“The most fulfilling adventures happen when you start your journey without knowing where you’re going, because only then are you free to experience the unexpected detours you’re meant to take.”
― A.J. Darkholme
On each “Why Not Wednesday” we hear about someone else’s detour in life. The more inspiring stories we hear about people dealing with unexpected difficulties, the more empowered we are to deal with our own detours in life.
Everyone’s life “detours” eventually. It’s what we do with that detour that makes the trip amazing.
After my coma, I was led on quite a few detours – detours that provided me with superhero strength. So now, I’d like you to meet a real SUPERHERO Detourist with mighty, detour-navigating powers…Take it away, Alexis!
My name is Alexis and I’m a Detourist.
In fact, I’m a master Detourist to the casual observer. My life has been a zigzag path, filled with unexpected side routes.
As I type this, I wear two wrist-thumb splints that go from my knuckles to the middle of my forearms. I’ve been wearing these particular splints for almost a month. Before that, I wore some other less intense splints that weren’t helping enough. Before that, my wrists and hands burned in continuous agony. Any time I moved, it hurt.
This challenged everything I did. As a writer and speaker, I needed my computer. I needed to be able to write my thoughts. Everyday tasks became ordeals; things like opening a screw top, changing my toddler’s diaper, or brushing my teeth required rethinking movement. I felt cumbersome. I felt unnecessarily burdened.
This came after reasserting of my purpose – claiming what I wanted to do and who I am as a person. Everything was coming together and suddenly I couldn’t follow through. I was heartbroken. I was angry. I felt betrayed.
After the initial grieving period, I reimagined what was happening. A narrative about my experience developed. I’m big into superheros – I see myself as one. It was natural for me to identify these intensive splints with superpowers.
The story goes something like this: I am a superhero. My power is so dangerous it requires additional training. In order to get that training, to learn restraint and precision, it requires containment. Thus, I wear these braces. I can use my power while wearing them, but it only allows a trickle. However, when I take them off, my power is unleashed in all its fury. Nothing can stand in my way. Nothing is able to withstand my abilities. I reshape reality with the slightest finger flick. At a thought, I create or destroy. Once I finish my training, I will no longer wear the braces, and I will have complete control over my abilities.
This is the story I tell myself, what I see whenever I look down at my splints. I believe it. It feels correct. It feels so true that when someone looks at me, their expression pitying as they say, “Oh! You poor thing! That must have hurt!” I am confused.
Don’t they understand what’s going on here? But of course they can’t. They see my alter ego – not the superhero. To them I am injured – broken.
To me, I am training. I am getting ready to live my purpose in all its glory. I am preparing myself, my whole self, to do things that haven’t been done before. I’m preparing to use words to catalyze minds and open hearts. I’m preparing to actualize a vision through story-telling. It requires intimate knowledge of words and phrase. It requires pacing. It requires intentional self-reflection, acceptance, and patience.
These are exercises I practice daily, in every task, until the time when I can use these superpowers of mine.
Do I believe I am a comic book superhero? No. Of course not. That would be ridiculous. However I do believe that everyday acts have broad impacts. I do believe that anyone can be a real-life hero. Why shouldn’t that be me? Why shouldn’t my detour help me get there? I believe it is doing that right this minute.
That’s why…I #LoveMyDetour.
Wow Alexis, you’re certainly a superhero in my own book! And Alexis has her own book too – I just read it and it is an amazing read of a thriving superhero – please check it out and be prepared for an epic read! (And a great workbook to go with it!)
Did you know that you’re a superhero too?
All Detourists (which would would be YOU) are superheroes, for trusting that twisted path and following it, even if you’re not sure where it leads. Following that trail will lead you to the ultimate gift: The gift of realizing how incredible you really are. Don’t believe me? Check out these wonderful Detourist stories…and then send me yours!
Here’s what I’m trying to do:
Instagram #LoveMyDetour Challenge
There’re more than one way to share your detour. Sing it, dance it, walk it. Take a picture of your detour and share it with me on Instagram with #LoveMyDetour – anything goes! I’ll be featuring your pictures every week in my #LoveMyDetour Gallery.
Hold up a sign, draw a picture, snap a photo of your path. It could be the very road in front of you…you never really know where it leads, do you?
Be sure to subscribe for your Detourist guide and weekly navigation tips!
How do you move forward after detours like illness, dis-ease or despair? Watch this video 🙂