Saturday, April 12, 2014

My life in a sentence

One of the newcomers on my Foundation's Board of Directors was summarizing my life story on a conference call: "10 years ago he moved to America and had a lot things happen to him then, including getting hit by a bus". I suppose you could view the last decade as a series of misfortunes. Yes, I was hit by a bus when crossing the street at night and if the driver hadn't heard my screams from underneath when I was pinned down to road I wouldn't be here to tell you about it. Yes, that same year I rolled down a hill while on a Spring Break in Puerto Rico, fell out of my wheelchair and hit my head, ending up in the Emergency Room on our very first night. Yes, I was held at gunpoint when I was stupid enough to decide to go to Subway for a midnight meal. Yes, a tow truck  almost backed into me when it tried to maneuver out of that small parking lot in my apartment complex. I was at a restaurant bathroom  once and decided to throw myself into the wheelchair  and I missed making a big dent in the drywall with my head. I guess I could write a book about my struggles with Immigration and my Law School. Yes, we could focus on the things that happen to me or talk about all that I accomplish and do for myself everyday. The way I look at these often scary events is that they made me so much stronger and I raised above them. I've been through it and now I'm here. And while those stories are often amazing to tell I don't really see them as defining my life. They're just that- Great stories to tell. I wouldn't know how to report on the great amount of fun nothingness I experience everyday. My life is not a whirlpool of dramatic events at all and if it wasn't for the 10 year backlog of experiences in America I would have very little to write about. My life the way I see it is the small things I do for myself everyday. The people I meet. The impromptu dinner I have with my friends. The work that I do, the things that I learn, the movies that I see. I don't want you to get the wrong impression- I'm not a sad, depressed loner who never has any fun, but things that bring me joy are hard to capture on paper. When I heard someone describe my life only through the most traumatic bits that are few and far in between I was surprised. Because this is not how I see myself. But at that moment I understood how someone who didn't know me could. But the truth is, as terrifying as some of the things happened to me were I don't even see myself as a victim there. I'm proud of I handled myself in the aftermath and a lot of it was character building that shaped who I am today.

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