This has been my first trip to New York City in nearly 15 years. It is hard to believe that it has been that long, and I was immediately struck by how much younger the residents seem. As much as I fight it, I suspect that I am just older.
Exploring cities is not as much fun as it was in my youth. I am more cautious now, aware of potential dangers. When I was younger I would think nothing of walking around Time Square at midnight. Last night my hand was cramped from clutching the cell phone as I tried to make it back to my room before dark.
Part of my anxiety stemmed from my sense of vulnerability. Since I lost my leg I feel as if I have become an ideal target for crime. I can't run as fast, and, if I fall, it takes me longer to stand up. If I were a criminal, I would choose me. I despise and resent feeling weak!
Yesterday was spent shuffling between meetings throughout the city. I recounted my story to various outlets, varying the focus depending upon the audience. It was a once in a lifetime experience that I am still trying to process.
I was nervous but tried to exude confidence to the best of my ability. (I do know that I looked assured in my new outfit.) I spoke with the reporters as if I were talking to a friend. When questions were posed, I answered them as if I were talking with somebody who reads this blog or with a novice amputee. I didn't say or do anything offensive, so I'm considering the meetings a success.
I did realize that I have come a long way since I was injured in 1998. I don't think that I really took stock of my accomplishments until I was forced to recount them. During those meetings it occurred to me that I am a lot stronger than I credit myself.
I have gone from feeling apprehensive to feeling strong within 24 hours. This has certainly been a roller coaster. That being said, I'm loving this ride.