“Well, I’ve never seen that happen before, but with your ankle, anything is possible,” Dr. Z said as she shrugged. Dr. Z was the orthopedic specialist that I was assigned to back in April when my ankle snapped during a kiteboarding accident one Monday afternoon. For some reason, over the course of recovery, my ankle has had an obstinate mind of its own; refusing to heal at an expected pace. I had deferred surgery after the first X-rays, but there were many moments, eight to ten weeks into the process of healing, when the reality of my non-recovery discouragingly stared me in the face. After five weeks on crutches and two months without driving, flying, to kiting; the last thing I wanted was to go back to the very beginning.
Thankfully (and eventually), I’ve healed— or more accurately, I’m better. I’m not at the point where I can do everything, but it’s the little things that strike me as magical. Like, walking up and down stairs, flying on planes again, and throwing (and landing) the same kiteboarding trick that started my summer of broken; that changed my pace completely.
“Wait— so, my bones are good now, but I might have a stress fracture?” I asked in confused surprise. “Yeah, as I said, I’ve never seen that happen before. I can’t see it on the x-rays. We have to order an MRI,” Dr Z continued. Smh. That rebel ankle of mine…
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Guess the ankle is angrily objecting to the new, destination hopping, rushing around speed our world has catapulted us into. I love this new speed. I do. It’s all that I wanted, but it is such a contrast from my stay-at-home, non-walking life. It is a bit of a culture shock. Apparently, I like to live in extremes…
All I want to do this morning is write and write and write. Write for me. With nothing more to do. Take a nap maybe. Read a book. But, I have a meeting to brave Los Angeles traffic for and a training to do. A manual to read, a bio to write, and interviews to make happen. I find myself anxiously concerned over my weight— which is just code for when I feel like I’m heading straight into a storm of chaos and unknown challenges that I don’t know how to control.
There was a beautiful surrender I discovered in being broken. The fight stops and stillness settles into every part of your being. In your most vulnerable place, you cling to prayer, desperate hopes, and future pleading that all will turn out fine. In it, there was nothing I could change, so I gave up and stopped changing. For that reason, all become different. I trusted more, prayed more, and allowed myself to experience and explore the time I had in ways that I had never had time or understanding to do before.
That was beautiful.
If you ask me if I’m upset about my ankle now, I would say the more accurate emotion is resignation. I’m not upset, cause it will heal eventually. It may give me time to explore other opportunities. I am more concerned at how the hell I can re-discover the beautiful pace and peace that an injury brought into my life in the midst of fastly and furiously pursuing the goals and ambitions I have.
The level of personal kindness that I allowed myself at the worst of it was something I had never experienced before. It wasn’t the self-talk that, “You aren’t working hard enough. You aren’t exercising well enough. You aren’t doing all that you need to do.” It was simply the acknowledgment that the only priority was to promote my healing. Now the question is, “How can I live like that every day? How can we live like that every day?”
For a flight attendant, ‘movement’ is life, but the moments when we pause is the avenue through which we understand our place in this world. I’ve got to go. Although I love my jobs that I do right now, sadly, I have to rush away to the next thing. Time is so precious. Value it when it’s yours. Value it always.