Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Some lessons

Yesterday I would have posted an entry titled, "Why me?" I didn't have access to the computer because I went to Sun Valley with my mom to get away and take a deep breath.

I am 26 and have been presented with so many lessons in that relatively short life. I feel like every time I get my life on course and feel happy something tragic happens... something major that takes me off course, makes me leave my joy and progress behind. My mom was commenting that many people don't start to recognize cycles of life lessons for many years. Mine are becoming readily apparent. I don't mean to sound self-indulgent or self-aggrandizing, but I feel like I was put on earth to do something big. I've felt that way since I was a small child. Perhaps I need to learn some of these lessons early to make room to accomplish those bigger things. But for whatever reason, this is where I am. While I have still had moments of self-pity today, it is better. And so I thought I would share some of the lessons I am learning out of this. (And yes, I really do sit around for hours everyday trying to process through the reasons why this stuff happens to me.)

- There is an amazing sense of loss when you wake up and can't feel one side of your face. But I am lucky. This loss is temporary. I will regain my facial movement and be able to smile again. I will be able to blink again. There are so many people who wake up everyday and have to endure pain or disfigurement that is permanent. And they put on a smile... whether it is inside or out... and walk through their day doing tremendous things. They are heroes and have great courage.

- We make such judgments about people based on how they look. I currently do not look approachable and even appear to be slow in my mental abilities. This perception has led people to treat me differently. They approach me as though I need help. My words are judged (since I fluff my "f"s and "b"s). This judgment is unfair, and we should be more careful of how we perceive others.

- We are so lucky to be alive everyday. But living in that consciousness is overwhelming. It is much easier to live obliviously and not focus on the fragility of our lives. I cannot yet decide if this has made me more likely to take risks (because I'm not a risk taker at all) or more cautious.

There are many other lessons, but those are the big ones from today.


  1. Brooke, You don't know me. I live in Columbia Village and have been watching your post for sometime. I loved this post. I too have had Bells Palsy. I was 7 months pregnant...had a terrible haircut...was told that my baby was a "downs" child...and my husband left. I thought that I could not endure much more. Life does have a way of working the kinks out. Hang in there. You are amazing and I would love to meet you someday.


  2. Thank you for sharing your experience with me. It is true that life does not let us choose our experiences and sometimes when we think we have hit our limit, we are handed more. When we move into our new home, we are planning to have a weekend-long open house and would love to have you come by. We'll post more details once we get moved in!

  3. Brooke, Lisa is one of my dear friends. She is another example to me of amazing strength. Meeting her will be a blessing to you, I know for sure. Thank you for this awesome post on wonderful life lessons learned. Amazing. It's not easy to recognize the fact that we really do learn from our most difficult times.

  4. Brooke with or with out the Bells Palsy you are a beautiful person. Inside and out. You are someone that others should strive to be. I know that I have told this to you on a few other occasions. Your strength is admirable and I could only hope to be as strong as you have been these past three months.