Travel changes you. As you move through this life and this world you change things slightly, you leave marks behind, however small. And in return, life – and travel – leaves marks on you. Most of the time, those marks – on your body or on your heart – are beautiful. Often, though, they hurt.
I burned myself pretty badly two weeks ago, and it wasn’t healing as expected, thanks to my stupid, sensitive body. I was reacting to everything: the antibiotic ointments, the bandaid adhesive, the nonstick pad, etc.
At my husband’s insistence, I saw a doctor. And at my doctor’s insistence, I saw a wound care specialist.
I was expecting an uneventful visit to the Bothin Burn Center this morning, but was surprised by a flood of thoughts and emotions as I waited for the staff to process me as a new patient:
- What constant stress the staff must be under.
- These poor folks in the waiting room, who had real issues that needed attention.
- How absurd it was for me to take up the doctor’s time, which could be used for treating serious burn victims.
- How stupid it was of me to be so careless, causing me to waste all this time and money.
- And worst of all: What if my carelessness had caused me to burn someone else… or a child? The thought alone brought immediate tears to my eyes, and the concern was later exacerbated when I saw a toddler, cautiously but curiously exploring the hallway with her parents, wearing a compression garment (to apply pressure over healing burns and grafts) around her teeny, adorable face.
But as usual, the bad thoughts brought good ones — details that I can never take for granted:
- How lucky that my loved ones and I are in reasonably good health.
- How fortunate I am to have the healthcare and resources to take care of any issues that do arise.
After 10 days away, I’m home. I’m excited to be with my people here and get back to my routine, but I’m also a little melancholy knowing that I won’t see my coworkers for an entire year, if ever again. (I’ve never been good at goodbyes or finalities.)
I admit that that sounds dark, but it actually makes me very appreciative for the time I do get to spend with them, which is why I do everything I can to make the most of our week together.
Here’s a random, disjointed glimpse of my GM, minus most of the work stuff. Because, well — it’s work. It’s kind of weird to take photos of people in the middle of a meeting or class… though there’s a few of those too. 😀
Gorgeous sights. Face swaps. Surprise doggos. Improvised lobby dance parties. Late-night eats. Catching up 1:1. Prom. Immature jokes. Honest conversations. Peace signs. Homeroom. Twinning. Champagne. Domains. Nodules. Surprise connections.
As someone remarked this week, “You’re really good at burning the candle at both ends.”
Cheers to my team, and I hope to see you all soon.
Here’s my dad sacrificing his arms so that they can be Lily’s footholds as she climbs. Basically the most accurate analogy/depiction of everything my parents have done for me and my brother.
Be soft. Do not let the world make you hard. Do not let pain make you hate. Do not let the bitterness steal your sweetness. Take pride that even though the rest of the world may disagree, you still believe it to be a beautiful place.
h/t Anne McCarthy
As we indulged in leftover Halloween candy today after lunch, my coworkers and I reminisced about our childhood experiences surrounding the holiday, touching on our various strategies to maximize candy collection, and equally important, candy retention. Yeah, parents would take it away, but most everyone at the table mentioned that their siblings were the biggest culprits when it went missing.
That wasn’t the case for me though, because my brother was the best. I don’t remember any candy theft; on the contrary, he showered me with treats and looked out for me.
When he fundraised for school by selling candy, he’d save and buy me my favorites.
When he frequented Comic Grapevine, the local comic book and gaming store, he’d bring me along so that I could buy candy, play or watch them play the games, peruse the comic books, and play with the store cats. I can’t imagine how annoying or embarrassing it’d be to have your kid sister tag along for stuff like that, but he brought me anyway. It’s where I discovered my love for Street Fighter and Mortal Kombat — I was never any good, but I was happy to watch. It’s where I spent my hard-earned money on new pogs — the sparkly slammers were my faves, of course. It’s where I learned how to play Magic: The Gathering, amassing my own collection of cards and subsequently blowing the minds of all the boys in my class — I had to bring my decks to school and play before they believed me.
And when I started dating, going to dances and parties, and generally doing all the things my parents forbade me from doing, he’d cover for me, pick me up late at night, and always make sure I was safe.
Not everyone is lucky enough to have a sibling like mine.
(Apologies for the terrible photo quality!)
Go outside. Don’t tell anyone and don’t bring your phone. Start walking and keep walking until you no longer know the road like the palm of your hand, because we walk the same roads day in and day out, to the bus and back home and we cease to see. We walk in our sleep and teach our muscles to work without thinking and I dare you to walk where you have not yet walked and I dare you to notice. Don’t try to get anything out of it, because you won’t. Don’t try to make use of it, because you can’t. And that’s the point. Just walk, see, sit down if you like. And be. Just be, whatever you are with whatever you have, and realise that that is enough to be happy. There’s a whole world out there, right outside your window. You’d be a fool to miss it.