I hope your inner child got super excited imaging that I was a lucky receiver of a golden ticket from my Willy Wonka chocolate... but sorry to disappoint, no wonka ticket here, despite the 20 blocks my mother bought me because I was persistent to win (I'm not competitive at all guys ...just don't challenge me because.. I WILLLL WINNNN).
When I called my best friend to tell her that I had passed all my ACL return to sport tests and that I had been approved to fly back to Los Angeles she cheered on the other side of the WhatsApp line from London and screamed "Its like you have won a golden ticket !!". We both broke out into laughter and then I continued to tell her how she had literally read my mind because I was drafting this blog at the time and had called it my golden ticket! Freaky right... (I must admit she can read my mind before i have even opened my mouth).
Yes hitting the end of your recovery/rehab session and being able to return to sport can feel like you are charlie opening up that cherished chocolate bar he has waited the whole year for. Well I waited 11 months since that day I slipped in water and ... "I got a golden ticket" ! But let me tell you about my ticket ...
For my golden ticket I am referring to the incredible Book by Brendan Burchard titled "Lifes Golden Ticket". It is an inspiration parable - a tale of personal growth and of a second chance to live as you should have. The question that pulses through this book is - what if you were handed a magical golden ticket that could start your life a new? What would you do differently ?.
I won't spoil too much but the book follows the story of a man who is so trapped in the past that he is blinded to the possibilities, choices and joys around him. Through the book set in an abandoned amusement park he encounters people and situations that confront his beliefs, force him to answer difficult questions, listen to life lessons and through taking a brutally honest look at himself and the life he has created he overcomes tremendous obstacles. In the end he receives a "golden ticket". His pass to a second chance at life through letting go of anger, hurt, worry or resentment that is tied to his old story and to have the strength and courage to start a new. He is given a chance to reclaim the life of purpose, contribution and love that he was destined for. The end of the book holds a surprise for the reader. Again even though I'm itching to tell you because my mum knows best how much I can't keep a secret - I'll let you experience it for yourself.
I read this book when I was in San Francisco on a family Christmas holiday. At the time I was 7 weeks post op, stairs were still a tremendous challenge, my knee was still fat, my jeans too tight (not being able to do cardio and emotional eating plus holiday do not end well) and my mind was fighting daily to remain happy. This book was the first massive turning point for me in my recovery. It was a BAM face palm in the face kind of moment for me. I realized I would have a chance to choose what I make of my life if I chose to work hard for it and I was getting a second chance to re- arrange and priorities the things that actually matter to me. This was my chance to prove to myself what I am made of.
Our lives are paved by the choices we make and also those we don't. The opportunities we didn't take, the risks we did whether they panned out or not, the people we showed our love to and those we should have made more effort for. As a gold member of the Anxiety club I was living my days choosing fear over love...obsessing over decisions to be made, pushing away what my gut was telling me because I would turn to others advice instead, and living through the nightmares of "what ifs" with every ticking second. I didn't live in the present- i dwelled in the past and obsessed over the future. I was creating hell on earth for myself and it took this injury and this pause in time to come across this book, have my world shaken upside down and prove to myself what my purpose here is and what I want to contribute.
Months of hard work, brutally honest confrontations with myself and others, life lessons and epiphanies, pushing my own boundaries, challenging myself with new ideas and experiences has all lead me to my own "end of the book". My physical therapists have handed me my own Golden ticket and now its up to me what to do with it. I get a second chance to drive my own car on that bloody winding road up the mountain of life chasing the detours I take, patching up my own popped tires and heading towards it without a map just simply trusting my gut and making opportunities out of the obstacles and times I get lost.
My time in LA was paused and this hurt my heart so much but in hindsight through the many hours of unemployment spent on the central coast shores of NSW with my acai bowls and talking to myself like a crazy women ( we are all crazy lets be realllllll) I wasn't being the person I wanted to be, or enjoying the journey like I know i should have. I became my own nightmare and was too harsh on myself. I lost sight of what is important to me... but now I get my second chance.
Tomorrow I fly back to the City of Angels with my ticket in hand, with a grateful heart and my dreams shining bright in my eyes. I can't wait to see what this next chapter delivers !!!
If you got a golden ticket today what would you do differently ? Actually don't tell me, go make it happen !
"YOU DON'T UNDERSTAND"
These phrases and many more accompanied by a disgruntled look have been in my vocabulary since I blew out my first teen candle, towards my mother. Every time she gave me a sermon, put in her two cents and even when the poor angel was trying to soothe my heart, my teenage brain shut her out thinking she was nagging, she had no idea and that her thoughts were ridiculous. Its not until now at 25, after searching deep within myself through this knee recovery and exploring the globe that I have come to the giant light bulb conclusion that... Dear mum, you were right... about it ALL!
My mother would yell each time I left papers and tissue in the pockets of my denim shorts after she washed them, oh shhhh Mum! Now that I do my own washing (sometimes) I can't help but laugh and say "she was right" as I think- damn my clothes are covered in snow again!!
My mother told me never to change for anyone else. If you ever need some inspiration on loving yourself and not giving a damn about needing to please others to feel ok- she is your girl. I used to think her courage was anger and I tried to be the complete opposite. Yet years down the track and two therapists later... another BAM moment. Mum, there you go, RIGHT AGAIN !! I spent way too many years of my life trying to change, to be the better person, let myself be trodden on in order to be "liked" by others. But not everyone has to like you ! People are allowed to think its weird that you still sleep with your teddy bear at 25, that you are way too energetic and loud somedays, or take a step away from you. Just as you are allowed to let someone know when they have hurt you, love yourself and know you are enough without that toxic relationship and most importantly continue to be your truest self no matter what anyone else thinks. It took me a long time to realize this , and now i enjoy sitting with my momma sharing a glass of wine, admiring her strongest attributes and telling her she was right all along. Now get that smug look off your face ( I told you so) .
The "One Day you will miss home" reminder is probably one we are all not strangers too. I was the girl who moved out at 19, toured and travelled around nearly every week and lived all over Australia and would yell at my parents "I can't wait to be out of here" whenever id come for a visit and we had a heated discussion or my dad simply criticized the fact that I come into their house and leave a bomb in my wake. Every time something didn't go my way or my parents didn't agree with what I was doing- I was ready to flee and thought my friends were my true family. Hateful words were spat out of my mouth and my teenage and then adolescent brain was blind to the hearts I was bashing at home.
Do not get this wrong... I loved my family, I really did but I didn't value or appreciate them and took them for granted. Mum always said "Family will always be here Naty, and it will be the only thing you have in the end". I never believed this. Instead I took to thinking my friends were my world. All until I hit 22 and the cloud started to lift. Then I moved overseas alone and who checked on me every week? who held my life together and always knew what to say even when I didn't want to hear it ? They did Of course.
This year shed a beaming light on the importance of Family and just how right my mum was. They are my everything and it has been a blessing to spend endless moments with them and for the first time really see how wise, strong, kind, and courageous both my parents and sister are. It makes me sad to think how many years I took them for granted for but also glad I have learnt this now with years ahead of me to rejoice in our time together and show them just how much they mean in my world. My friends invite me out now and there are times Id rather stay and cook a meal with Mum and sit by the fire with Dad listening to spanish music and discussing the best books we have read of late.
She was right that :
I shouldn't get on that skateboard in a bikini and barefoot - thats why I have a large scar on my toe from where I went flying down the road on my ass and came back crying to her.
I didn't need a boy to validate myself and feel loved
Money doesn't grow on trees
That time she told me to wear sunscreen (I didn't) and I spent NYE with my forehead shedding like snakeskin
"You aren't going out like that?!" when I thought I looked damn fine, but photos now prove that she tried to save me the cringing moments down the track and to teach me the lesson that showing less, is way sexier
When she told me "You will understand when you are older" god dammit she was right again.
My Mum is my best friend, my hero, my rock. We were always super close and i told her my deepest secrets but now its different. Now I listen to her advice, even though I might not like it I know she is right and we have a deeper bond than ever. I look back at 13 year old Tash getting her mouth washed out with soap, throwing a tantrum, or 21 year old Tash being told that "boy is no good for you" and doing it anyway, and sitting like a lost puppy in the backyard but barking back at the golden advice my mother was giving me. My Mum was there for it all, she loved me through it all and all along she was right. Mothers just know don't they ?? they too have lived through all this before us but its funny how we forget and see them as our PARENTS not as merely human beings like you or I.
What was your Mum right about ?? I Hope this post makes you pick up that phone or pop over to her house to let her know.... Dear Mum, you were right ... about it all.