The one that got away…

and the one I found

No, this is not a love story, a heartbreaking expression of regret over any one relationship that has reached an unfortunate end. Or an attempt to spill my heart out over a past lover I am missing because of the gloomy weather.

No, this is not one of those stories. However, while safe from tiring you with clichés of love lost and eternal sorrow, I still run the risk of sounding vain and like a moaning bastard.

Oh well. Here goes nothing.

The one I miss is an undefined future me. The potential that lay ahead of me in my life at the age of 28. Almost 13 years ago. When multiple sclerosis came knocking on my door, and in the more than a decade since has tumbled every plan I have had and my entire world for that matter. Nothing has been the same since. I can barely walk 50 meters unassisted and 200 meters assisted – anything further away requires a wheelchair. So no “long walks on the beach” for me. Or exploring a new city on foot. And don’t get me started on the need for proximity to toilets. Or a myriad of other limitations, such as light and noise sensitivity, or even cognitive difficulties and memory loss. I really do miss the me that I used to be, and not a day goes by that I don’t wonder about who I had the potential to be.

Then again, I found a new me. A more understanding me, a more zen me, as more patient me, and definitely a more pragmatic me. A more rational and reserved me. A me that learned how to adapt to sudden changes in life and their surroundings. One that advocates for those with limited abilities, one that tries to explain to others (with some success I hope) that what they believe the world should be like is really just their view at this specific time and place, does not fit every case, and they are bound to change opinion as time passes. One with a different perspective on life and the world.

Isn’t this change and ability – because everyone has the capacity – to adapt to it what defines each and every one of us as individuals?

So, yes, the one I used to be has gotten away. But in the process I have found the one that I am today. And dare I say I am very happy for this new me, I am very satisfied and very proud of who I have become. I may not always be successful in nurturing this new me, I sometimes need the help of my friends, but I sure am gonna try and keep me around!



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