You can’t control the climb.

Your whole life you want control. You want things to go your way. Sometimes they do, and sometimes (most times) they don’t. It’s taken me my entire life to realize that. To realize, I can’t control everything. I can’t choose where life brings me. You can’t either. Life is 10% of what happens to you and 90% of how you react to it. Yes, life is hard, scary and rocky and just goes plain wrong sometimes. 

But NOTHING ever goes as planned. You can’t control the way life goes for you. You can’t control how long you’re going to live. 

You never know. I don’t know, and you don’t. 

So If you sit in your bed and feel sorry for yourself, for your situation, what is that going to do? Is it going to help? It’s just going to make it worse. It’s gonna hurt way more each day, that you sit inside and think about how bad life is. You’ll just be wasting your life away. Your life will pass by you. You can’t get it back. If you believe life is horrible then it will be. As I said, you never know when your last breath is. You never know where life will bring you.

Life is absolutely beautiful. You just have to open your eyes. You have to look up at the sky sometimes and just take a deep breath. How can you look at a light blue sky, filled with puffy soft looking clouds and not feel like everything’s going to be alright? Being around sick children in a hospital, lot of the time, I’ve learned things I can only even TRY to explain. I’ve learned how infectious laughter is. I’ve learned how each day is a gift, and should be lived that way. Go on walks with no destination, bring water to a homeless man on a warm afternoon, dance to really loud music and sing even if you’re alone. Just do anything that makes you feel alive. “I will love. More. So much love that no one will have any idea what to do with me. They will watch with a confused look and wonder why I give so much and do not ask for more in return. I will give it because giving is getting and there is nothing quite so important as emptying your heart every single day and leaving nothing undone, no declarations of it unsaid. 
I will not only stop and smell the flowers, I will plant them myself and watch them grow old with me. I will pull over and dance in every single rainfall, and I will make snow angels even when there is hardly any snow left for the wings.” 

That’s what I’ve learned from little kids. Sick children. Kids who have every right to be mean and bitter but are the total opposite. They do not have much control. But they can control how happy they are. And they choose to be as happy as they can, as much as they can.

I’ve learned that you get one life. Life is short. Not everyone’s life is the same. We are not given a good or bad life. We are given a life. One life. It’s up to us to make it good or bad. Life is confusing, hard and just completely cruel sometimes and you can choose to let every little hard thing knock you down or you can choose to let these things help you grow. 

The thing that has screwed me up for years is the idea of what my life should or could be like. I’d lie in bed and wonder how’d I be, who I’d be, if I never got sick, never became paralyzed. I would wonder who my friends would be, what I’d like to do, would I love the sky as much as I do now? Would I dance like no one was watching? Or would I be like every other teenager: confused, trying to figure myself out? Who would I be? I always would wonder.. I would even dream about my life. An easy, regular, normal life. A life where I had control. 

Then I stopped, I took a second to sit back and realize, I don’t have to be doing what everyone else is doing. I can NOT change that I’m paralyzed. There is no point in focusing on what could’ve been. My life is how it is. I’m in a wheelchair. I’m not like every other 17 year old. I’m not confused, I found out who I was 3 years ago. My life isn’t easy, or regular and I have absolute no control over what happens day to day. But I can control the way I react to it. I’m me. Alex. I love the sky, and I love dogs, I love music and books, I love dancing in the kitchen with my brothers, I love hanging out with my mom, I love my best friends with my whole heart, I go visit my grandparents every chance I get. I laugh, and I mean, truly laugh. I like getting good grades. 

And I’m not “normal” but really.. Who is? 

When you’ve seen death up close and personal, you get so much closer and in love with life. I don’t know how to explain it other than, life’s what you make it and it’s a crazy ride with lots of bumps and bruises but one thing is for sure. The view sure is great.   



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