The fact that I can walk around the city all day without pain still hasn't lost its shiny allure, I'm happy to say.
But I feel like I'm returning to the ranks of the regular, of 'normal' people, and as life often seems to, it makes me contemplative. Does what I went through over the past 2 years relegate me always to the ranks of special? And by special, I don't mean "we're all special in our own way/I believe the children are our future/I'd like to buy the world a coke."
I mean, special*. You know, special.
Special like when I was in class last week working on a challenging pose and the teacher said to the room, "that's Sarah, our miracle girl."
Living pain-free will always be special, and it is a gift that I don't take for granted. It encircles my every moment and allows me to step boldly into each day. It gives me freedom from living a compromised, less-than-total expression of myself, free from physical self-censorship (as in "no I can't come to your party in Brooklyn" "no I can't go out dancing with you" "no I can't go on a hike" with the unspoken understanding that my body just couldn't take it).
On the flip side, it's exactly that specialness that allows me to be normal, to say yes instead of no, to dance and run like any other person. And in many ways it feels good to be normal. The daily frustrations of living with chronic pain make it seem like the condition has you, like it exists even before your name in the way the world sees you and even, after time, in the way you see yourself.
Feeling normal, for me, feels special.