It is surprising how I am not crushed by all the daily reminders I have about my accident and the permanent effects of it. These include: cathing myself several times per day, plodding up the stairs to our third-floor walk-up apartment, negotiating icy sidewalks this time of year, taking the elevator up to the second floor at work as opposed to taking the stairs, parking in Handicap Parking spots (it still amuses me that the acronym “HPV” is used on signs). But sometimes certain things will serve as a jolting reminder of what I can no longer do, and make me feel very down. One such example was when I was researching rental car options in Europe. I scrolled through all the available small, non-luxury vehicle options and found that none of them were Automatic Transmission. Now, in my youth, I prided myself on being an excellent stick-shift driver (and, yes, an Asian female at that too) and owned manual-transmission cars exclusively until my accident in 2010. I enjoyed driving a heck of a lot more driving stick-shift and liked the control it gave me. As I assessed my rental car options, I felt gutted, feeling like somehow, a special exception needed to be made for me. I bloody hate being special in that way. Thinking about the extra inconveniences definitely made me reconsider my travel plans. What is funny is how something like that can feel like a punch in the stomach, whereas other reminders do not. For example, a co-worker of mine has a tennis racket in its case by his desk. I used to be a pretty talented tennis player, and played it pretty regularly/seriously for a decade and a half. But spotting my colleague’s racket each day as I walk towards my desk, doesn’t make me feel too sad. Neither does seeing all the bicycles hanging on the bike racks in the office. Again, I used to cycle pretty seriously, but I don’t really miss it that much.