Discomfort zones.

poem about memory loss

I never, in my younger days, considered myself to be a creative person.  Growing up, I was always the brainiac, science girl, math whiz...nerd...always so much more comfortable with numbers and scientific facts than with creative writing and crafty things.

Pragmatic, logical, low key?  Yes...definitely.

Artsy, impulsive, innovative?  Definitely...no.

It came as a great shock, therefore, when my AVM decided to flip that particular switch. It wasn't long after my first stroke that numbers began to elude me; that facts and details - those pesky scientific necessities - wouldn't stick.  Words, and yes, creativity, began to make more sense to me.  I remember - vaguely, but still - sitting for hours on end (when sitting for a bit was about the most I could hope for in a day)...scrap booking. Cutting, pasting, organizing, gluing stuff...it was like a journey back into time to kindergarten.

Scrapbooking led to photography...I needed more pictures for my new hobby, obviously...

Then one day, I was sitting in my back yard, watching other people walk their dogs along the path that ran behind my home. More specifically, I watched and took note of all the weird things people tend to do when their dogs poop...look up and pretend they don't notice, pick up the droppings and then leave the bag (I still don't get it), stuff like that...and I wrote in to the newspaper about it.

The editor (who got a laugh out of my observations, I guess) called me up and asked me to be a member of the local newspaper's community editorial board...and I've been writing ever since.

Seems to fall nicely within the meaning of that old cliche "when one door closes, another opens", no? 

So what does this all have to do with anything?

Well, I guess I just want to tell a bit more of my story and point out that simply trying new things - things that were, at that time, completely outside of my comfort zone and foreign to me- started me down an entirely new path, a new direction...at a time when I desperately needed one.

I still marvel at how such simple steps and activities helped to lead me to where I am today.

I don't know if my transition from decreasingly analytic to increasingly creative was a result of my brain rewiring itself, or if I finally and simply - due to my illness - had time to explore my more artsy self.  In the end, it doesn't really matter why it happened, so much as it did. And no matter how it came to pass, I am grateful for the second chance, and for having had the chance to learn that sometimes stepping out of a comfort zone or a specific way of thinking can pave the road towards an entirely new and unexpected (yet still meaningful) destination.

I have, in past, mainly written essays or opinion/ editorial type content, but I am now branching out into more creative writing.

I just wrote my first poem (see above on photo, and be kind!), and am even taking my first steps (baby steps, it's petrifying) towards writing my first book.

And those two things are huge leaps and bounds out of my zone, believe me.  It'll be fun to see where they land me...


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