013 // tales of the knee

 

A few weeks ago I had knee surgery to repair a torn meniscus and torn ACL. They stitched the meniscus back together and did a complete ACL reconstruction. Since they say I won’t be running for a few more months, I’ve focused on celebrating the little things, like…

…my first full day without pain killers (3 days post-op. Huge mistake, in case you were wondering).

…my first full days back at school (also 3 days post-op. Also a huge mistake).

…my second full day without pain killers (6 days post-op. Not a mistake).

…my second full day back at school (9 days post-op).

…fitting into non-stretchy pants (10 days post-op).

…achieving a 90-degree bend (11 days post-op).

…deciding that non-stretchy pants were ridiculous and not worth it yet (14 days post-op).

…ditching the crutches for good (17 days post-op).

…walking to school without crutches (19 days post-op).

Now, to be honest, I still can’t touch my toes with my legs straight. And I mentally curse like a sailor every time I have to try to put on socks, pants, underpants, or shoes (which gets worse if I happen to put any of those things on in the wrong order). But there is light at the end of the year-long tunnel of no running, and I can tell you that it is a warm, welcoming light. Just please, don’t let the tunnel get any longer.

Time spent: 17 minutes

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012 // the day i gave up

It sounds so weird to say that. No one likes to view themselves as a quitter. No likes to believe it of themselves. Sometimes I don’t believe it is who I am, but then life rears it’s ugly head and I feel like I’m living a lie.

I had never actively sought love or companionship until moving here. But for the last 8 months or so, I have. If I spent the majority of my day online, then how could I ever hope to meet someone in person? So I signed up on a dating site. There were hundreds of profile views, and hundreds of messages. There were plenty of first dates, and quite a few second dates. Fewer third dates, but three or four guys with whom I went on more than three dates. Dinners, breakfasts, lunches. Picnics, walks around parks during the day, walks around campuses at night. Hikes. Museums. Harbors. Ice cream.

But last week I got fed up. I got stood up, twice, by two different guys. The first left me standing on a street corner, in Baltimore, at night, in the freezing cold (literally freezing – 20 degrees fahrenheit). The second was psycho – I failed to respond to a text message within thirty minutes on the day we were supposed to meet, and he freaked out. Called me indecent. Told me I was inconsiderate and selfish. Tried to make me feel guilty for not messaging him back, tried to convince me that it was my fault that we weren’t going to meet, even though I was at the agreed upon location at the agreed upon time. Tried to convince me that he deserved a second chance because it was my fault we weren’t going to meet.

A friend who is also a trained therapist pointed out that one of the boys (because I cannot call individuals who treat women so poorly men) was displaying the traits of a sexual predator while the other was being manipulative and controlling. They were both negative situations, and potentially dangerous ones for me. And it suddenly became too much.

I am not willing to risk my education, health, or sanity.

So yesterday I quit. I deleted that online profile and decided to stop actively seeking. For now I am alone. Alone in a new city. Alone in seeking my new future. Alone. But not altogether lonely.

Yesterday I quit looking for companionship and wanted to crumble, and my friends were right there for me. One of them listened to me while I cried, another pointed out that my choices were the healthy and safe ones, a third agreed to get drunk with me at 3:30p if that was what I wanted to do, the fourth picked me up from the train station with flowers and a phone charger for my dead battery, and then there was dinner with a group of classmates. Yesterday I quit and decided to accept being alone. And alone I am, but not by any stretch am I lonely. The friends I have made in the past and the friendships I continue to develop in the present are likely to be around long into the future. Alone I may be, but incredibly lucky as well.

 

Time spent: 23 minutes