I always have loved the song Reflections from the movie Mulan. Maybe it was the fact that there was an Asian princess in the movie that first attracted me to the song. I don't know. But now that song has even more meaning to me. As you have read in past posts, I had a very hard time looking in the mirror after I had the stroke. I just felt that the girl looking back at me was broken. There were so many things that I wanted to do that I felt like I couldn't, because this was holding me back, but in reality I was holding myself back. All I was looking at was the things I couldn't do anymore. I couldn't play the piano to my full potential anymore; something that I had been working for since I was four years old when I first sat down at the piano, I couldn't type at over 100 WPM anymore, I couldn't walk normally anymore let alone run, I couldn't hold a conversation anymore, my personality was turned inside out, all the negatives I saw. What I didn't see, or I refused to see were the positives that came out of this because I didn't believe there were any. I would wake up in the morning and immediately look at my arm, which was mangled in a position that you really would only see in a car crash because my muscles were so messed up, and they expanded and contracted almost as if I had cerebral palsy. My hand was in a fist so tight, there were nail marks in the palm of my hand, and I could only open it with the assistance of my other hand. This happened every night. "Oh you just need a brace", my mom said. Yeah that worked for a while, until I broke it in half literally because my muscles in my hand were and are still so unbelievably spastic.
I felt like every time I looked in the mirror I would look at my reflection and see this image of who I had turned into, not who I wanted to be. I didn't want to admit that I had changed. I would do things with my left hand, while looking in the mirror and see how easily I could do them, and then see IF I could even do them with my right. I would smile and see how effortless it was for the left side of my face, and how the right side of my face quivered with exhaustion for a few seconds and then I would have to let it rest, and stop smiling. All these things that used to be so effortless, now were and are impossible. How on the computer, it would look like the mouse was having a seizure every time I tried to maneuver it with my right hand. It would just jerk all over the page. All my friends now say, "Oh I can't really see you any different", etc and to that I say with a shy smile, "I'm kind of glad you didn't know me before then, because I think you would be disappointed. And to that they say, "Well how was your personality different?" And it's not really that it was different, it was just that I was so much more carefree, I had a much more I don't care attitude, yes I was still sensitive and shy, but if you were a close friend I didn't really care how I acted with you. But now I felt like I needed to hide the way I was from everyone, because I was so different.
I'm now remembering my communications class senior year, and I know you're thinking Communications? I thought you were a science major, and I am, I just wanted to take it. I had no idea how that class would be so informative and trans formative for both my personality and for the way I looked at myself in the mirror. I remember, an assignment we were supposed to do on our personality type, I had taken the quiz and had thought, "I figured" with the results. And then I was looking at the project, thinking, what am I supposed to do? This is such an easy project but so difficult at the same time. But then a light bulb went off in my head, Nobody likes their personality 100%. And everyone has secrets. Where do they hide their secrets? Their heart. So that's what I'll do. I'll make a heart that opens, and I will put all my secrets on the inside. And I filled it with hospital stuff, but then when I was done, I almost had a little panic attack. I thought, "What are you doing!? You don't want to show and tell all of this!?" I can still see myself up there, my legs shaking, about 20 sets of eyes just staring, seeing that the heart I carried open, and wondering what was on the inside. And when I did open it, I sort of looked down as I opened it because I didn't really want to see what their faces looked like. And I heard an audible gasp. I swallowed hard, and started to talk about my project. And after, I sat back down, and everyone was still staring at me, I was thinking, "OMG this was what I thought it would be, why did I do this, but then the next day when I got my teacher's comment sheet, she said, that more than half the class, came up to her after my presentation when class was over(I didn't see them, all I wanted to do was get out of that class as fast as I could) and asked her to give me an A, that they would never be able to do something that brave.
I wanted to post a video that I saw the other day, it is definitely a tissues video, so if you're a crier, get your tissues ready. This is what my arm would do at the beginning, and it illustrates what I'm talking about so well. This is why I absolutely loved this video.