Sunday, 20 July 2014

Just Do It – seriously!

Breaking news: I have over the last few weeks been reminded that I am not a superhero, that I am just an imperfect male human. In light of this shocking development in my life, I have come to the conclusion that I need to rely on outside sources for strength even more. It is a very humbling thing when you are reminded of this and it is even more humbling when it is a series of events combined into one life lesson.

On June 17, I had a nerve conduction test, which involved about six needles at once into my left arm to test how reactive my nerves are in my arm because I have had a nerve injury for nearly a year now. I was told that my ulnar nerve on the outside of my left arm now only functions at 5%, so I have basically lost all feeling and doctors are saying I will not regain the feeling and it will always be weaker than normal. Do I accept this as my new standard in life or do I keep going with physio, pain relief and try my best to try and gain it? Sometimes, you just need to learn to accept the inevitable, that these people have studied and practiced for years in their field and know what they are talking about.

Only a few days after this, I left Australia for the first time as I headed to China on a study tour, totally paid for by my university. It was an absolutely amazing experience as I got to learn all about Chinese culture and experience their way of life for 15 days. The Chinese people are some of the most selfless people I have seen in my life and hopefully Australians can learn from this because we certainly have room for improvement in this area. The experience left me feeling vulnerable (according to our team leader, that was the whole goal of the trip) because I had no idea how to communicate, how to get anywhere, even how to use chopsticks at first. Now I could tell you how to get around Tianjin and Beijing, basic language, how to make Chinese tea, write in Chinese and cook real Chinese food and yes, I can use chopsticks.

All this has lead me to the thought that we are only humbled and vulnerable if we allow ourselves to feel that way. Our feelings are our choice and should not be a result of external factors. But hey, we are humans and sometimes they will be influenced by other things. There is nothing wrong with being humbled because sometimes we just need to be knocked down a few pegs. The important thing here is that we do not let that feeling make us feel low in ourselves and we just take things on board as learning experiences.

So going back to my title, despite how you feel, internally or physically, just get up and get on with it because in the end you will find you have more strength than you thought. On that day I had my nerve conduction test, I was in crazy amounts of pain and as I live on my own, had to cook dinner, wash clothes and clean the kitchen. I did it all because in the end, you realize that you have more strength in you than you know and you may even surprise yourself just how strong you are, physically or emotionally.

Giving up is not an option,