Life Changes

Matthew - Cullowhee, North Carolina
Entered on September 17, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30
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I believe that life changes are usually for the better. No matter how big or bad, sweet or sour, they always make you look at things differently. For some people it might be just graduating college or someone dying in the family. In any case, it is something that changes life for the person looking forward.

For me that was falling fifty-five feet off a mountain in Creed, Co. I was free climbing on a hundred foot climb and it was about eleven thirty at night. The dew had set in and I wanted to continue climbing. I could not go to sleep for some reason. It started out great, and then it happened.

When I fell, I was thinking about everything that I have ever done in my life. To me, I saw that I was not making enough of a difference in life. I was just a little kid that has not made any difference in life and maybe no one would even care that I fell. It was as if I never had lived any of my life for others, I was a ghost in my own life.

After a rescue, an ambulance flight, and several surgeries, I began recovery which required me to push and push to get through all the different injuries that I had. It took so long that I thought I never was going to get better. I began to think that there was no chance that I could live my life the same. I had to choose to give up or to push as hard as I could to get back into life. At that point I saw that I could go to college and make a difference with my life.

I had to push through having a compound fractured right leg, broken sinus cavity, and two cracked ribs. With my leg, I had to get a titanium rod to replace my tibia and fibula. Therefore, I had to learn to walk as if I was a baby. Then I had to learn to talk. I had basically just been born anew. I had a new cheek and eye socket made from some more titanium to replace the sinus cavity, and it was as if I never talked in my life. This was another challenge, but I knew that if I gave up then there was no chance of me getting back up and living my life the way that I wanted.

On top of all that, I still had trouble breathing from the pressure of the cracked ribs. This made me feel like my chest was a new balloon that had never been blown up. Once they finally got stretched out I was able to breathe and be comfortable with who I was in life with all of the new ways of talking or walking.

When I started my own therapy, I learned there are many different ways of walking and talking, but I had to do it my way. I had to find out how I throw my weight and how I stressed certain letters in a word. This took the longest, since I have never thought about everyday life being so hard. It was another thing that opened my eyes to what challenges life holds.

Talking was somewhat difficult to relearn when I always wanted to do things my way. I would never give anyone’s ideas a chance. When it hit me, I noticed that I had to get help, I needed someone. I know that everyone is here to help and this was the difference they could make. My mom and I worked for about a month and I was talking again.

Walking though seemed to take forever. I could never move around from place to place without the pain crippling my mentality. It was as if someone would take a hold of my brain and squeezed till everything oozed out. I knew that I could not give up. I had done so much work and I could push through, I just had to work harder. After about six months I was walking, still pushing through the pain. During this time I became mentally stronger feeling the pain but the effect was weakened.

When I got to college I could only think one thing, “I cannot give up, and I am here to make a difference in life.” This mantra would run through my mind. I discovered that school was where I was meant to be. My life made sense. My life would be meaningless if I had just surrendered. The act of falling off a mountain awakened my destiny, my destiny being here, in this class. Otherwise I would be in a different location trying to figure out what I want to do with my life.

I know at this moment that without my life change I would not have become the person that I am today. To ask a person how they define the term life, my answer would be experiences. An experience, what we go through as human beings, determines the type of person that we are. Personally, I would still be living at my parent’s house with a small time job still asking myself the endless questions,” Why am I here? What am I doing with my life?”

Change never hinders growth. Evolution of one’s mind is the result of change. I am reformed from my change. I am bettered by my fall. Transformed by an unspeakable force my burdens became weightless. I now take life one day at a time and anticipate further changes.

This is why I believe that a life changing event must happen, to learn life. Sometimes you just need to look back and see what changed for you to be where you are in this the world, or what you are doing now. You need to even think about how you got to be in the spot you are now.