Hello, everyone. I want to thank you. It is time for an odd rant about my life. It is both a humongous victory and a sobering reminder. I want to feel full of mirth but I’ve had a rough couple of days. Here we go.

September 22 is the anniversary of The Incident (Editor’s note: graphic images).  For those that don’t know, a year ago I was hit by a car in Thailand. I was in a coma. I had a craniectomy where about a third of my skull had to be removed, blood clots scraped from my brain, and the bones were put back in wired together with titanium. Add four broken ribs, a broken bone inside my right ear and a broken shoulder blade. I remember none of this.

I lost a lot of memory. I lost the ability to speak. I didn’t know who I was. I didn’t know who others were either. I didn’t know where I was. I couldn’t explain what happened. At least 3 months of memory is completely wiped from my brain. I now have epilepsy. Seizures, both strong and silly and annoying, occur from time to time.

I bounced back in February. I flew back to Korea and started work. My auditory hallucinations got worse. I wanted to get better and wanted to get back to ‘normal’ life. Sadly, I made this decision too soon and ended up working at the shittiest school I’ve ever worked at. I wasn’t able to function as a proper human and eventually had to bow out and fly back to the US this May. Here I was able to get sharper. I was still having hallucinations but they were lighter in tone. Still memory issues but less severe. Cognitive function and abilities were reduced, but still remarkably better. It was clear that I was recovering.

Last year, Death tried to come for me again, and once more I fought him off. I have had at least six concussions in my life. Had shingles when I was 18. I had to have both hips replaced when I was 25 and 27. I’ve probably broken 38 bones. Successfully preventing a girl from being raped or beaten, I got the shit beaten out of me by being knocked out on the pavement, with a broken nose, cheek, two ashen eyes and a divot in my skull that now is more pronounced. I accept that I will one day lose that struggle with Death. But not today. Not now. Not yet. Not this way. 

I have a deep need to get back to life with agency. I want duty and responsibility. I am in talks to going back to Korea again. Contract is signed and sent. To become a person again. This ‘vacation’ has gone on far too long. It needs to end. I want to be back and put my feet back on the asphalt. I don’t just want to land. I want to run. I need to. I can’t be this indigent any longer. The world has for too long used me as a Lab Rat and I have appointments with so many doctors and therapists. On Thursday I have a two-day stay at the hospital for an EEG that will try and see why and how I have seizures.

I want to be careful and make sure that I don’t frighten anyone in the family. If I nail this test with composure then I have their further trust.

I want to share this as it’s especially important for me to do so with this crew. Y’all were so helpful with my GoFundMe. You helped me get on my feet. This is a huge thank you to everyone. I was down and out and needed help. You folk were kind enough to assist me. That’s what’s important in painful and hard moments like this.

Accept help when people offer it. Don’t be brash and don’t refuse assistance. Know that you will need it and try your hardest to take it with gratitude. Yes, it is unpleasant. But resist the urge to put yourself in a box where you feel like a useless child who has to follow everyone’s rules because you’re a loser. Sometimes you’re dealt a bad hand. Complaining doesn’t help. It makes you focus on that loss and leads you to swirl into the descent. Look at every victory you can. Make them count. Don’t take them for granted. Give them their worth. You’ve earned them. No matter how small others may see them. They aren’t small. They give you the power and strength to take the next step. Every one of them counts. Make sure you climb up the ladder rather than descend. Moving onward, it was this help that has made it possible for me to get stronger and sharper.

Now it is soon time to take on my next challenge. The pressure will be me putting it upon myself. I have confidence that I can do it. I want to succeed. I want to be Me again. This is the potent point that needs to be made and accepted for me to move along and become better.

Thank you all. You have been so important. You have no idea. You’ve helped a refugee in despair, one who desperately needed your help. In deep and choppy waters, I reached out a hand. You all came over and helped me get in the raft. If I didn’t have that, I wouldn’t have much. This clearly shows how kind, thoughtful, and helpful you all are. I would have drowned without the help that you and my loved ones have given me. Even for someone with the issues that I have, that isn’t something I will ever forget. I cannot and will not.

Life has its way of fucking with you. It plays its own game and it’s frequently painful. Play hard. Fight back. Take the punches. Then come back with your own. Going all 15 rounds is a victory all of its own, even if you don’t land a KO. Take every single fucking victory you can. Every. Single. One. If you’re still standing, you win in your own way. Don’t let anyone take that away from you. No one. They can’t. Don’t even dream of the possibility that they possess the ability to take them away from you. They are yours. They are a huge part of you. They are important. They are your medals to proudly wear. You’ve earned them. I suppose I’ve never thought about it until this moment as I type, but it’s why my Lady and my parents both independently call me Soldier. You ain’t down and out until you can’t get up. I’m going to Cal Ripken my life and keep on getting up and up and up. There’s more out there. More to explore. More to do. It’s still there for me. I want to experience it all.

Thank you again. Onwards. Upwards. Always.