Why I Do What I Do

blog Jul 28, 2011

The last few months I have been taking a quasi-break from work. I decided that I needed a break from the hustle of life and just needed to hang out, take some trips, have long dinners with friends, and breathe.

I found my mind wandering towards many activities that either I cannot do or that take much more effort like getting dressed in three minutes or climbing up stairs. What’s interesting to me is the fact that when I was a kid, these things did not bother me. Yes, they were in the back of my mind, but they didn’t bother me. There have been many recent times when I would obsess over the things I couldn’t do. I felt guilty for having these thoughts because my life has been great the last year. My family is blessed. One of my friends from high school, Arash,  just went to Costa Rica. A couple of weeks ago, I was at his house and he was telling a group of friends how beautiful it was. I found myself getting upset because there is no way I could have a trip like that. Granted, I could go to Costa Rica and experience some things, but it would involve exhaustive planning and I could not quite get the experience that I wanted like walking on the beach or going hiking in the mountains.

What changed? One thing that changed is that now I can afford these exotic trips. The only thing that stops me is my disability, where before I had more than just my disability as a barrier.

Even though I am still working and writing, I feel that I use work as a means for me to feel like I am doing something very exciting to replace some of the things I can’t do. For me, there is a certain kind of excitement when five minutes into a speech you realize that you’ve got the audience right where you want them. I love that feeling. When you get the laugh that you expect out of a joke I love that feeling. It’s exciting.

People ask me why I try so hard. This is why. Even though I’m happy, I always feel like I am missing some great adventure that comes with an emotional high. I believe I can capture that emotional high through speaking and that’s why I do what I do.

Have you ever woken up with a cold or a sore throat? You think to yourself that you just cannot miss the day, you have that conference call that you can’t put off or a package has to go out. You drag yourself out of bed, into the shower, and when you get to work and into the thick of things, you realize that your attention is focused on the day rather than your cold. Yes, you have to deal with the coughing, the dry mouth, and the phlegm; but, as soon as you get home, you focus on how sick you are and say to yourself, I’m sick. I’m so sick! The busier I am, the less I have to say to myself, I’m disabled. I’m so disabled!

My disability is always there, but when I’m not busy it’s in the forefront. When I’m busy, it’s still in the forefront but it is shared by doing something creative, productive, and downright fun.

Timelapse - Lighthouse (Oct 2012) from IMK Digital Multimedia on Vimeo.

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