I am no stranger to planned hospital visits. Unplanned visits, however, have happened maybe 5 times in my 23 years. My fifth [or possibly sixth] started last month and ended last week. Not long at all, considering all the people in the world. But for me, whose first goal in life is to not let my limitations tie me down, being stuck anywhere for any length of time tests both my patience and my sanity.
It all would’ve been so much better if I could’ve opened the window or just gone outside for a while each day. In the first building I stayed in, they said they had the windows sealed shut because too many people opened them and jumped out. I was given no time-frame to place this fact inside of or outside of, and I still can’t decide if the ambiguity of time makes it better or worse. The last building had a courtyard that required the doctor’s permission to visit, which irked me so much that I almost went there of my own accord, but I am my mother’s daughter (i.e., I follow the rules). I have too much pride to ask anyone if I can go in a gated courtyard, so I never did. I did, however, use my whopping 4 hours a week to leave the premises. One of those times I met some friends at a nearby cinema, and we saw Beauty and the Beast (2017).
We joked afterward that I, trapped inside the hospital, was like Belle trapped inside the beast’s clutches, and I expressed the beginning of this thought: not just in the hospital but in life, I am not free at all, not by Belle’s definition or my own. Of course, for Belle, the beast’s clutches were not nearly as bad as they seemed at first, and I highly doubt most people grow to enjoy a hospital or fall in love in a hospital after any length of time spent in said hospital. No, my life and most recent unplanned hospital visit is more reminiscent of Belle’s “provincial life” (Ashman 1991) in her small, culturally traditional village. Her life before the beast is void of love and excitement, save for her strong relationship with her father and the stories in her books.
My own “provincial life,” unfortunately, is due in large part to my lack of bravery. But you know, the main 4 characters in The Wizard of Oz were missing one thing: conviction of free will.
And I believe in free will, not destiny.
Ergo, I must believe that in order to get something done, one just has to do that something.

So…what am I waiting for?

Until next time,

One thought on “Limits

  1. Hi Marlise, it’s Cristine your former caregiver.
    Wow! What a beautifully written ‘Beauty & the Beast’ comparison to your life.
    I think of you often.
    Hope the families are doing well.
    Peace be.


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