I didn’t want to post this soon. I didn’t think I would get as big of a reaction as I did. I didn’t think I would get as much of a range of responses either. I didn’t totally know where this was going.
First things first, I am humbled, shocked, and filled with the warmest feeling I can imagine from the responses. I spent more time on the phone, tried to answer more texts, facebook messages, and emails, and literally started to feel guilty for taking up so many people’s attention. I love you all, and I am so thankful that you care to read and watch this.
But, I don’t want it to be a pity party. I want it to eventually be entertaining, I want it to be informative. I want it to help others that stumble across it. I want to use it to do big things. I’m going to use this as a journal. As Mission Control for my plans to help others. My plans to get healthy. My inner monologue broadcasted to dozens.
The only reason I’m writing something so soon. The only reason I’m bothering to post another one to Facebook (all of them will not be, just the important ones). Is because I needed to correct the purpose and make one thing clear.
I’m not calling out for help with this. I’m not asking for sympathy. I knew I’d get some, but I’ve heard that a few friends and family members are worried about me.
Don’t be. I’m great. I know there are going to be bad days. But, I wouldn’t want to live a life without them. Bad days make you who you are. How you react and how you pick what you put behind you and what you correct inside is what makes you human. Being human is an amazing thing.
I’m looking at MS as means to bettering myself for the first time since I was diagnosed. Not only that, but I’m looking at it as a means that was needed.
I feel as if I had been living life through stained glass, or through tinted windows at the very least. Well, my eyes are opening. I’m seeing that I in fact do love life, as I thought I did. At 18 years old, you may have been hard pressed to find someone happier than Matthew Walker. I was on top of the world 9 times out of 10.
Yeah, I had the issues that a high school senior would always have, but I literally was excited at all times to see what’s next. I may have gotten down over girls. I may have gotten mad at my parents. I may have had a teacher that I didn’t like, or a coach that was on my ass, but I felt great. Sure, nostalgia, and the ability to remember things fondly probably clouds my judgement looking back, but I can be pretty sure that I loved life.
Through the next 4-5 years, I lost something. I lost the ability to be confident, and gained the ability to “get cocky.” I lost that love and open minded curiosity that I was propelled by. I won’t go into college, that’s another post altogether, and most of you that know me know the story.
Everything for me sort of started over. Through tons of experiences I ended up working at my old high school (coaching and working with kids was the best thing that ever happened to me), going back to Penn State at 27, meeting new people again, moving to Philadelphia and living with my best friend, and finally realizing that I needed to be somewhere else.
Well, I found that somewhere else. I love the west coast. I love the Bay Area. I love my job. I love the people I’ve met.
Now, back to that stained glass view. For some reason, from that 18 year old kid, I’ve had a bit of guilt, and a bit of darkness and anxiety when I thought about my place in the world and about the future.
I have held onto that. I have made “having fun” and “living in the now” into my focus. I want to keep that part, but somewhere I became cynical. I still described myself as an optimist, and the only thing I held onto (with an iron grip to not lose it sometimes, I confess) was my trust and belief in others. My idea that there are surely bad people in the world, and that good people do a lot of bad things. But, overall, most people are good. I’ve never lost sight of how great it feels to confide in someone and be rewarded with their actions. If you take one thing from the old me, take that. It will be a philosophy that will let you down sometimes, but I guarantee that some people will blow you away with their care, kindness, and trustworthiness.
With the above mentioned cynicism came a need to manufacture fun. I have a great friend that has a theory about this, just in terms of a great night out. Don’t chase the fun. Be the fun. Have the fun come to you. But, as soon as you start chasing it, you end up in that packed bar that you know you hate, or driving 2 hours through traffic, or going to somewhere sketchy. We’ve all been there.
Well, I have been chasing the fun in real life. I have it in me to “be the fun.” I have it in me to have a great time in any situation. I give people chances, I didn’t give myself any, even though I used up tons of them. My mistakes didn’t stop me from new ones, but they did add more guilt, and more of that darkness to my life.
The sky is bright. I am so excited to see what life brings my way. I know there is always some darkness ahead, as their is in every person’s life. But, I’m finally ready to head towards it ready to fight, while high fiving the shit out of the light.
So, don’t feel bad for me because you saw the video, or read this blog. Feel excited. I am.