“What we call the beginning is often the end. And to make an end is to make a beginning. The end is where we start from.” ~T.S. Eliot
It was a beautiful spring day, the sun was out, the birds were singing, squirrels were playing in the yard, and I Brian Webb a recent college graduate was deciding my future. I was at home in Maysville, Kentucky discussing what I should do with my life and what endeavors I should partake. The decisions were made that I should move to Cincinnati and live with my father and work in the IT field with his company as a mentor/internship. With my education, it was believed that I can move up to management. With that decided, I drove back to Lexington content on my decision.
“Life tends to happen when you are making plans.” I arrived at my apartment in Lexington, Kentucky and decided to lay down on the couch to take a nap. However, I couldn’t sleep, I had a strange headache coming on stronger and stronger. Bam! Bam! BAM!!! Felt like a nail was being driven in the back of my skull. The pain was excruciating! So, painful in fact that I got sick and passed out.
My brother came rushing to my side and called 911. The ambulance delivers me to the ER in a coma. End of story.
Now, this is where the adventure really begins…. Twelve years later, I discovered that I suffered an intracranial hemorrhage. A blood vessel in the back of my brain ruptured destroying the life I once knew. Doctors said that I had an Arterio-Venous Malformation or A.V.M for short. I don’t care what the doctor’s call it, but I call it a dream killer.
Tragedies happen every day, just look at the news. Being a traumatic brain injury survivor has given me a new lease on life. What I am going to share are three lessons I believe it takes to succeed.
Vision: You must know where you want to go! You must have a dream. Nothing starts without a dream. I dare you to dream! For example, I heard I should be in California since there are many great programs available to me. With that vision, I saved my money working odd dead-end jobs. At one point I was working three different jobs at once. The vision is very important for success.
Belief in yourself: You must have an innate belief in yourself. Believe in yourself and mountains will move. Always bet on the long shot and if you are the long shot then bet the farm on yourself. It is hard to go it alone, to believe that you are right. But, understand that where it MUST START (yourself). Take pride in yourself and all your successes whether small or great.
Don’t give up don’t ever give up: Babe Ruth once said, “It is hard to beat a person who never gives up.” Keep striving, keep pushing. There was a time when I could not use my legs for three months. I had to force myself out of bed and try to get my legs moving. I vividly remember waking up each morning to get in my wheelchair, wheel myself to the cafeteria for breakfast and wheeling myself back to my room where my therapist were waiting. The therapists got me out of my chair and had me walk the length of the hallway in the hospital and back. I took a step, step, step….BAM! I fell flat on my face. Step, step then BAM! I fell down again. Step, and BAM I fell down a third time. When the world tells you to give up, hope whispers try one more time. I got up and eventually made it down the length of the hallway and back. This led to me walking the perimeter of the hospital and then going back home to walk around the perimeter of the local lake. I am happy to report that I ran my 5th marathon this past spring in San Diego! It has taken twelve years to discover the new me. But never giving up has always been consistent. The idea of never quitting when the going gets tough has helped me accomplish these goals.
I have presented my own three key mindsets to accomplish any goal! The process is vision, belief, and never giving up. This experiment that I call life has been a twelve year process for me and I continue to learn more every day. I successfully moved to San Diego, CA during one of the worst recessions this country has faced. I intend to go to grad school because I have discovered what I want to do with my life which is to serve other individuals like myself by teaching them about rehabilitation and counseling programs.
Choose life, learn to live, the miracle is inside you. Stay strong, don’t quit and never, ever give up. Thank you.
Brian, greatly appreciate your submission. Your story is truly inspiring and reminds me that when “we” think we have “problems” stories like this help snap us into a more realistic and responsible perspective! Great job!