When I started to be more flexible regarding my writing – I don’t have to post every day or stick to a theme – it became more authentic. I write about what I see, what I think and what I am experiencing, which is a range of anything and everything. Clearly, I have a filter because I believe in a line between the public and the private, but when inspired to actually write, I just go for it.
So, I’ve not been as vocal lately, veering between feeling inexplicably tired, a touch heartstick and anxious about the state…of…my…foot.
Yes, my foot. The left one. The one, you might recall, that was encased in this hideous thing aka The Boot for the month of November:
This was the night I treated it to a home-cooked dinner and a nice glass of wine.
Needless to say, the experience, while rendered in many a hilarious post, was not in the slightest hilarious. In fact, it was kind of traumatizing and awkward. So anything foot-pain related that does not go away will, now, freak me out. To make a long story short – and more tears in front of another doctor, not this one:
(sorry, I love my Doctors) I had another MRI and discovered something extrordinary. I have a slight plantar plate tear, a neuroma (that is aggravated enough to drive me up the walls and cause funky pain), bursitis between my toes and some kind of other injury under my big toe with also the beginnings of arthritis.
Fortunately, The Boot was not coming out of retirement but, hey! At least if I did need to start another relationship, it’s already waiting for my call and will loyally support me around New York yet again. I just have to cook it dinner, once in a while, provide solid entertainment, enough room to sleep and good wine. Not too shabby. However, I can’t bend my toes, run – maybe ever again – or do any kind of high-impact exercise. No more boot camp. No more jumping or sprinting or dancing for now. No more heels. (This last one is a boon in disguise as I could buy a pair of Dr. Martens) No bending back the toes which has…
…made yoga a little more difficult.
Monday’s class was extremely frustrating: I just can’t keep up. If I’m careful and mindful of where and how I am placing my feet, there is truly very little I can’t do except for high lunges and jumping back into chatturanga. However, classes are for people without injury and I simply cannot move as fast as everyone else’s pacing. I’m sure there’s a lesson to be learned here but in all honesty, if I have to practice on my own at home, then so be it, but I really appreciate the guidance and community of a group class. So, not wanting to sacrifice my education and my preferences to protect my frustration, I’m going to continue going to classes and working at a pace suitable to me. That is yoga. That is being true to myself.
In terms of walking, I’ve been able to cover five or more miles each day around New York and Astoria. The rush of a jog, the feel of the breeze and the lazy tiredness that comes with the end of a morning jaunt is severely lacking. I miss endorphins. I miss moving at a quick pace and, above all else, shutting off. However, like other things that I have renounced, running might also have to be another: taken to the extreme it has clearly harmed me more than healed. With one broken foot, back pain and now deeper issues unseen, it is time to stop. Whether this is permanent will be determined, but I started to use it for other things. Walking still allows me to get lost in my thoughts, but I can pay attention to what’s around me, my self, and not escape into a bubble of pacing, speed and endurance. There’s no plan to follow, no great goal to be lauded over social networks – a habit of which we are all guilty because who wants to be ignored and feel more isolated than some of us already are? These sites intended to make us more social are instead making us more alone, competitive and insecure: when our lives aren’t the right-fitting pieces in the puzzle comprising of our peers, we feel inadequate and need to be noticed.
For so long, I felt like I was noticed for the wrong things, and finally being noticed for something that others could appreciate and support, well, I felt like I might have belonged. Or at least been understood and admired. And what I realized is, that person was no more me than the beatific vegan yogi. The me that I love, who I really am, needed reassurance and self-acceptance, because so long ago it felt like it never received that. Now it does. Not as a result of walking but as a result of accepting and understanding.
And so, the only way is forward.
“I didn’t need these things. I didn’t need them.”