Challenge Yourself Everyday!

A PART OF ME WANTS to be extremely successful but also wouldn’t mind seeing the entire world crumble. I know what you’re thinking. This guy is crazy, something is wrong with him. Maybe there is something wrong with me or maybe I’m just in deep thought?

Whatever it may be neither is wrong or right.

“Don’t grow up, it’s a trap”

I love this quote and came across another great quote this morning that was by Jim Carrey while giving a commencement speech.  

“You can fail at what you don’t want, so you might as well take a chance on doing what you love.”

I guess if we are all on the opposite side of wanting to see the world crumble than we must all want to succeed. However, I get the feeling that everyone is fighting it out and pointing fingers at each other saying I’m better, we’re better, I’m going to crush you, and so on and so forth.

All this recklessness leads us down a nowhere road and our spike in mental illness, in my opinion.

As an example, baby boomers are hating on millennials and the next minute millennials are hating on baby boomers with OK Boomer memes taking over the internet. What is going on?

I just want to whip and do the nay nay and not get kicked out of Starbucks for it. Now, if I was to dance randomly in a public place where people don’t dance, I probably wouldn’t do the nay nay. To be honest, I can’t even remember what the nay nay dance is, but I do want to start challenging myself everyday doing one thing that scares me. Standing up from my computer and dancing in the middle of a Starbucks would be exactly that!

So, I’m going to do it. Here we go as live as you’re reading this. I turn to the girls to my right and say, hey I’m challenging myself daily so I’m going to stand up right now and dance. Don’t be alarmed. You’re safe!

They laugh and I stood up, raised my arms and started moving my hips in a dance picking up one feet after the other. They smiled, laughed and gave me a woot!

Just what I needed!

To my left is an older man wearing a beige leather jacket, blue jeans and black tennis shoes. He smirked and laughed under his breathe.

I don’t know the meaning of life but I’m going to start doing things I love more and not grow old to regret the past. I guess, this is a test for me!

How to connect with other Brain Injury Survivors

Recently I’ve discovered a whole new way of connecting with other brain injury survivors across the world and it’s really bringing me joy.

On a side note I get happy when I use the word joy because it was my grandma’s name. She drove me to physical, speech and occupational therapy when my parents were working after my brain injury. Joy was the perfect name for her!

Back on topic, I’ve been connecting with brain injury survivors recently through Facebook groups and other online communities. I’ve also discovered a local brain injury support group which meets monthly in metro Detroit. I was unable to attend the last meeting due to previous plans, but I called the person who puts it on and had a really nice conversation and I’d like to share their story in the future if they’re willing.

If you keep your eyes and ears open, you’ll find fellow brain injury survivors. Brain injury survivors like Farah Patel who contributed her story to Brain Talk awhile ago. I came across Farah’s story through a post she had on LinkedIn. I’m not sure how it came across my feed considering she was in California, but life is about about timing and luck. I know about timing better than anyone but that’s a story for another article. Here’s a link to her article in case you missed it:

Here are a few good places to look at for connecting with brain injury survivors:

  • Local and state brain injury associations
  • Local brain injury survivor meetups: Google it
  • Facebook groups: I recently joined a group called Traumatic or Acquired Brain Injury Support Group. It’s a really cool place where brain injury survivors often ask others questions about their brain injury seeking tips and advice. I recently gave advice to someone who was unsure how to tell their boss about their brain injury since it caused restrictions to their work capabilities.
  • Google brain injury support groups. You’ll be surprised by how many support groups there are available!

If I missed any other ways to connect with brain injury survivors please let me know!

Take Risks!

The reality you wish you weren’t familiar with-

Do you ever wish life was easy and you didn’t have to worry about any responsibilities? Like you could wake up on your own terms?

It’s funny because I often feel like I’m just going through the motions and that’s what I’m supposed to do. Like, find a means of living that pays you well, whether it makes you happy or not and just do it.

When we’re younger everyone tells you that you can be whatever you want to be. You can accomplish whatever you want to succeed. And to a point they’re right but what if as children we asked those people telling us this the following:

Have you followed your dreams?

Are you doing what you want for a living?

Have you taken risks?

The problem is at some point it seems like we do things because it’s what everyone else is doing. We’re just following the crowd.

My question is, why do we do that? Because it’s easy? Because it’s safe? Because we need money? Because we’re afraid of failure?

I almost think failure is cool because you tried something. You went up against the odds. You didn’t follow the crowd. You were fearless!

At the end of the day we’re all in control of who and what we are? It’s our choice to make things happen

In closing- I want you to think about what you’re doing and think if it’s what you actually love. If it’s not consider taking a risk and maybe walk away from the crowd of sheep!

Try something different. And of course, you need to examine your finances but do it and make that change! At least try!

Let’s Stop the Gossip!

I’m sitting on my orange couch trying to think of something to write for Brain Talk however my creativity is at a halt. The truth is I’m tired and so is my mind. Oh well, I might as well give it a try. Like Wayne Gretzky said, you miss every shot you don’t take!

I’ve been fascinated with people lately and the story behind who they are and how they became that way. Everyone is so different and there are truly no two of the same people, duh!

What I specifically find interesting is why people talk crap about another person’s flaws behind their back. The reason why this bothers me is two fold.

  1. First and foremost, can’t we talk about something better than discussing someone else’s mishaps and flaws? I can probably think of twenty different things so just stop. It doesn’t feel good and I hate the thought of people talking shit about me behind my back so why would I want to do it to someone else.
  2. The truest thing in the world is people cannot choose the person they are born to be. Some of us get lucky and are born the gifted athlete making millions who enjoys donating money and volunteering in their free-time. Others draw the short end of the stick and are born with no ambition and are setup to go down the path of drug addiction. Or some are born with a twisted pedophile’s mind.

Now, I’m not condoning anyone but the body and brain we’re born into is the person who we become and we don’t really have a choice. I mean, people can make decisions but at the end of the day, you are who you are. I bet you a million dollars a drug addict or pedophile would give it all up to have the talent of Tom Brady, J.J Watt or Tiger Woods.

Now, Tiger Woods is a prime example of being born with athletic talent and addiction issues. You can get both ends of the bargain, I guess.

So, in closing, he next time you’re with a group and you’re talking negatively about someone else try to stop the group and change the conversation to something positive. Remember people can’t chose who they are.

How about don’t talk about anybody. Do anything other then gossip. I guarantee the conversation will be more fun and will make you feel better. It has to be good for your brain. There’s no way it isn’t!

I hope you enjoyed this article. What are your thoughts on gossip? Do you do it? Did you realize how stupid it is? Do you regret it? Do you think people have full control of who they are?

Do you find the humor in life?

Let me tell you something. Life almost never goes as you plan. I wish life worked out like I plan but for some reason it doesn’t, and that’s okay. In my mind I believe the setbacks and getting knocked off my feet is humbling and makes me stronger.

At this moment I kind of want sleep but I’m writing this blog and that makes me happy. The post 4th of July slumber has kicked in and I’m wore out from bathing in the sun and overeating delicious meats and treats that make my stomach say “oh child, that’s good, gimme more!”

But let me milk you one last time!

Also, my head hurts because I’m tired or it’s sensitive due to having a brain injury once upon a day but I’ve been miking that excuse like Besty the cow for years, sorry Betsy. You’re a good ole girl and I love you but you gotta go!

The truth is I make a lot of jokes about my brain injury and the disability that came with it. Even though I’m very mobile and strong enough to feel like I don’t have a disability I like to find humor in the flaws I have.

Regardless of what happens in my life I’m always going to find the humor and that’s something no one can ever take from me!

So let me ask you, do you find the humor in life?

Overcoming Obstacles!

Stay on your timeline-

I wish my goals and dreams were accomplished faster. Whether it’s my career, relationships or improving my disability.

Following my original brain injury the journey to becoming independent was long and hard but I eventually got there. And while I know every brain injury survivor doesn’t have the luxury of pure independence everyone has attainable goals they want to achieve.

I’m not sure if I’m the only person that feels this way but it seems like I’ve often gone 1 step forward and 2 steps back many times. Now, while this isn’t always the case, it’s put me in a position to always be looking forward and not dwell on the past. It’s easy to sulk, whether you’re down about the brain injury that happened to you and how it flipped your life upside down but you have to remind yourself you still have a choice.

You have a choice on how you react to the things that happen to you in life. It’s your opportunity to climb the hill and overcome an obstacle or to do nothing and stay where you are. What gives me motivation is knowing I have control how I react to these challenges and if I can overcome the majority of them it’ll make life more fulfilling!

It’s all about perspective. How will you react to your next obstacle?

Your New Body & Mind

Feeling dizzy can be an odd feeling at times and a scary one, especially when you’re standing in the middle of a room full of people. I don’t know about other brain injury survivors but when this happens to me the first thought that passes through my mind is that I’m hemorrhaging from my brain again. The reason this thought comes to me is because the dizziness is often followed by my left leg falling asleep and becoming tingly. This scared the living day light out of me when I was younger and discovering my new body following my brain injury.

At some point I had to learn how my “new” body and mind works, and it took trial and error to get there.

After returning home following my first brain bleed, I remember how different and scary it was discovering my new body when I did something as simple as lay down to go to bed. Fortunately, this didn’t happen for too long but every time I would lay in bed and get cozy and ready to sleep the night away something would happen. This thing that happened scared me and led me to praying every night that I’d wake up alive the next morning. I remember having fear I wouldn’t be alive in the morning.  

This became a new normal of my life which I was in the beginning stages of discovering my new and different body as a brain injury survivor left with aftereffects. What happened is that my entire left side would go tingly like it fell asleep, like the symptom during the day of my original brain bleed.

It may seem like a stretch praying every night that I’d wake up healthy and alive the next morning but after being in a hospital and a coma, unconscious for 6 months you might assume I was left with a few post traumatic insecurities.  

Later on – The occasional left leg falling asleep or dizziness when I stand up too fast after sitting down for a long time became something I’m used to. Like, if I’m with a group and everyone stands up together to relocate there’s been a few occasions where I didn’t panic because my foot fell asleep but rather just say to the group, I’m going to need a minute, I’ll be there soon.

I’ve feared this happening during an actual fire alarm emergency but luckily it hasn’t happened yet. If it did happen, I know I’d figure something out and survive. I mean, I survived a brain hemorrhage for god sakes. Not much can take me down. I’m not sure if the apocalypse was to happen that I wouldn’t survive. Surviving what I went through has left me feeling invincible.

Feeling invincible- It took me awhile to get there and while I don’t always feel invincible, I was only able to have this feeling once I understood what I had overcome and was familiar with my new body and mind. Now, when I have a dizzy spell or tingly feeling in my leg, I’ll say to myself “I’m okay but if I was getting sick again, I’ll survive. I’ve already beaten it twice!”

For myself it was about becoming comfortable with the occasional dizzy spell or numbness in my left side. I just had to remember this is my “new” body and mind!