#goodtimetorollon

Perspective

We don’t see things as they are.

We see things as we are.
— Anais Nin

With all the constant change of seasons that happens in our life, to keep things in perspective is the key.

Everything depends on the way you look at it.

Here is an example; Few days after my injury mum and I were talking about what happened, and I remember when she said that she thought that it's was a good thing that it happened close to her place, instead of somewhere around Peru or Bolivia, where I would not have had the same assistance.

When she said that we changed the situation by changing the thought. Whatever feeling we had that moment was replaced with a beautiful feeling of thankfulness.

The glass was half full at that moment. 

Perspective changes everything.

You can turn a unpleasant situation into something positive. Problems can turn into a solution. It makes you feel better and what seems like loss can be seen as opportunity just by changing the way you look at it. How you perceive the situation really matters and depending on what you focus on, it can bring reality into your life. 

For me, its much better and easier to keep things in perspective, to trust that there always will be a better and another way, to see things differently and in a way that lifts my spirit up, in a way that reminds me that whatever happens, my glass would still be half full.

The glass is half full. 

And it's a pretty beautiful glass

At least for now.

Roddy X

The Invitation


The "Invitation" is a very beautiful poem that I read somewhere during my rehabilitation. My friends sent me a lot of books, some of them even sent me a shoe box full of it. It was very kind and thoughtful of them as I had plenty of time to read. Some of the books they sent me were about meditation and spirituality. And in one of them I read this:

 

The Invitation

"It doesn't interest me what you do for a living. I want to know what you ache for, and if you dare to dream of meeting your heart's longing.

It doesn't interest me how old you are. I want to know if you will risk looking like a fool for love, for your dreams, for the adventure of being alive.

It doesn't interest me what planets are squaring your moon. I want to know if you have touched the center of your own sorrow if you have been opened by life's betrayals or have become shriveled and closed from fear of future pain. 

I want to know if you can sit with pain, mine or your own, without moving to hide it, or fade it, or fix it.

I want to know if you can be with joy, mine or your own if you can dance with wildness and let the ecstasy fill you to the tips of your fingers and toes without cautioning us to be careful, to be realistic, to remember the limitations of being human.

It doesn't interest me if the story you are telling me is true.I want to know if you can disappoint another to be true to yourself; if you can bear the accusation of betrayal and not betray your own soul; if you can be faithless and therefore trustworthy.

I want to know if you can see beauty even when it's not pretty, every day and if you can source your own life from its presence.

I want to know if you can live with failure, yours or mine, and still stand on the edge of the lake and shout to the silver of the full moon, "yes!"

It doesn't interest me who you know, or how you came to be here. I want to know if you will stand in the center of the fire with me and not shrink back.

It doesn't interest me where or what or with whom you have studied. I want to know what sustains you, from the inside, when all else falls away.

I want to know if you can be alone with your and if you truly like the company you keep in the empty moments.” 

by Oriah Mountain Dreamer

 

I always come back to it, it is very inspiring. 

The poem reminds me that I need to make the most of my life. At first, I thought the poem was written as a letter from one person to another but after reading it more than once, it seems to me that it could also be a letter from you to yourself. At least the parts I can understand. That's some deep stuff over there. And I always ask myself; Is it really possible to be honest to ourselves as the poem suggests? In the world we live in?

I have no idea, but we must give it a go.

We must try. 

Roddy X

What’s the point in being alive if you don’t at least try to do something remarkable?
— John Green

The Road Goes Forward

Road between Chile and Argentina
Everything passes
Everything changes
Just do what you think you should do
— Bob Dylan

 

The road is full of curves and it goes forward

Back in 2010 while living in North West London, I was bartending in a pretty cool bar and I was also taking some workshops of documentary making at London City University. That year, to skip a piece of the winter, I decided to spend 1 month in Cuba. Apart from the tourist resorts destinations, I covered up a good chunk of the island in February. 

Having spent the last 3 years prior that sharing a house (Casambuca) with 2 Argentinean, friends of mine, I was speaking ‘Portunhol’ quite well and I could interact more with the locals. I met a lot of interesting folks, most of them were either a musician or a doctor. No joke. 

I remember talking to a lot of folks one night at 'Casa de La Trova' down in Santiago de Cuba, and what made me really think was that most of the people I met there, were happy. I don't mean 6/7 mojitos happy as I was most of the time, I mean proper happy. The funny thing is that some of them seem to have a fine amount of that on Monday mornings too. 

I started to wonder

Hang on a minute! Shall I study medicine, become a doctor and drive a taxi as a second job or become a musician and have a second job as a tour guide and received second-hand t shirts as payments? 

Both of it had the kind of happiness I was looking for. Any of them would do really as I remember being so tired of self-criticism and self-judgments, nothing wasn't really good and really satisfying. Obviously, I didn't know back then what I know today, and being flooded with information and opportunities didn't help me either.  

I am not glamorizing communism and poverty, but Cuba's raw simplicity made me question myself if I really needed to chase all the stuff I was chasing. Why was I never satisfied and being so hard on myself? What is it that you need to be happy? I had countless booze filled conversations with my friends on that topic.  

I continue to wander and I start to research.

Anyways, I put the documentary making course inside my Ikea blue bag full of stuff that I started and never finished and decided to truly chase what I really wanted. One thing I knew for sure, I didn't want to be part of the highly competitive and comparative society I was in. At least not full time. I got bored of it. 

I changed roads

Soon after that I also realized that to choose what you love and actually follow it its a pretty difficult business. Sometimes you love a lot of stuff, sometimes you don't love stuff enough. While I was most in doubt, I started chasing what made me the happiest. And even if that sounds silly, immature, naive, hard to achieve and Impossible at first. I kind of knew that If I was chasing something that was meaningful to me I would stop being so hard on myself.

I knew I could do anything from flipping burgers to pourin' pints that It would be acceptable to me.  Not that there is something wrong on pourin' pints, I actually love it, but as I was getting older (age wise) I had a kind of pressure on me saying that I wasn't good enough. Somehow knowing that at least I was doing that to achieve something bigger, I felt better and stop caring if what others would think of it. 

Fuck it, let's go traveling! 

Since then I have tried to spent every penny I make on travel. I did a ton of different things in the past years, I worked as a bartender,  as a bar manager, did some gardening, I was DJing 'hock and holl' on weekends, worked in factories, sold art paints online and much more. 

I used to take long holidays of 2, 3 and sometimes 4 months and go traveling somewhere to continue my research. 

Sometimes fear of me getting old without any financial stability would knock my door but the experiences I was getting from the road made my life a lot richer.

The road that had a large curve in Cuba. The same road that sometimes gets dirty, dark and rainy and more curves. Sometimes also gets blue skies days and has a giant ball of fire illuminating everything around. 

The road changes. We change. It all changes. All the time 

The same road taught me that the only and true sense of responsibility we actually need to make sure to have is to keep on driving, moving, going forward, toward that imaginary goal you created with all the little things you love that makes you a better and and a happier person. We can slow down, drive only 5, 10 km per hour, and if something happens and you must stop, stop. It's okay. Have a look around. Once you feel like driving again you drive. But try drive towards something that makes you happy. 

What is it that makes you happy?

Think about it. And in case you don't know or have any doubts, hit the road. 

Join the club. 

Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.
— Arthur Ashe

Milestones

milestone
ˈmʌɪlstəʊn/
noun
plural noun: milestones
1. 
a stone set up beside a road to mark the distance in miles to a particular place.
2. 
a significant stage or event in the development of something.

The road consists in small milestones.

 After living in a Rehab center for 3,5 months and then back in Brazil with mum for about 6 months, I moved back to Sweden and started living by myself. I remember when I moved all my stuff to my new apartment and close the doors behind me, I remember when I went to the supermarket by myself, the first time I cooked Mexican and the first time I changed my duvet cover.

Every time time did something for the first time I remember going to bed super happy like a little child that climbed a mango tree for the first time!

The funny thing is that only after losing all this little things that seem so insignificant and I used to take it for granted, I started valorizing them.

This is why I feel grateful about my injury. Somehow, I am becoming happier with my small (and most of the time, ‘insignificant’) milestones. I am learning how to appreciate the small things, the little stuff, the stuff you don't think about if you don't need to think about it.

Don’t take me wrong, spinal cord injury still is and always will be shit, but I wonder if I would have the same level of life acceptance, self awareness and patience if I had not been injured. Probably not. So thats a good thing.

Talking about good things

Roddy 01  X  00 Spinal cord injury

Roddy 01  X  00 Spinal cord injury

Last October I went to one of my best friend's wedding, in Mexico. 

I confess that I was quite afraid and a bit nervous but I left my apartment door, took a cab, 2 trains, 3 planes and 32 hours later I was arriving in Guadalajara, I had a backpack hanging on the back of my wheelchair and one in my lap. I had a few issues but I did it all by myself. I was super happy. On this same trip, my friends helped me to surf for the first time, I danced for the fist time and I also experienced a hurricane for the first time.  

I came back to Sweden with a backpack full of milestones and it was when I started beating depression, it was when I realised that with a good planning traveling still possible. 

That trip boosted my self-esteem and replaced my fear with confidence. 

 

That's what traveling does to you. 

Soon after that I started building this website and also doing some research to find out what was left on the plate for me. 

I found out that they have a 'disabled-friendly' wagon from Moscow to Vladivostok on the Trans-Siberian express and also a rental car company that rents out hand control driven cars down in New Zealand. Fuck yeah! 

There is a 'fuck yeah!' feeling that pops up every time you discover that you are still able to do the stuff you love. Sometimes you get it every week, sometimes everyday. And I feel very grateful to be able to experience some of those from time to time. 

Every day there is little something to be grateful for. 

When I think of driving in New Zealand I think of something that for me, today, right now, its huge! It's far away. It's a distant goal.

And the goal is not really the goal; the goal, is just an imaginary point that you create to have some kind of direction. What really matters is the daily, small insignificant things that you do, those ones that brings you small doses of instant inner happiness and gratitude. Small daily doses of 'fuck yeahs!'.

The goal is just there, the real and the Important stuff is the road. The road that leads to it. When Kerouac quoted 'the road is life', I believe he was right, the road is what has the most value, and by the road I mean the journey, the small daily milestones toward something that today, for you, Is big. 

I believe that If you can still collect small milestones every now and then and be grateful for them, you are winning. 

Both thumps up.  

My milestone this week will be to start going twice a week to Funkibator, the NGO where I am currently working. It's kind of a Rehabilitation Program in a working environment, where I am learning what I can still do, how much I can work, how long I can sit still in my wheelchair before my spasticity goes crazy and stuff like that.

Funkibator is a place where everyone with a disability or a health condition has a  job that suits their needs,  it’s really amazing because it enable folks to take control of their lives, do stuff and become more independent.

It's all set to be a beautiful week. 

I hope yours would be too.

Enjoy the road folks, celebrate your  small milestones, enjoy the little things, be a winner. 

Fuck yeah!

Roddy X 

The Road is Life

Texas Usa

Texas Usa

The road is life
— Jack Kerouac

Hi and welcome to my first blog post.

The road for me is where life happens. 

Firstly I must say that I am still quite brand new on this “living with spinal cord injury, blogging and wheelchair travelling” and as amongst many other things in life, I will learn it during the process, while making it. I am glad I figured out what I am gonna do, now I just need to figure out how I am gonna make this happen, but that is the fun part.

This is kick off journey where I am gonna blog about going back to the road.

I hope there will be someone out there that will benefit and learn something from it.

Anyways, I hope you are all well and thanks for being here.

Roddy X