Hopscotch was a favorite game of mine as a kid. We would draw the board with chalk on the sidewalk and play for hours. There was one area of the sidewalk, though, where we didn’t play the game. A tree had been growing next to the concrete slab in the sidewalk, and as the tree grew bigger and bigger so did the roots which caused cracks and lumps in the sidewalk.
We would skateboard across the cracks and ride our bikes over them, but you had to be careful not to hit them in just the right spot or you would fall to the ground with a thud. I had my fair share of bruises from those kinds of falls.
Cracks in the concrete are reminders to me that you can fall apart no matter how strong you think you are. When I look back at my life, I had great expectations. My career was flourishing and my future plans were laid out. I was strong, achieving great things, moving forward, and they BAM… a crack showed up in my life called Multiple Sclerosis and changed everything. It knocked me to the ground and left me in a daze wondering “what just happened.”
MS changed everything. At first, I couldn’t believe what was happening. It was a hard thing to come to terms with. Then as the months went by and the progression continued to worsen, I realized that MS wasn’t simply going away. No amount of denial would force my life back to the way it used to be.
Change is hard. We all hate change, but life is constantly changing and it’s important we learn to shift with those changes. It’s different when we have to shift our meal preference for the day or shift the places we go for vacation, but to shift your entire life due to a chronic illness…that just doesn’t seem fair. But I don’t look at life as fair and unfair. I see it as an opportunity to grow and become a better person or to sit stewing in anger and become bitter.
Am I going to let MS defeat me or am I going to allow something beautiful to grow from my life? Cracks in sidewalks can grow weeds or flowers and I want mine to grow flowers. It’s a choice we all have to make.
Don’t let that crack in the concrete change you to the point that you focus on the wrong things. Now is the time to change with the changes, but in a good way. MS will affect how you do things, but never let it change you into a negatively focused person.
There’s enough negativity in the world already. Find a little ray of sunshine and step into it. You may be cracked, but beauty can still come out of you if you let it. I believe in you.