Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Sunshine, lollipops and Rainbows.

As I jumbled about the bathroom this afternoon, in the silence of rare alone time, I heard the distant ticking of a watch.  This watch is tucked away in my toothbrush bag by the sink.  I have scrounged over the watch for hear it meant I was quiet, it was quiet!  This persistent ticking machine belongs to Andrew Barnes, the man I dated who died in the Black Canyon in 2013.

I pause to listen, to take a breath.  Thoughts flood my brain of still being here, of him not.

Tick - tick - tick

The lightening bolt tingle in my hips jolts me out of the day dream.  I palm down onto wheelchair wheels and push up letting my frail bottom half hang and stretch.

I wheel over to my computer, here we are now!  

Self-esteem is low some days.    Daily the struggle to keep my head above the water is a challenge. In this moment, I remember how I grieved for Andrew, his untimely vanishing from our world.  I wondered, back then, if I would climb the same.  If I would love the same.  How could I possibly find a love, a connection again like Andrew?  The timing to give my love, myself to them and vice-versa needed to be perfect.  As months passed, adventures distracted but heart and mind did mend slowly.  Timing did seem to align eventually.  I meet and fell in love again with Max, as distant or unfathomable as that seemed in the beginning.  

Here I am again, faced with self-esteem dropping realities.  Learning to grieve again, to put faith in timing and life circumstance is incredibly overwhelming.  With my injury, I don't have the ease of distracting runs through the hills or type two fun on far flung alpine mountains.  My mind is churning with irrational impatient newbie thoughts.  

Will the world offer another willing to be my partner?  You nod as you read, or scoff at my thoughts.  But wait, I am in a wheelchair!  I know it doesn't change WHO I am, but it does a little bit.  I am a gal who couldn't sit still, who's self-esteem and morale was dependent on whether I had movement in my day.  I KNOW I can still move, but the joy is gone.  (for now, I know.)  
BUT, right now, in this moment, in this day, in this week, for this month....I do not feel the same.  My legs which took me to the top of mountains, ran me across desert lands, and biked me over sick gnar terrain, they are unresponsive.  The 5'5 slender, yet quadzilla legs carried my ideal body image of competent, capable, independent and beautiful.  It is what made me attractive to others, my ability to keep up, to push your comfort levels physically, to challenge you mentally....because we were doing them together.  

Now I cannot. 

Yes, I am still capable of pushing, challenging physically and mentally but....

I am fully aware of how lucky I am to type with my hands, breath a big breath on my own, and damn lucky to have a brain that works minus zero deficits, well..... :)

I still love myself and know that if I am patient and let time pass that things will feel better.  I may never walk again but golly I hope to find myself attractive, find joy in work and each day.   Miracles do happen, maybe even another will find me to be attractive share adventures and snuggles. 


KJ said...


You don't know me, and I didn't discover your blog until after reading about your accident on outsideonline, but I want to tell you -- from someone who has gotten to "know" you (as much as one can through reading) after, with no connection to before -- I think you're a beautiful person. You have a way of reflecting on the world in your writing, covering all angles and corners of a thought while still getting your point across. Your posts read in a thoughtful and calm voice, with an edge of passion. I'm sure sharing such a raw part of yourself comes with it's own challenges, but I wanted you to know I look forward to reading about your thoughts and experiences regarding the things we love -- climbing, healing, navigating the world, reflection, growth. Thank you for that!

michelle said...

This is beautiful and poignant. As someone who has had to give up my outdoor lifestyle due to a medical condition, I can completely relate. With grace, may you grieve and re-emerge. It won't be so much a miracle to you, but a blessing to your partner when he finds you.

Ishani Sawant said...

More power and luck to you Quinn... Keep up the positivity !

I look Asian said...

I think grieving is a part of our lives and a necessary one. As you said it took time to move on from your previous losses. Same as with your position right now, you will grieve and then there will be time to move on. Life goes on and you will find a new ways to enjoy life than the one you had before. Also medical and robotics technology is advancing fast and you probably will benefit from it sooner than later which will give you ability to do things better than normal humans.

Unknown said...

Dear Quinn, I just learned of your accident. Job, kids have taken me far from my El Cap days (leaving me to gripe about all the rock adventures I've forfeited). I don't know what to say except that you are amazing. Keep doing what you are doing. Sending whatever light and love I can. You are in my thoughts.

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