Starting Over

I completed my short-term writing contract.

The best job I’ve ever had. For the last 6 months, I’ve been working as a copywriter creating marketing material, articles for business magazines, and corporate blogs. It’s been fascinating, I’ve learned so much, and I’m very proud of what I achieved. I’m a better writer now than when I started. That’s worth a lot to me. One really nice thing about this work was that I could do it from home, it gave me more time to think. To create. Also, I loved working on the words. Finding the precious phrases, editing and editing and editing.

Next week I’m going back to the call centre.

I worked there for 13 years after I became disabled. Starting in 2004, I was so grateful, because as a quadruple amputee I thought no-one would ever give me a job again. I was extremely self-conscious because my face was so badly damaged. It felt safer being in a job where most people could only hear my voice. Plus, the call centre is mostly run by women and they were so very kind to me throughout the time I was rehabilitating after my amputations. The atmosphere there is like being part of a big family.

What I have to do.

I did so enjoy the writing job, I felt like I was finally using my core skills, and I was very proud to have improved things so much for myself and my family. I am looking for other copywriting work, but I can’t travel and function in an office as easily as other people. Change is always hard to manage, but if I’ve learned anything, it’s that how I think about my situation is completely down to me. I’m in control. So, I’ll be taking one day at a time for a while, trying to find new opportunities and every single plus point that I can. My son took my signed contract into the call centre and handed it in. I have to work 2 afternoon and evening shifts to start with.

We go on.

The wind blows, the river runs. The sun rises and moves across the sky. Light from a billion years ago sparkles in the stars. We’re lost in a vast universe but I think my wife loves me. Next week, we will have been married for 20 years. I have no words to express what that makes me feel inside. Every night I put my electric arms on to charge and every morning I have to step carefully down the stairs on my false legs trying not to fall. We move forward, we stay still, we wonder. Our daughter got a first in her university exams. Freddy and I have the football. I have renewed our season tickets at Leicester City.

Let me list the good things that remain.  

Watching Jamie Vardy run at a defence. Kasper Schmeichel, in warrior mode. Radio. Fresh air. Starfish the film. Starfish the book. Memories of my brother, memories of my mum. The way the words fall, like diamonds from my mind. Books. Music. An eventful world, all around me. A soft pillow, a safe place to sleep. Coffee. Tea. The Porthmeor Beach webcam. My MacBook. False legs I can walk on. Robot hands that mean I can drive. My Sepsis friends, the ones who have passed, also the brave survivors, all who care for them. My clever, funny grown-up children who I would do anything or die for. My wife, my best friend, Nic, who saves me every day just with her smile. All this is enough.