In the past week there has been a few additions to my life.
First I think I know where I want to head from here. Many of you know I've been struggling to figure out what I want to study in school and what I want to do with my life. Before this I had been focused on teaching at the middle/high school level. I was in my Senior year when the accident happened. After the accident I was all excited about teaching but since then I have been less and less enthusiastic about being in an elementary school classroom; the kids don't want to be there, the pay is lousy, tons of pressure is put on to meet test standards, and the workload is hell. It's not that I didn't know this before but it sounds less and less appealing.
I went to talk with a councilor at the community college where I'm taking a few classes. He suggested instead of scrapping the work I've done so far I should finish my degree and teach at the community college level. This would mean getting a masters degree but it might be worth it. The pay isn't much better but the students actually want to be there (mostly) and you don't have to worry about state qualifying tests determining your employment status. Who knows where I'll go from here but for now it's a good start.
Extracurricular, I've started working with the local community here. It's called Encore Theater; I joined the group after seeing the darkly comic play Books. I met the directors wife and daughter at the local bar, where I told them about my limited experience with theater as a kid. They were excited about the fact that I could understand theater and was interested in working on the plays. They were also excited because I was willing to learn lights and sound and that I'm pretty good with computers. I got a call the next day asking if I wanted to be the Assistant Stage Manager for the play. I accepted immediately.
Since then I've been to two practices. I write down the blocking, or stage directions, and remind people where they're supposed to be during their scenes. I'm in charge when the stage manager isn't there. I can't hop up and down off the stage but there is a really steep ramp that I can use when I need to get on stage for something. It's a good creative outlet and lets me spend time doing something other than physical therapy and recovering from physical therapy.
My last new activity doesn't come with a title but is even more fun. When I go walking I sometimes go past the farm fields into an area of the forest that's open with a thick carpet of pine needles covering the ground. It's here I've been practicing a little bit of dancing.
I got the idea form this guy Lucas "Lazy Legs," a break dancer. I saw him at the start of the Paralymics last spring. If anyone can find a video of his performance I would be very grateful. It inspired me to get out of my comfort zone a little bit and try a few moves. Now those of you who knew me before the accident knew I had two left feet even when I had both legs. So the moves weren't pretty but they were a blast. They still need some work obviously but if I make mistakes I have a soft bed of needles to land on.
So I haven't gone and finished my degree overnight, become a famous actor, or become a master break dancer. But it's the first step down the path. Who knows maybe these things will lead me somewhere I could have never expected.
Still no brace yet. Stay tuned.