Two Magic Words

21 Mar

Every once in a while, I experience self-doubt or anxiety that starts to trend toward melancholy or depression. As soon as I identify that trend, however, I simply conjure two words to halt it. Two magic little words and >poof!< I reliably resume feeling happy and grateful.

What are those two magic little words?

Broken Nose.

I am, and forever will be, so amazingly grateful for my broken nose!

Combining a skull fracture with a broken nose and grotesquely abraded face allowed me to benefit from the simultaneous care of a neurosurgeon and a facial plastic reconstructive surgeon.

Left to his own devices, the neurosurgeon would have opened my brain bucket using the standard “horseshoe flap” approach, like the one featured here — function trumps form. A horseshoe flap makes it easier for him to get in and out of my brain and as far as he’s concerned, who cares what I look like as long as he saves my life, right?

Right. Of course. Of course, he’s right. All things considered, that would have been a totally acceptable (and celebration-worthy) outcome.

For the facial plastic reconstructive surgeon, however, form IS function. Putting things back together again so that they function seamlessly (and look seamless!) is his craft. Thanks to him, my craniotomy scar can be seen only when I brush my wet hair and look at my head from just the right angle:

When my hair is dry –even when it’s pulled back into a pony tail– you’d never be able to tell, or even guess, that I’d had 47 staples in my head. There is no outward sign of my injury.

For a long while, that irked me — if you can’t see that I’m injured, then you can’t be expected to understand that I actually AM injured. This can sometimes feel frustrating, but lately I’ve viewed this as being amazingly empowering.

When I’m walking my dog around the block and I tilt my head up to squint at the brilliant sunshine and crack a huge smile while continuing to walk and gaze adoringly at the sky, if you notice this gesture at all, you might think: “Oh, that’s nice that she’s admiring this fine spring weather.” But, dear reader, let me tell you: What you don’t see is The Miracle.

My grin grows ever wider because I know how improbably awesome it is that I can continue to maintain my postural stability and rhythmic gait momentum while I divert my visual perception from my intended path. Being able to walk around the block while glancing up at the sun without causing injury to myself or my dog = certified superhero level of amazingness.

Two weeks, 2 years, 2 decades from now … it will still feel like a superhero-level accomplishment and this secret joy is mine and mine alone. I celebrate dozens of these private miracles every day. They’re things that would seem like less than nothing to you. Much like my scar, you wouldn’t even notice them. But for me, they are symbols of strength that offer inspiration for every task I attempt.

When I flail at something now (like Sunday’s hideously slow, s-l-o-w, super S – L – O – W cycling outing), I don’t beat myself up about it. I know that I have miracles within me — sometimes they’re just hidden from public view. Give me time though, and that miracle will shine on through.

I may be the only one who sees it, but that’s all right by me.

Parting Thought: We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures ~ Thornton Wilder

4 Responses to “Two Magic Words”

  1. Julia R. Wilson March 22, 2013 at 5:57 pm #

    Will you be my life coach, like forever?

    • justadventures March 22, 2013 at 8:03 pm #

      Only if you promise to heed my advice. We will begin with this: Take 5 days away from all email.


  1. What’s the antonym of “magic”? | JustAdventures - May 9, 2013

    […] I wrote about Two Magic Words that, when conjured, make me feel happy and grateful. When you say (or if I even just think): […]

  2. The Gift of my Father’s Suicide | JustAdventures - June 16, 2013

    […] it for maybe 5 minutes. Maybe even a few 5-minute sessions over a few days. But, much like “broken nose” can reliably restore my happiness, so can the idea that “I am NOT like him” […]

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