in fact, seemed to find my ridiculousness endearing for some reason. Maybe because he somehow knew I was being the unadulterated version of myself. 

However, the story doesn’t end there. Yesterday, I saw my dear friend from college, Patty, at brunch. We were talking about embarrassing moments or something like that, and I brought up this story. As I was retelling it, I got SO into it that I, without thinking, began to actually act out the story. When I got to the part about me throwing my cell phone across the table, I–you guessed it–threw my cell phone across the table. Only this time, instead of hitting my friend with it, it hit the lady at the table next to me, and was traveling at such a high velocity that it bounced off her and hit her husband across the table.

“I…am so…sorry,” I said to them. “I was, um, retelling a story and I guess I was acting it out as well.”

“Yeah,” the husband said, straight faced, “I know. I feel like I was just there.”

Luckily his wife found it to be funny. 

I am Emily. I am a quirky, moderately  loud, storytelling, nosey nerd. And that is my power.