An article I gave on nosidebar.com
Let us say minimalism or decluttering is a choice, good, right? The science of minimalism is a fantastic idea to experience when it is by choice. My act of minimizing things in life was not by choice but by inferiority. I’m going to share with you my story about my life incorporated with the “Simple Five” categories. I will trickle throughout my article, my struggles, accomplishments, and attempt to create more accepting world.
Some prior knowledge about my life may be necessary to truly understand my story. I was 16 years old awaiting my scholarship to the University of Minnesota for hockey based on my native intelligence and stellar athletic ability (http://chadfrancour.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/Eagle-Herald-Newspaper-Article-one-year-after-accident.pdf). I had what seemed by many a positive and fulfilling life. On January 28 of 2004, however, my life changed forever. I was snowmobiling with some family and was hit by a truck while crossing the highway. I suffered a traumatic brain injury with a prognosis of death, never coming out of a coma, vegetative state, let alone not pursuing any of my academic, physical, and social pursuits.
Long story short, I spent six weeks in a coma and 100+ days in the hospital. I continued to receive copious amounts of therapies (e.g., speech, occupational, and physical therapies) for about the next three to four years. Encompassed within that time, I graduated with assistance with my high school class on time in 2006, continued therapy at Mayo Clinic in Minnesota for six months after high school, went to a two-year community college, and then finally graduated with a Bachelors of Science in Psychology and Human Development from the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay in 2013. While consistently battling the so-called demons in my head.
After much pain, uncertainty, and depression I have overcome some of the greatest feats known to any human. I live in an apartment with my dog. I work as a substitute teacher making unpredictability my new normal. I teach about 3 to 4 times per week at various school districts. I still try to keep active in regard to my physical well-being. Since June of 2012, for example, I have ridden my bicycle 10,394 miles. Riding my bicycle serves a dual purpose. On one hand, strength is gained but on the other it serves as a reminder that I am not confined to my disability. Along with my cycling I do some yoga exercises and stretching.
My physical disability being hyper muscle tone in my left arm and leg. This makes it difficult/impossible to functionally move my arm. My leg on the other hand has some ailment, but is getting better. I receive medical treatments from doctors that have been a blessing, but also a curse. That would be a whole nother topic, however I receive botulinum toxin every 3-4 months and have an intrathecal baclofen pump that is refilled twice a year and have an electronic device that shocks my lower leg to help with walking. I have been known by many as a bionic man. In some sense, I am trying to declutter my life but find it very difficult.
As for my social stater goes, I find it difficult to find or maintain healthy adult friends. I do have a few friends but not enough. Living in a rather small, close minded community, I cannot find like-minded individuals to connect with on any level. I struggle with bouts of depression and loneliness,however, the Francour name is well known in our city of 10,600 individuals. In some sense, I reap the benefits of being a Francour but in another sense the name only travels so far.
On a more positive note, I have created a website, Chadfrancour.com, where I have written about my life in hopes to create a book. I explore some difficult topics concerning about my life, society’s outlook, in the sense of feeling grateful for life.I explore a slew of topics in hopes that it will inspire people to think before he or she acts. Ultimately, my wish is to create a more accepting community for individuals with differences. In other words, to have a more egalitarian society. As much as I want to create a minimalist lifestyle is all about perception. How a person perceives things in his or her world will dictate whether that person is living, to the best of her or his ability. I have come full circle to question these things in the past 16 years. I battle every day to make my life meaningful and purposeful.
In closing, my hope is always that readers will get a feeling of wow and admiration for the resiliency of the human nature, even though, my life could have taken many different trajectories. In other words, I have my own path and you have your own, who are we to say that where we are going in life is wrong?
I would love to connect with you if you find my article to be an inspiring story on your website. I look forward to hearing from you….
PS- I have been in contact with Lee Rankinen and we have had the opportunity to connect once. Hopefully, we can work together.