Wednesday, 21 September 2011

By each hurting step

Once again, in my usual rather careless excitement, I slipped on the wet floor. I fell in a curious kneeling position, my left knee bent and thumped the wet tile, and my right foot is inversed inwards. I really, really hate it when it does that. Inverses inwards. Typically it only results in a little jolt as the sudden falling sensation triggers my reflex to readjust my body position. But not so much pain. Or even no pain at all. But today I got the worst of it. It's not a sprained ankle. It's a very annoying, button-sized hematoma on the lateral side of my right dorsum pedis, strategically located so that every time I extend or lift that foot, it hurts.

I have always take pride in my feet. They're small (EUR size 37), they look fragile, but they're quite strong. I'm able to walk miles without being easily fatigued, I run fast, and I like to hike. My feet have accompanied my journey around the world, from north to south, from east to west, from the highest of mountains to the deepest of jungles. I have climbed stairs, ladders, bunk beds, trees, hills, sand dunes, horses, all impossible without the help of my feet. The problem is, my heart often runs ahead of my feet, and I almost always need my mum or other people to remind me to be careful. Of course, in my pride, I tend to let that warning just float by. Besides, I can take care of myself!

But even my feet are not invincible. I am not invincible. As I walked the rest of today, limping, I discovered the sickly feeling of being slow and powerless. People who walk ever so slowly while being busy with their phones annoy me. And yet here I am, unable to take my strides steadily without grimacing. This is the kind of pain you experience when you realize that the world still goes on without you. That when you disappear, there will be very few people who notice. That when fate strikes you, you can be thrown off and left in the dust. I felt somewhat humbled when I had to hire an umbrella kid and that cheerful little fella had to slow down for me. Poor me and my right foot. And rain continued to wash the earth.

So many other things, too, must slow down or stop. I got very frustrated, because I knew I could have done a lot more. Today I didn't get to scan a picture for my friend, send two important e-mails, and do some reading for upcoming exam. Today I only accomplished one case report and one blog entry, and also some frantic messages to and from my mum and dad who, as always, got more panicked about me than I did (is that how I'm gonna be when I become a parent?).

And then there are things that do not change. I got tagged in a Facebook photo and as a result, endless comments about the photo (which is not of myself) filled up my notifications. They were all good-natured and happy, but in my condition, they became far from pleasing. Meanwhile, a friend kept sending me messages, intending to spark a conversation. Exam will still be held the next two days. The sun still sets. The food catering still sends dinners to everybody. Tom & Jerry still plays on TV. Foot is still swollen.

I don't like being slow, or being slowed down. It's such an alien idea to my very existence. I always want to be speedy, effective, efficient. By each hurting step, I am reminded that, while pride is good for confidence, extreme self-importance can be destructive. When one of our supportive legs is broken, either literally or figuratively, we might find ourselves robbed of our prominence. Are we even that great to begin with?

No comments:

Post a Comment

Any thoughts...?