Monday, May 9, 2011

Some People

I can't shake it. I know that it doesn't matter what one person said or thinks about my current quest, but I just can't help but allow that negativity to ooze its way in and attempt permanent residence in my cerebrum. Stupid human nature.

When asked about my swimming, it is very typical that my eyes will achieve a brilliant sparkle, reminiscent of the pool itself. Most likely, my tone will increase a few octaves in excitement and my aura will start to sing--at least that is how it all feels. I feel so alive sharing my dreams with others. I feel so blessed to express my experiences in words and gestures and have others recognize those feelings in my heart. However, I didn't realize until now that not everyone shares my same zest for swimming, nor competition, nor following passions, nor living out dreams.

The decrescendo of my elation was direct effect to the blatant discredit of my dream. In the middle of explaining my pride for making the US Parapan Am Team and the added bonus of having some gear and costs provided by the US Paralympic Team, that negativity put a direct stop to step: "I wish someone would pay me to do my hobby!"

Whoa. I was immediately crushed. I didn't realize that the word "hobby" could have such a discredited connotation. Stopped my voice, stopped my sparkle, stopped my heart... for a second.

Quickly, I was forced back into my own reality--the one I prefer-- and I am lucky to have not been able to escape it for long. My reality tells me that my quest is important. Not only for myself, but for those that need to see that it's okay to believe in yourself. Even though I am still stuck on these words and this comment, I know that there isn't anything I could ever do to make some people understand. People that don't understand would never want the life I have set for myself anyway. People that don't understand won't necessarily fund my next swim trip or cheer at my next race, but I definitely know many more that will.

Where I am right now is due, in part, to those who have held me up to the standard of independence and strength, to grace and will, and to love and resilience. Where I am right in this very moment is a place of much joy and pride and, even though I can't make some people feel or understand, I can continue to sparkle and smile and try my very hardest for the rest of the world, myself included.