Buenos días Camaradas! I’ve been revived from a semi-comatose zombie state and have returned back to my angry and excitable old self. After a long (felt like decades) and unplanned hiatus from derby life due to health issues (concussions/emergency surgeries/temporary insanity) I have a new respect for the magic of medicine, the power of healing, and an even bigger appreciation for all the “little things” I enjoy so much about my life.
Whether you are held hostage in a recliner chair due to an injury, or living a life in constant fear while on the run from brain feasting soulless corpses that will undoubtedly take over the earth – I believe it is very important to stop and find some iota of joy and appreciation for the simple things in life. We never know what tomorrow will bring.
We all have this blissful presumption that everyone lives for at least a century and that we have so much time to put off the things we ‘want to do’ the things we ‘enjoy’ because we have to lay the ground work first, put in our years of toil, before we can sit back and truly enjoy ourselves.
I’m just gonna put it out there:
A very large and fast bus could be headed in your direction at any time.
Don’t plan on living forever, because as far as I can tell, nobody has accomplished that…yet. Just plan on living now.
If you want to be selfish, if you want to quit your job, move, sell all your belongings, ESCAPE from something or somewhere, fucking do that shit ASAP.
I know, it can be proven quite difficult in today’s society, as we are constantly compelled to define our worth and contribution to the universe by dollar amounts and the amount of ‘stuff’ we have accumulated. In turn, our material success is supposed to be what brings us said joy and happiness.
Some of us become so entrapped in this way of thinking that we criticize others for perhaps not valuing the same beliefs and standards. Over the last month, as I sat trapped between couch cushions – unable to get up on my own, let alone strap on a pair of roller skates – the words of those judgmental characters in my life rang in my ears, and I had time to consider my devotion to a sport that’s lifespan can be fairly unpredictable.
Sure, I can understand why some people may feel that my priorities are all out of whack. That I sacrifice too much for something that isn’t permanent, that doesn’t make me any money, and is completely dependent on extremely undependable factors.
And though I don’t consider Roller Derby a “little thing” in my life, it definitely tends to fall into that category for others. I’m not sure if you have been faced with this question on repeat since you joined the sport, but I definitely have:
“What if you couldn’t skate anymore, is it all worth it?”
Some feel I have disbanded much of my important life responsibilities or pathways in the pursuit of derbyness. What used to be my main focuses have now been left on the back-burner to ruminate and stew. Personally, I feel there is no better place for these topics to rest until I find a desire to revisit them again.
Many of the opinionated observers of my life have failed to note that it is not just the sport of derby that has uprooted me from the underbelly of small town and encouraged me to transplant to the underbelly of the ‘big city’ (along with many other bigger and smaller life changes), but so much more.
Skating, at this moment in time, is pretty close to being everything to me, but I also know there are so many other “little things” that it has brought to my life. I enjoy breathing in ocean air, seeing how high I can fly a kite on a pebbled beach littered with empty hermit crab shells and driftwood, drinking beers with people I admire and aspire to be, chatting passionately about what I’m doing to people who care to listen, and sharing meals with team mates and ‘sister-wives’ who were somehow separated from me at birth.
I enjoy grinning ear to ear a few times a week due to the massive rush of endorphins forced onto me from cross-training and giggle daily due to funny text messages, tweets and comments I randomly receive from loving friends and fans. I find so much joy in seeing my friends and team mates reach new goals, achieve things they didn’t think they were capable of, and knowing that no matter what, I’ve got a LOT of backup.
Whenever the time comes that I cannot skate, I will not look back at the years I ‘wasted’ on a silly pastime, but relish the memories I’ve made and know that I still have so much to look forward to in the future.
Derby will be a part of my life for better or worse, on or off the skates.
In short, my friends, enjoy the little things in life, whatever they may be. Pour yourself and all your free time into your hobby, your passion, WHATEVER it is that you LIKE to do!
Don’t fret too much about the big picture. Please do not define yourself by your employment, or the size of your house or what you have in your bank account. I know I don’t (my value in the universe would drop substantially).
Ask yourself this: Do you like to laugh? Make your friends laugh? Do you spend your free time enjoying the fuck out of life? If you are, then in my books you’ve got it made in the shade, you are a SUCCESS, and more people should be like you.
“I have one thing that counts, and that is my heart; it burns in my soul, it aches in my flesh, and it ignites my nerves: that is my love for the people (0f derby) and Perón.”
Photo courtesy of fellow blogger and graphic goddess Wry N Ginger 🙂 http://wrynginger.tumblr.com/