Amy F. Quincy Author/Freelance Writer


October 2015


unnamed (1)So, I’m in Mexico. In honor of my solo adventure I’m re-running a post about being brave. You should try it. And it doesn’t have to be jumping-out-of-a-plane-scare-yourself-half-to-death brave. Maybe it’s just going to the movies by yourself. You know your comfort zone. Push it.

And next time you’re feeling like Chicken Little, think of me negotiating a foreign airport by myself. Sorry don’t worry, Grandma. It’s actually easier by myself because everyone rushes to help me. It’s how I know that human beings are basically good. A disabled woman traveling with friends is presumably taken care of. A disabled woman traveling alone is a universal sign, like an S.O.S. Just ask the two friends who traveled with me through that cluster you know what of an airport in Mexico City. (Sorry again, Grandma.)

Everyone may think I’m brave, but traveling alone is actually in my comfort zone. Now, public speaking … I think I’d rather jump out of that plane.

Original Post: Be Courageous 

A friend called me last week, upset that she had to cancel our plans, but much more distraught over the reason why. She was exhausted by work. Physically. Mentally. Spiritually. Her job, it seemed, was eating her soul. Well, perhaps I’m being a little dramatic about it. So I guess you can see where I stand on that subject.

If my life could have a theme, I think it would be that life is short. I’ve always felt this way. Even before becoming disabled. After all, I did quit my own soul-sucking job when I was twenty-seven to bike solo throughout Europe. Then again, I stayed for the money for years before quitting, socking it away and planning my escape while driving home every day miserable and in tears. So, who am I to advise?

But, I’ll do it anyway. Maybe, the question for my friend is — is it worth it? Is the trade off of investing more of your time in this unfulfilling place all for some nobler cause? I think, in her case, it is. And we’re talking about sticking it out for less than four months anyway! People can survive a lot for just four months.

In my case, I stuck it out much longer. But I’d like to think my plan was that much grander, too. And what about now? Now that I’m in a wheelchair? You better believe I think about that trip all the time now and am filled with gratitude that I had the guts. What if I hadn’t gone? I had some friends making bets behind my back about how long I’d last. In case you’re wondering — those are naysayers. What if I’d listened to the naysayers? “Aren’t you worried about the gap in your resume?” they asked. Look at me now. Do I seem concerned about the gap? And it was a big one. I was gone for close to six months.

I have another friend who just quit managing a restaurant she’s owned for twenty-five years. She had to listen to lots of naysayers. I tried to be the voice of reason. “Think of it as simply making space. You’re making more room in your life for the things you really want to be doing.”

And these courageous acts don’t have to be as huge and life changing as the ones I’ve described. Heck, brave for me nowadays is rolling into the Subway at the gym and ordering from a stranger who I hope will understand me and be patient while I fumble through the transaction.

I was at the gym last week, using the only machine I felt comfortable with and suffering from a severe case of gym-timidation when in rolled my friend Dani. (I’ve written about her before. The girl with Spina bifida? Who’s blind?) Well, you haven’t felt cowardly till a blind girl in a wheelchair taps her way right past you to try out several different machines. So what’s my excuse? Or yours, for that matter?

I guess what I’m trying to say is, in the words of my friend Michele and Nike, do it. Whatever it is. Take a deep breath and go for it. And in the words of that overplayed song that I love, I wanna see you be brave.europe2europe


Lonely Planet

the-martian-movie-posterI guess I’m the only one. At least I’m definite in my opinions, right? I mean, you wouldn’t want me to be one of those people who said it was great just because everybody said it was great, right? No one would care what she thought. Maybe I like going against the grain. Maybe negative reviews are just a whole lot easier (and more fun) to write. But, as one critic hinted at to a more positive effect, the only thing worse than being a man stuck alone on a planet is being a woman stuck alone in a movie theater watching a man stuck alone on a planet.

If you’ll pardon the double negative, I did not not like The Martian. I can’t think of any Matt Damon movie not worth at least checking out. I just got really, really bored. At two hours, twenty-one minutes, it felt a lot longer. Like watching potatoes grow. Literally.

There were the ever present shades of movies like Cast Away and Apollo 13 (much more successful movies to my mind). Like Cast Away, it was often just one man and the camera, though Tom Hanks pulled it off for much more of the movie while The Martian kept cutting back to Earth to see what the good folks at NASA were doing – usually mucking things up by playing politics. Hey, you can’t blame director Ridley Scott for trying to drum up some tension.

And who wasn’t reminded of Apollo 13 as we watched scientists tackle problem after problem while the whole world roots for everyone to make it back safe and sound? Somehow though, it was more fun watching Bill Paxton build a carbon dioxide reducing diffuser out of cardboard and some duct tape. And I know I can’t be the only person who rolled my eyes at the live broadcasts to thousands in Times Square and similar locations the world over. I’m not suggesting we wouldn’t care. It’s high drama. We certainly would care. Here. I take issue more with the sheer number and their locale. Are thousands of Chinese or Europeans really going to be glued to the action?

And no offense to the nerds out there, but I think this is kind of a geek-lovers movie. In this world, science is king and NASA execs are superheroes. I can see my dad really enjoying watching Damon make water by burning hydrogen (sorry, Dad). Or a certain friend’s father who used to help me with my chemistry homework (sorry, Mr. Barnhill). And not that I associate bad music and corny jokes with nerds, but I kinda do – and this movie has tons of both. It was somebody’s bright idea to take the running joke of the bad musical tastes of Commander Lewis (Jessica Chastain) and make those songs the soundtrack. Now, normally I like some disco music, but the only song I can stand is Gloria Gaynor’s “I Will Survive” and that plays along with the end credits! Fitting. A celebration of surviving the movie. But I’m getting carried away. It wasn’t that bad.

In the end, I don’t know why some movies work and some don’t. Why Tom Hanks is funny pounding on his chest like a caveman when he makes fire but Damon is kind of corny when he poses for a satellite picture as The Fonz from Happy Days. I think Damon is a great actor. Maybe it has something to do with trying too hard. Or that it’s all been done before. You’ll have to decide for yourself. So don’t let me keep you away from the movie or the movie keep you away from the book. The book is always better.




Website Built with

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: