Skip to main content


My last full year at university, I broke my arm.

Well, technically, the math professor coming off of a blind curve on his bicycle broke it when he hit me.
I was, by the way, on my roommate’s bicycle on my way back to my dorm after work that day.
It was a lovely late afternoon, early enough in the autumn months that the leaves were just starting to turn towards the vibrant shades they take on just before they die.
Afterwards, I had a really good laugh in sharing the experience with a friend who was a math major and student of the professor in question.
But that is not really the point.

The point is that my arm was broken, but I didn’t know it at the time.

Yes, I did go in to get things checked out the next day.
My arm was in massive amounts of pain, but the x-rays didn’t show anything, so they gave me some good pain medicine and a sling.
Give it a week, they said. Should be good as new.

A week went by.
My arm was mostly better, but every once in a while it would start hurting again for a few months afterwards.
I didn’t go back in because I didn’t think I needed to.
Ibuprofen and the sling = problem solved.

I had no idea until a year and a half later, after I was back at home and at my doctor’s office with a mild case of bronchitis.
Because Doc hadn’t seen me in a while, he asked what had been going on since the last time I came in, so I told him about my arm and the crash.
He got a thoughtful look on his face just before he told me it sounded like my arm had, indeed, been broken as a result of that crash.
It was enough of a fracture to be painful, but not to show up on an x-ray right away.
Probably wouldn't show on an x-ray now that anything ever had been broken.

For a moment after Doc said that, it was like the accident had just happened all over again.
In that moment, I was angry with the doctor who hadn't seen it in the x-rays, and with myself for not going back when I was still in pain more than a week later.

We all do that to ourselves sometimes.
Something happens, and once we get past the worst of it, we convince ourselves we are completely over it - don't worry about crying on anyone's shoulder because everything is good...
Until something else happens and it's not again.
Then we tell ourselves it's over and we should be done with it, and we get upset with ourselves for not doing things the right way so we could have been done with it permanently sooner.

Maybe we need to stop trying to tie everything in a neat little bow right away.
Maybe we need to show ourselves some grace when we aren't as over something as we thought we were.
And maybe we need to give ourselves, and the people around us, permission to take whatever time is necessary to work through what is broken inside of each of us.

Because maybe once we've done that, we might be able to fix more than ourselves.


Popular posts from this blog

My Writer's Toolbox: Thesauruses I Love

I don't know about the rest of you writers in the crowd, but there are times when I struggle to get the right words to come out onto the page. The debate over using thesauruses amongst authors can be fierce. My personal opinion is that there is definitely a place and time to use them (they've saved me from missing deadlines on a few occasions), so long as a writer is careful not to overuse them. Because I do consider them an essential in my writer's toolbox of resources, I thought I would share the ones I make the most use out of and where you can find them. 1. Webster's New World Thesaurus (credit: @catpollockwrites IG, posted 8/24/2017 ) When you were in grade school, did your teachers ever hand out those monthly or bimonthly Scholastic book catalogs with all the age-appropriate books coming out that they wanted you to buy? That, my friends, is how I got a hold of my thesaurus. It's almost like mid-thirties me traveled back in time and whispered int

Metaphors: Candles

I've recently fallen in love with candles. Since coming home from the World Race , I've bought at least one a month. My favorite candles are the ones that come in glass jars - because when they burn out, I can clean the remaining wax out and put the jars to other uses. Right now,  that means they get cleaned out and packed away in anticipation of my move to Flagstaff. But as I was lighting one tonight (vanilla spice... Thanksgiving smells? Yes, please!), I saw a metaphor for writing flickering away in the flame licking at the wick and melting the wax. I suppose it could be a metaphor for life in general, but since the theme of this blog is writing... Well, you do the math.

[Five Minute Friday] Purpose

Fiber bars, strewn along the side of the road. There had to be at least a dozen of them, still in their wrappers and completely unopened. No box in sight. Really? That's about the reaction my younger sister and I had when we stumbled on them on our early morning run. Really? along with disgusted sighs about the wastefulness of it. These were the expensive ones, not a generic store brand that kind of tastes and kind of looks the same sometimes. So, when we weren't keeping an eye out for their box, we speculated about what had happened. And wondered how many more we were going to see before the end of our run. "Maybe they took one bite and thought they were gross," my sister said. "So they threw them out because they didn't want them anymore." I let out one of those disgusted sighs and nodded along with her theory. "Yeah, or they got in a huge fight, and threw them out in a fit of rage." "That's a possibility." And