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Setting Impossible Goals

I’m a little late to the party, but I just decided that I would like to share one of my goals, regardless of how scary or unrealistic it might be.

But first let me discuss my hatred for resolutions.

I love goals. Setting goals, striving towards goals, and reaching goals. But I hate resolutions.

I feel like resolutions are saved for January 1st, then eventually forgotten. People set big goals that they never intend to fully reach and end up giving up a month or so into the year.

I hate the mindset of waiting until the new year to start working towards a goal. You can set a goal at any point in the year and start working to accomplish it, and I believe that if you put off setting the goal, you’re going to put off working towards it, and it is unlikely that it will ever be accomplished.

The new year is a clean slate, and I fall victim to this mindset, getting big ideas of the things I want to achieve, some of which are never accomplished, or never even attempted.

There’s nothing wrong with this. There’s nothing wrong with setting goals that seem too big, or goals that seem unachievable, because if you strive to reach it, you’ll get there at some point.

And there’s nothing truly wrong with waiting until the beginning of the year to set a goal, because at least you’re setting it!

Set big goals, set small goals, set goals that seem impossible, set goals that are scary, my point is, don’t wait to set your goals. Set them as soon as you long to achieve something new, and start working towards it right away, you never know how much or how soon you will accomplish it!

Anyways, moving on to my big goal for 2020…

This year I want to try driving.

This may sound mundane to people who don’t fully know my story, and for those who do it may sound ridiculous and illegal, because it kind of is.

If this goal sounds mundane to you, it’s not.

When I had my strokes (two years ago now, which I can’t believe), I lost my peripheral vision, primarily on the right side but some on the left as well. This makes me ineligible to drive, since I have way less than the required field of vision to do so.

I was told that I would never drive again, that I would never regain my vision so that I could drive, so for a long time, I never even thought to try.

But now that I’m so determined to at least try driving, I feel stupid for not trying sooner.

I long to drive so badly. I’ve had this longing since I lost the ability, but it grows stronger with each day, with each milestone that I pass, knowing that this is one I’m not legally allowed to pass.

But now I’m sick of this. I’m sick of being told that I’ll never see enough to drive again. I’m sick of being told that maybe I can drive in 10 years when self-driving cars are legal. I’m sick of waiting for Elon Musk to deliver a self-driving Tesla to my door for me to test out. ;)

I don’t want to wait anymore. I’m ready to try, even though I may fail immediately, or succeed but not be able to get my license again.

I’ve finally realized that the reason I’ve never tried is because it’s not as simple as hoping in the car and driving around the neighborhood, I would need hand controls.

For people who are paralyzed or unable to use their legs to drive, they typically have hand control installed in their car that serve the purpose of the gas and break pedals. However, they do sell portable hand controls that you can temporarily install in your car, then remove.

My hope is to buy these potable hand controls, go to an empty lot, and drive. Even if I immediately realize that it’s not possible, not safe, to drive on a main road, at least I’ll get to drive for the first time in two years. The thought brings tears to my eyes. Tears of pain and tears of hope.

But I feel like maybe, if I pay enough attention and try really hard, I’ll be successful.

I’ve recently noticed that if I focus my center of vision more towards the right, I’m able to see more. Since I have some peripheral vision on the left side, if I look more towards the right, I have a better field of vision. This only works when I’m looking in the distance, not when I’m focusing on something up close, but I think it could help me drive.

I want to try working with an occupational therapist to re-center my field of vision, to train my brain to look more towards the right so that I’m able to see more.

I’ve tried prism glasses, which do essentially the same thing, they show you more to the side where you can’t see. However, they don’t add very much to your vision, and mine made everything blurry and harder to see. I want to try them again, but at the time I was already having so much trouble seeing, they just made everything so much harder.

If I were to drive again, I would also need a lot of assistive technology, and luckily there is a lot out there. It would be helpful to have a camera that shows what’s on the right side of the car, extra mirrors, and a car that beeps when someone passes you.

Now, the trick would be convincing the government that it’s safe for me to drive. I’ve thought of different ways to try to cheat the system, but I think I’ll worry about that if or when I’m ready to be street legal.

I know it sounds crazy, or maybe it doesn’t, but I’m so sick of being told no, when it can’t hurt to try.

It’s scary to put this out there, because it just seems so impossible, so much so that it’s kept me from even thinking about trying. But I’m ready to attempt this goal, knowing full well I may fail and be shot down.

I encourage you to set a goal that scares you, and tell a friend, someone that can help keep you accountable. Let’s make 2020 the year of trying and achieving the impossible, even if it means we may fail along the way.

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