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Surprise & Gratitude

Surprise & Gratitude

NOTE: Today’s post is a guest post by my good friend Michael Ketigian, a fellow artist, thinker, creator, and all-around badass. Check out his projects Stageless Arts and Open Brain. Michael will be writing frequent guest posts for the blog, as well as helping me curate more guest posts from his equally talented friends. 

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I split my head open last night.

Gotta say, I was really surprised by it. Definitely didn’t expect that to happen. Just had a few friends over before Open Brain [the irony isn’t lost on me…] where there were grapes, which were tossed up to be caught by mouths — obviously. And when one got tossed over my head, I launched backwards to catch it, and banged my head.

No big deal, I thought. I banged my head. I’ll rub it for a second and it’ll be — oh shit! That definitely doesn’t feel normal.

And then blood. And then seeing the two-inch laceration in the mirror. [That’s a gash and a half!] Time for stitches.

Stuff like this happens all the time: you’re doing one thing, and then some unexpected situation presents itself. I’m writing this 23 hours after it happened, and throughout the day I’ve been thinking about the positive takeaways from this surprise situation. Here are a few:

Be prepared for anything.

You never know what’s gonna happen, and you can’t avoid most accidents. Just be prepared to deal with some shit. Preparation is like insurance: you hope you won’t have to use it, but when something goes down, at least you’re ready to deal with it.

Stay calm as you do whatever’s needed to resolve the issue.

You can freak out that you’re bleeding from the head [or whatever], or you can apply pressure to staunch the bleeding [so to speak], check it out in a mirror, and then decide to get stitches. Nothing is gained from hysterics.

See the bright side. Laugh.

I don’t think an ER has ever heard so much laughter. It was obviously a bit messed up to have a two-inch gash in my head, but it was also absolutely ridiculous, and funny. I couldn’t help but laugh. I mean — this was caused by a grape. Completely absurd.

The main takeaway from this is GRATITUDE. I returned home that night to see the words I’d written on my mirror with a dry-erase marker* the week before: look how good you have it. And I ran through the series of events:

  • I live in a time where a split scalp is very easily repaired, even in a less developed country like Sri Lanka. No worry about bleeding out or getting infected. This was a walk in the park.
  • It was a two-minute drive down the road to the hospital. That’s something to appreciate.
  • I was seen immediately. I was in the ER for maybe 30 seconds before I was laying down on a table.
  • I was injected with a local anesthetic. What a luxury! I mean yeah, it’s standard practice, but I wasn’t thinking about that — was just preparing to brace myself while I felt a few pin pricks. I wasn’t in much pain from splitting my head, so I figured a few needle holes wouldn’t be so bad either. The lidocaine was a bonus!
  • I got to return back home to where Open Brain was being hosted, and share some poetry while wearing a top hat. [My roommate and I had figured it’d make sense to keep a collection of silly hats in the apartment. Clearly it made more sense than we could’ve predicted.]

So yeah — I split my head open. Not something you want to happen to you, but remember that if it does: you’ll be fine. The same goes for anything. You can either wallow in depression or self-loathing or whatever, or you can realize that everything’s actually quite alright and keep moving forward.
Just do your best to avoid the sharp edges of concrete walls as you do so!

– Written by Michael Ketigian –

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December 16th, 2016

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