If you were to ask me if I ever surprised myself I would say that I do it quite often.
If you were to ask me why I’d tell you that most of the time, these surprises are cerebral palsy-related.
If you were to ask me whether or not I thought this was a good or a bad thing, I would have to tell you that would all depend on exactly what I’d achieved or not achieved that day that I wasn’t expecting.
On the days when I manage to walk further, ache less than I was expecting after a busy time, or do something that I’ve never been able to do before, the feeling of surprise is wonderful and uplifting and make me want to achieve more. At one time, getting the bus without someone there with me to help felt scary and like something I would never be comfortable doing. Fast-forward a year and it felt natural to me, and still does. I conquered my fear by doing it over and over again. That surprised me. That still feels pretty amazing if I’m honest. Perhaps it always will. Part of me hopes that it does because then I’ll never take it for granted that I can do that now. Maybe I’ll always remember that sense of achievement, or at least I hope I will.
Yes, days like that, weeks like that, moments like that are truly magical. I’m pretty sure there’s not another feeling quite like excelling what you thought you were capable of. But then, there are the days that are the opposite of that. The times when things that I can usually do without too much effort are draining, the days when I find I can’t walk as far as I thought I would be able to. They’re surprising too. In fact, if I’m honest about it, they kinda suck in their own way.
What’s really surprising for me at least is how low I feel on those days, because I know I’m lucky. For me, it’s just the odd bad day here and there. I know that I’ll be back to my normal state soon but the feeling of guilt still sits there.
But perhaps the most surprising thing of all is just how quickly I forget about the bad days, and how quickly I move on to having more of the good ones and doing better and better all the time.