Last night I injured myself playing a football game. I was running with the ball, changed direction quickly and *pop* (you could hear it) – my knee gave way. What followed involved lots of pain; four hours in the emergency department; multiple doctors and nurses; tests and an x-ray; a painful sleep; two more hours at the doctor’s surgery this morning, and an MRI scan. What the doctors suspect is a tear in the Medial Collateral Ligament (MCL) of my left knee. Now I have to wear a full leg brace and get around on crutches. I find out the severity of it on Monday, but at this stage, recovery is approximately 3-6 weeks. Not too bad for ligament damage, thankfully. I’m off work for at least a week at this stage but hopefully can get back there really soon. Why am I telling you all this? Simple: because it serves as a reminder that things in life happen. When things happen that are negative or challenging, we all have choices to make. Do we sit in frustration, play the victim and wallow in self-pity, or do we make something positive from the situation?
My life is busy. I work full-time in a demanding job, I study part-time at university, and I have an active sports life. I am also working on a novel, which I haven’t had much time to work on, up until now. I am physically out of action for the next week (possibly more), so now I have to perfect opportunity to write. I am making the best of a bad situation. Finding time to follow your dreams can be difficult. Trying to juggle multiple things at once can also be difficult. Life is full of difficulties, hurdles, and challenges. What’s important is our attitude towards them. Because I’m unable to walk – I’m unable to go to work, which means I have to pour my energy into something else. So, why not write?
Any writer out there will tell you about their struggles when it comes to motivation, inspiration and that dreaded “writer’s block”. I think most of the time it’s due to a lack of creative space, whether it be external or internal. For me, it’s internal. When questions like, “am I good enough?”, “do people want to read what I write?”, “can I even write a book?” enter my mind, I spin them around and kick them out of the door. Why? Because I won’t achieve anything if I let my insecurities overshadow my potential. Writing is a form of art. Taking the time to learn how it works and how to master it is a significant challenge; and until that’s done, I will continue learning, continue writing, and continue creating. I’ve got the perfect reason to do that now. I’ll use this time to do research, to read as much as possible, and do lots of writing. The sooner I can walk, the sooner I’m back at work. So for this week at least, it’s time to recover and time to write. Let’s see what I can come up with!
For anyone out there struggling with the challenges that life presents, my advice is to deal with them. Deal with them positively and constructively. Seek help, talk to someone, and don’t give up. Give yourself time to reflect, but don’t get caught in the negative of your situation. That will lead to a heavy heart. Be positive, be uplifting, and most of all, be the person YOU want to be. It’s your life. Make stuff happen.