For the last month, I simply could not write, and had no idea why. What made things even more confusing was the fact that the issue wasn’t a lack of topics. I actually had plenty of ideas, but every time I tried to expand on one, I couldn’t as much as complete a thought. There for a while, I was beginning to think I had just lost the touch. I found myself really wondering if maybe I’d said the all I had to say, and that was that. After some serious soul-searching, it came to me: my ability to write hasn’t changed at all… I have.
Suddenly I’m looking at myself and only seeing a fraction of the man I was two years ago. I feel as though I’ve become this one-dimensional sappy sentimental that does nothing but write G-rated "inspirational" stories for hordes of strangers on the Internet so they might better appreciate their lives, and I don’t like it. Make no mistake, that side of me is great and all, but where has the rest of me gone? Where are my other sides that made me a well-rounded, multifaceted individual, not to mention a lot more fun?
What happened to Kenny the Wise-Ass? The guy that said what he wanted, when he wanted, and ultimately didn’t give a shit what people thought of him at the end of the day. The one that saw the art in swearing, and swearing creatively because, hey… it’s funny as hell. And how about Kenny the Wrestler? I liked him. At least he was tough. He was the one at the tournament super-gluing the gash on his face shut because he didn’t want to forfeit the match without getting another chance to at least headbutt the other guy in the teeth. And where did Kenny the Dorky Class Clown disappear to? The guy that would stop short of nothing, including bodily harm, to entertain his friends and get a laugh. The loose comedic cannon prone to fits of utter randomness. I miss the old, "whole" version of me. How the hell did this happen, I wondered.
Was it actually this site that changed me? Have I really become more concerned with how people will react to what I have written than I am with writing what’s truly on my mind? Had I subconsciously let the negative reaction to "crosses to bear" get to me, and have now resigned to writing only what my entire audience will approve of? Am I like those rock bands (cough… Sugar Ray… Staind… ahem) that ends up on TRL for the one pop-like song on their album that goes on to release nothing but pop-like records? Have… have I become a… a sellout??? Well, the fact that I was pretentious enough to use the term "my audience" in this paragraph pretty much holds the answer… lil’ bit. Great, I’m a sellout, but that’s not my only problem. There’s a bigger issue here. One I probably should’ve recognized long before now.
I’ve said before that life before my accident almost seems like it was lived by a good friend of mine who died that fateful night on the mountain. It bothers people to hear me put it that way, and they always screech, "No you did not!!! You are still him!" Not really, though. Before the accident, physical ability and expression were a major part of my identity and the very core of my self-confidence. I was a diehard athlete, an epic hugger/high-fiver and a SEVERE hand talker. I took out my aggression in wrestling/weight rooms, goofy moods resulted in rocking out to the radio in traffic like a complete spazz, and every once in awhile my (self-diagnosed) ADHD would call for a back flip where I stood. My body was just as much a part of my personality as my sense of humor, so when I got hurt, the ability to move wasn’t the only thing lost… the only outlet I’d ever known was as well.
And THAT is where my writing came in, I just didn’t see it. In the beginning, I just thought I was good at telling stories… not recognizing it was actually the real me taking a different form. I couldn’t go to work and high-five my buddy Jason, so i wrote about it. I couldn’t wrestle, so i wrote about it. I couldn’t hold a loved one, so i wrote about that too. If I wondered/felt/thought it, I wrote it because that’s who I was.
NOTE TO SELF: Let’s get back to that. Let’s say whatever again and if it pisses a few people off, SO BE IT! Because, as a good friend once said, "if everyone likes you, you aren’t that interesting."
… so now, I think this mini-epiphany and subsequent rediscovery of the real me calls for a celebration, don’t you? You thinking what I’m thinking? That’s right… a music career. Yep, my album will be called "The Emancipation of Smalls: Mimi’s a skank", and it will be crip-hop… hard-core lyrics about wheelchairs and hospital beds teamed with an accordion, a banjo and a xylophone. Of course, I should probably consider changing my name to some sort of symbol. I’m thinking the outline of the state of New Hampshire, or maybe a Slinky. Anyone know where I can find an oversized, diamond encrusted handicapped symbol necklace?… word.
Fuckin-A… that feels a little better already…