As another year draws to a close, I would first like to take the opportunity to admit that my parents were right in saying the years pass by incredibly quickly as you get older and secondly that this year has really taught me the true meaning of the phrase ‘time waits for no man’. I suppose there is an element of beauty in the transience of time. After all, there is nothing we can actually do about it. The easiest and possibly best method for us all to adhere to is simply learning to roll with it and accept it for what it is, a natural process. The true essence of this beauty lies in what we actually do with our time. Life is precious and it has taken me this long to figure that out. Although life can sometimes appear stagnant or remain “temporarily” on hold (I am all too familiar with that) it can and does continue to go on around us. The tragedy lies in letting it pass us by.
I am all too familiar with the many obstacles life can and does throw at you – even on a daily basis! I am also aware that everybody is fighting their own personal battle each and every day. Some people like to express it, others like to keep it close to their hearts. I do not believe that any single person gets through life scot-free. The happiest people out there are the ones who have learnt to adapt to their own personal set of circumstances whilst also making the most out of life. Is it easy to live or at least try to live with varying degrees of baggage/afflictions holding you down? No, it is not, it is bloody hard but those challenges and experiences make life worth living. You might not realise it but we all have that sheer hope, determination and strength inside of us. Life is tough but what would be the point in experiencing it if it were easy?
I have learnt to accept my own personal set of circumstances. By all means I am not being overly complacent with it but merely noting that life has changed for me. Change is not always a bad thing. Now it is my time to learn to adapt to my new life whilst also incorporating my own personal set of hopes and dreams into the mix. Yes I can still have hopes and dreams. My energy may be limited but I can still achieve goals and make a difference in this world. I may be a little wonky but I am still valuable and have a powerful voice. A voice that I am determined to use. I still have meaning and purpose but this time with the added benefit of life skills that the past few years have invariably taught me. Illness puts everything in perspective. It teaches you the immense value of good health, the strength of your personal relationships, the importance of living in the moment and most importantly, the sheer endurance you possess inside.
Whilst I try not to focus too much on the past, I do think it is important to reflect on the year that has passed. Yes, I am still here. I am still immunocompromised whilst also remaining somewhat a medical conundrum but the important thing is I am still here fighting on. I will not let this defeat me. I have been through too much at this stage to ever feel the need to give up. Life is challenging but I am determined to make the most of it. Not only for myself and my loved ones but for the people who unfortunately can not. Yes, my illness is chronic and limiting but it is not terminal and that is something I am immensely grateful for. I know there are many warriors out there fighting terminal illness that would love to have the luxury of having a chronic illness over their own diagnosis. There are people who’s lives are more challenging than mine but still remain positive and hopeful. They do not give up easily and still see the beauty that exists all around us. These people are the true superhero’s and whom I take inspiration from.
So what, you may ask is the point of this post? This time of the year is not always pleasant for some people. In some ways the end of the year resembles a death. The animals hibernate or travel to warmer climates, the vegetation is reduced to nothing but a few bare twigs and darkness creeps in. Personally, I am not a fan of winter but I acknowledge its importance in the circle of life. Winter has to occur in order to give rise to spring. Spring is a time for new life, life that is ready to blossom and bloom. This cycle has existed long before we were ever here and will remain long after we depart. My message to you as we enter a new year is to take stock of your life. Be grateful for the little things, things we can and do take for granted. Instead of setting unrealistic “New Years resolutions” simply learn to check in with yourself regularly to see how you are really feeling both physically and psychologically. Make time for yourself. Listen to your body and most importantly listen to your gut instinct. I am a true believer in doing what is right for you. If you are struggling either physically or psychologically know that you are not alone and are entitled to receive support to make sense of it all. You do not have to suffer in silence, nobody should. Your life is valid and appreciated and you are entitled to be happy. I know it may not feel like it at the moment or appear somewhat unachievable but you will experience happiness again. Trust me when I say it is very much achievable. The first step is believing in yourself.
Wishing you all a very happy, healthy and prosperous new year!