Change in My Life

By: Loolwa Khazzoom, Founder, Dancing with Pain

January 31st, 2008 • Living with Chronic PainPrint Print

I was actively seeking to make a change in my life. While things were very exciting in one aspect (I was writing for top periodicals in the USA and England), I barely got out of my apartment, and as a result, I wasn’t having any kick-back fun.

For weeks, I’d been jonesing to play my djembe on the beach. Though the Mediterranean Sea was only a 10 minute walk away, I couldn’t swing it on hoof. Ankle and knee pain made it nearly impossible for me to walk more than a couple of blocks (thus the not-getting-out-of-the- apartment thing).

I felt fine biking, but my djembe was large and heavy — not something I could just toss on the back of my bike…Or could I?

One day, I decided to be adventurous. I wrapped bungee cords around the djembe, as it sat precariously perched on the back rack of my bicycle. I would bike slowly, I made a deal with myself, and if the endeavor proved too tough to handle, I would lock up my bike, take a taxi home with the djembe, then take a taxi back to pick up my bike.

A bit extravagant for a potentially two-minute outing, it may seem, but when you’ve got all kinds of limitations caving in on your life, hell, you gotta do what you gotta do!

So off I went at 1 km/hour, the djembe bumping clumsily from side to side. I made it all the way to the beach!

Excited, I strapped the drum onto my back and walked slowly to the water’s edge. I had just sat down and begun playing a steady rhythm, when a young woman with wild, curly hair came running over and began dancing, clapping, and singing.

Of course, we were instant friends.

Just a few months later, this woman — whom I would not have met, had I not taken the risk necessary to make a change in my life — in fact changed my life forever.

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