In a recent conversation with one of the wisest women I have the privilege of knowing, I explained a strange feeling that had recently overcome me. I told her that for many years I had felt a deep desire to be more creative in my life. I have always considered myself a creative person, but I had been struck by the idea that as an adult, my creativity was dying. I would sit down ever so often and challenge myself to write something, but the task of producing something valuable quickly frightened me from producing anything at all. In short, I was scared. And I was creatively stunted.
When the rug you once lived your life upon suddenly gets swept out from under your feet, all the rules you used to structure your life around get thrown away also. It’s a bizarre sense of freedom. With one of the greatest fears of my life suddenly realized, my fears of yesterday quickly vanished. Afraid of writing something bad? Yes, I acknowledged, it can happen and, at some point, it most certainly will happen. And the worst consequence of this? Nothing. Life will go on. But to write nothing at all was far more dangerous. For how can I expect anything good and exciting from this life if I’m not willing to risk putting it out there?
It strikes me as an obvious epiphany, yet a difficult one to fully absorb. To live the life you feel you were meant to live, there is no choice but to take action. Seldom do the opportunities we crave fall into our laps and transform us. It is our willingness to be gutsy, to stand out, and even to fail that open us up to an infinite range of experiences.
Over the past few months my head has been flooded with ideas of things I’d like to write: novels, essays, cookbooks, even sitcoms! I recognize that not every idea I’ve been collecting will be a gem, but it’s been thrilling just to have an idea at all. My friend explained it in a way far more poetic than I could hope to articulate. She said, “When your heart broke, it broke open.” Under my utter sadness and the crushing weight of my former life, these ideas and the creativity I had been struggling to access for so long came flooding out. My heart broke open. And inside, I found myself.
Brain injury has saturated my life for more than six months now. I don’t doubt that it will continue to influence most everything I do for years to come, but it’s time to resign the post of recovery updater. There are so many things I’d like to be sharing and writing that cover topics beyond the world of the Maslin family and I need a more appropriate space in which to do it.
Never in my wildest imagination could I have predicted the level of love and support we have received. It has truly transformed my soul. TC and Jack and I will spend the rest of our days attempting to rebalance a scale that has slid deeply in our favor due to the kindness of others. It is your generosity that has renewed us and given us an opportunity so significant it may change our course forever. In two months we will travel to Nova Scotia where TC has been accepted at one of the most intensive aphasia therapy programs in North America. For five weeks he will participate in rigorous all day speech therapy that is tailored to meet his specific needs and help him work on his goal of returning to work one day. We are so grateful for this opportunity and recognize that this type of therapy would not be possible without the tremendous efforts of our army of supporters. Thank you for following our story. Thank you for keeping it close to your hearts. Thank you for staying with us on this journey.
While I don’t expect it will generate nearly the same readership as this blog, I do plan on continuing to write on my new blog, www.abbymaslin.com. I’m looking forward to sharing our adventures in Halifax, as well as many of the things that continue to inspire and uphold me during this tumultuous time.
Over the course of this experience, I have felt my gut tug at me to indicate the shifting of one phase to another. My gut tells me now that a new phase is upon us. From survival to reconstruction to an era of new beginnings, the light shines brighter with each passing day.
With prayers of peace,
For the non-Facebookers, our February interview with Doreen Gentzler from NBC4: