This week I ‘celebrated’ my second birthday for the fifth time. I find it hard to believe, but I have been living with this brain injury for five years now. Which means that I’ve been braving the outside world with earplugs for five years now. Five years of needing afternoon naps to make it through the day. If I look at it like this, well then time does indeed fly.
Day of the accident
As I wrote last year, I always have mixed feelings around this anniversary. On the one hand I’m incredibly happy with all the things I still can do, while on the other hand I always end up comparing with my old life. I still choose to focus on the first one though. As this is the perfect opportunity to look at how far I’ve come since the accident. Luckily I do see more improvements with each passing year.
Also this year will be extra special, as I’m about to leave on a long trip. As a matter of fact, when this post appears online, I’m already in London waiting for my flight to Sri Lanka.
Learning to travel
Looking back at these five years, I feel grateful for how far I’ve come. I still remember the fear I felt during rehabilitation, when I thought I would never be able to travel on my own again. But with a lot of small steps and a good amount of patience (still tough) things can get better.
One year after my accident I tried travelling on my own again for a couple of days. After which I slowly raised the bar by going further, flying on my own and staying in multiple hostels.
And now I’ve finally found the courage and willingness to take a leap of faith. To travel really far and to travel for an extended period of time. Which is scary as hell, but well you only live once. I’m sure that if I don’t take this chance, I’ll regret it for the rest of my life. So I’m just going to do it.
With six different kinds of earplugs I should be able to handle any situation. Also, as I only have my flights planned, I can travel as slowly as I like. I can’t wait to find out how it’ll turn out, but one thing is for sure, I’m happy and grateful that I have this opportunity.
If you can take anything away from this post, I truly hope it can be a glimmer of hope. Hope that things can get better or that things can get easier as you learn how to handle certain situations. Both of these things happened for me and made my life a little easier and I truly wish the same for you.
Five years ago, I didn’t even dare to dream that I would come this far. How things can change.
I don’t know if I can manage to write weekly posts while I’m away, but I’ll definitely keep writing. In between posts you can also find me on Twitter and I’ve even created an Instagram account (though I still have to figure out how that works ;)).