Why Not?

I was watching a show the other day and the young girl on the show started talking about her dreams. She wanted to have lots of kids and had a whole vision for her life. My reaction was not very positive. While listening to her I even caught myself saying “good luck”. I was a bit surprised by my reaction. Why couldn’t she have that? Why couldn’t she strive to make her vision come to life? Why can’t we ask for the things that we want? When did I start thinking I couldn’t?

I think that somewhere throughout my life I got too adaptable. Not only that, I think I spent so much time trying to just be comfortable, that I forgot that I could dream and wish for things beyond just basic comfort. It seems like that may be pretty common for people who experience medical things. When I first started experiencing medical things. It was a fight. Not just the obvious get healthy kind of fight but the fight to not give up too much. I didn’t really understand how my life was changing. I didn’t really understand why I had to give things up or what the limits were to that. Even though I was very fortunate, it felt like I had to lose an overwhelming amount of things and adapt to the what felt like endless demands of others for my own wellbeing. I didn’t know how to navigate that and I think I wound up giving up too much.

The first thing I had to give up was my comfort. I had to let people poke at me and conduct continuous procedures. Some wounds didn’t have time to heal before they were opened again. I had to give up my time that I would have otherwise just spent doing kid things. I had to give up my school attendance records because now I was dealing with appointments and new illnesses and concerns. I was trying to go back to living my life while feeling restricted by all my new health related responsibilities. I kept fighting to be normal but just couldn’t. I was failing. I felt powerless.

Feeling powerless led me to stop trying. The first thing I stopped trying to do was get good grades. In doing that, I gave up a huge part of who I was. And then more and more things that made me feel like myself, started falling away. This lasted years. At some point, I got so uncomfortable in my life that I had to do something. I had rested for long enough. It was time I started to fight back again. So I did. I started to say no to certain procedures or negotiate alternatives. I started to dive into academic classes that I could still do well in. I did all kinds of things over the years to try and get back to… what? Just getting by?

All I ever focused on was finishing school and getting a job and then I could do what I wanted. That’s what I believed. That’s not entirely false because that’s kinda where I am now. But I got so used to just trying to do the basics that I never really learned to want more. The program I ended up taking at school wouldn’t have been the one I would have picked but it was the one I could do. The jobs I’ve had were just stepping stones to a less bad job. Everything I did in between were just distractions to avoid feeling too badly about what I was doing and where my life was heading. I really have been just getting by.

That’s what it feels like anyway. I was so focused on trying to get basic things back that I forgot that I’m still allowed to want more. Why wouldn’t I be? I think what happened is that when my heart failed I was so shaken by it that I stopped trusting in my future. I stopped believing I would be anything but uncomfortable. I even secretly believed I would never be comfortable , happy or get anything I wanted ever again. Even though I don’t show it, deep down, I believe I will just have to adapt and get by forever. I always talk about hope, but what is hope without believing the things I hope for could actually become a reality? What’s wrong with believing I can have the things I want?

I’m not quite sure how I accomplished this, but I’m currently the happiest I’ve ever been. Or rather, the most comfortable. I’m surrounded by great people, I’m healthy, I have a decent job, and things are going pretty great. I definitely wished for this. It came true. And now I’m going to wish for and work towards more. Because why not?


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