ellenmillion: (ellen with wrench)
[personal profile] ellenmillion
August passed without much note on my part, marking 17 years since I broke my back.

A few years ago, I would hesitate to lift anything - even testing something outside of my strength could mean several days of pain in walking and moving.

Now? There are decidedly things I still can't lift. But simply trying to lift them doesn't cause me any trouble. I can twist and catch a closing door without staggering in pain or having the sinking feeling that I'm going to pay for it later. I can get something down off a tall shelf I can barely reach without the familiar twang of trying to do too much. I can go for a brisk walk over uneven terrain without the fear that one careless step is going to jar me into a day of couch-rest and icepacks.

Honestly, I have no idea when this happened. At some point, I stopped flinching when a door was closing on me, and I don't know when. I've stopped slowing down on uneven terrain, and I didn't even realize. I reach for things without even thinking about it.

And that didn't really occur to me until... today.

My business hasn't run all that smoothly. Some of my speedbumps and broken dreams I've blogged about. Some of them, I will take to my grave, because they involve other people who don't deserve the colored publicity it would give them, and even without names, it would be obvious who they are. (Not just one or two people, so if you're thinking 'oh, god, that's ME,' don't. It's a vast and varied and frequently unfair collection of individuals.)

At some point, I realized... I'm flinching. I'm waiting for that closing door to cause me pain because I don't expect myself to be able to catch it right. I'm expecting that step on uneven terrain to hurt me, so I slow down and tip-toe. I'm not reaching for the top shelf, because I'm so sure I'll spend a day on icepacks afterwards, metaphorically speaking.

I'm expecting the pain and betrayal and failure.

But I didn't get to where I am now with my back by sitting still, waiting to hurt myself. I worked out at the gym, took bellydance lessons, did situps even when I didn't want to. I took walks, made myself be brisk, stretched.

I'm not doing that with my projects.

I will probably never be able to run again.

That was a bitter admission and for years I refused to make it - I used to be a distance runner, and I would sometimes run to school just for the thrill of it. But it was an admission that had to be made, eventually, and making it allowed me to get on with making the best of it.

Some of what I do is going fail. And fail spectacularly, at that.

But if I let that fear and certainty of pain keep me from continuing to work at my projects, all of them will fail.

So, it's time for a little more discipline: a little less 'woe is me' and a little more 'look out world.'

I may never be able to run, or turn Ellen Million Graphics into a world dominating powerhouse of fantasy art, or write that blockbuster series of bestsellers. But I've still got big things to do, and I intend to do them.

And I haven't entirely given up on that running thing, either...

Date: 2010-09-22 05:50 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] brownkitty.livejournal.com
I hope this isn't inappropriate for you to hear. Somehow it feels appropriate for me to say.

Happy Birthday :)

Date: 2010-09-23 11:02 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ellenmillion.livejournal.com
Actually, it seems very appropriate. Thank you!

Date: 2010-09-22 06:05 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] valdary.livejournal.com
Torn World is making a few friends as well. Have you noticed that Apex Book Company have been retweeting us lately, on a fairly regular basis.(As well as the lovely @Vryka, @Jolantru and @lynthornealder)

Date: 2010-09-23 11:03 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ellenmillion.livejournal.com
I hadn't noticed! How very awesome. :)

Date: 2010-09-23 11:03 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ellenmillion.livejournal.com
I hadn't noticed! How very awesome. :)

Date: 2010-09-22 08:51 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] wyld-dandelyon.livejournal.com
I continue to be amazed at how much you get done! If you're not stretching and pushing, well, when you do, I'll make sure I'm not in your way! However, so far we've been on the same team. :-D

Date: 2010-09-23 11:05 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ellenmillion.livejournal.com
*laughs* I'm generally good at honking before I run anyone over, anyway. :P And thank you! A lot of what has been happening at Torn World, at least, is due to your hard work, too!

Date: 2010-09-22 09:04 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] pixiewildflower.livejournal.com
((HUGS)) Best of luck with all your dreams.

Date: 2010-09-23 11:05 pm (UTC)

Date: 2010-09-22 10:37 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] haunted-blood.livejournal.com
Who needs world domination when we have all the fun we do!

Date: 2010-09-23 11:10 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ellenmillion.livejournal.com
Excellent point!

Date: 2010-09-22 10:52 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] paradigm-clutch.livejournal.com
/thumbs up

go, Go, GO! :D


Date: 2010-09-23 11:11 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ellenmillion.livejournal.com
Rah rah!! :)

Date: 2010-09-23 08:21 am (UTC)
kelkyag: notched triangle signature mark in light blue on yellow (Default)
From: [personal profile] kelkyag
You give an excellent pep talk. :)

Date: 2010-09-23 11:11 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ellenmillion.livejournal.com
I have practice!

Date: 2010-09-24 03:36 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] kerstitch.livejournal.com
That is wonderful about your back and how that hard work has paid off! Best wishes for the business part to follow!

I really need to get back into a formal exercise/stretching routine myself to keep my neck more stable. Always so easy just to get stuck on the computer though and work on my own sad, fledgling business instead.


Date: 2010-09-29 02:16 am (UTC)
ext_14081: Part of a image half-designed as a bookplate. Colored pencil and ink, dragon reading (close-up on face) (Default)
From: [identity profile] metasilk.livejournal.com
Yet another post to remind me of why you are an Amazing Role Model.
Kick ass, girl.

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