I find it hard to know where or how to begin. But I do know that it has become clear that during the times when we feel we have nothing to say, we really have the most to be say, or need the most to be heard. I’m sorry I have disappeared for so long, but mostly I am sorry to myself. I have done such a diservice to myself by not writing and by keeping it all in.
It is all to easy to feel as though we are alone. As though we are the only person in the world feeling the way we are, going through the things we are going through. But nothing is more untrue. How self centred am I to think I’m the only 22 year old who has no clue what she wants to do. Who’s scared she’ll never find love again. Who struggles with her body on a daily basis.
The one year anniversary of when I got sick is coming up and truthfully I’m not sure how I feel about it. The last few months have changed my outlook on life drastically. I went from believing Lupus was behind me, from thinking I could do anything, to feeling the everyday symptoms and to fearing another flare up, feeling as though getting sick again was just something inevitable. I don’t want to live like that anymore.
Something happens when we become busy. When we become less mindful. When we become more worried. We stop living.
I had mentioned in a previous blog post one of my delivery customers Rose, who went back to school into her 80s and completed her degree. I recently learned that after finishing her studies, she wrote a novel and when no publishers would pick it up she went on to self publish it. She gave me a signed copy.
We spend so much time during these periods of directionless transition in our lives mourning the past. Thinking of the times that are behind us, feeling as though it is all over and that it is too late. It isn’t too late. I need to tell myself that. I need to believe that.
There is no rule book that says you have to live your life to a certain algorithm. You can’t help it if you upset people or let yourself down along the way. Life will throw you things you never dreamed you’d have to deal with. It will push you until your breaking point. And I guess that what I am trying to say in this blog post is that I am there. And that that is ok.
I used to be a firm believer in having it all together. And, well, if you didn’t have it all together, then you better make it seem like you did. Some of my Mary Kate and Ashley fans out there will remember the much anticipated, yet undoubtedly disappointment premiere of In a New York Minute, in which Ashley’s character is attached to her planner. After seeing the movie I forced my mom to go to Staples and to buy me a similar planner portfolio in which I attempted to re-create to a tee the one from the movie. Very shortly into my new organized lifestyle I realised that there isnt all that much for an eleven year old to plan really. As it would turn out there isn’t much more for a 22 year old to plan either.
The reality is that I am pretty damn far from having my shit together at the moment. My gym membership that I have yet to activate is currently taking up new (and better?) use as my book mark. I sometimes don’t opt for soymilk when I go to Starbucks because I can’t be bothered to pay the extra 60 cents and my ice cream addiction keeps me from admitting to myself that I have a teeny aversion to dairy. And the most exciting part of my week was successfully filling my urine sample cup after a very stressful and painfully self-aware 15 minutes in the lab bathroom.
I have found it hard to write lately because truthfully, I am now aware that I have an audience, and it is now hard to write as freely and as honestly as I have in the past. Its something that I’m working on. I also struggle with wanting to turn this blog into a lifestyle space where I give you 20 tips to get over your ex and my top five ways to look less tired at work after a night of drinking. I guess I’m just worried about this blog becoming a space for which to share my job hunt, future soul-searcing woes… but, well, thats what life feels like right now, and that is how I’m feeling. And for that I think it is worth sharing.
Maybe having it all together isn’t what it seems. And maybe those people we envy so much aren’t as seemingly peaceful as they seem. Maybe even more controversial: they envy us back.
I’m very far from having it all figured out, just like I know I am pretty far from feeling 100% again, but I’m getting there. Happy one year to Lupus and Happy one year to this blog. You have both changed me drastically and for that I thank you.
Fast forward two weeks or so….
I wrote the above post when I was in a low point – with my body, my self-esteem and my personal relationships. I had just declined my offer to a post graduate program in public relations and was feeling incredibly lost as to what the next step was, scared that I was going to get stuck where I was and was never really going to get where I wanted to go.
As I was editing the post, I received an email from the CEO of a company I had recently applied to asking me to come in for an interview. It was as though fate wouldn’t let me move on with my life until I had fully committed to not going back to school, but to starting my career. ( Yes, I believer in that sort of shit.) After an eventful interview that involved me interrupting a birthday party and being offered champagne, I was asked to send in some writing samples; some of which I took from this very blog. They liked my writing and despite me having no formal PR background, they are taking a chance on me. And this brings me to this very moment where I am currently researching one of those alarm clocks that simulates the sun rising to wake me up for the ungodly hour I am soon to begin my days. My shopping problem persists…
A few days ago I had a specialist appointment that I could only describe as having gone fabulously. I am excited to announce that I am officially off of the devil-drug they call Prednisone and that my injections dose has been reduced too! Things look like they are on the mend and despite my mom announcing that I need to find a boyfriend when the doctor asked me if I was thinking about having kids, I would say the entire visit was rather uneventful and unsurprising – in a good way.
I decided to include my original post because I think its important to see how quickly things can change. When I wrote that I was miserable. I had turned on myself and was struggling to stay positive and hopeful and to show gratitude. Sometimes when we are in the thick of it a way out or the possibility of good change seems impossible. I think more than anything else we need to be told “ you are not alone, and this will not last.”
One year ago I couldn’t shower or go up stairs on my own. I was mourning the end of friendships and relationships. I was insecure and scared as a writer. I’m sad to admit that I let that fear and insecurity stop me from writing altogether there for a while. And that it took complete strangers with no connection to me telling me that they found my writing impressive to give me the confidence to keep going with Being Jess.
I am still terrified, don’t be fooled. And I am anticipating a sleepless night that involves me colourfully fabricating all of the possible things that could go wrong on my first day tomorrow. But for the first time in a long time I feel somewhat free and alive. And I am excited about a lifetime of scary new firsts and nervous fresh starts. Comfort isn’t all its cracked up to be, I’ve discovered. We get stuck, we get bored, we stop growing as people and as partners. Life is good right now. Easy. Comfortable. Nice. But where is the fun in that?
Happy one year. May the next year on this blog be just as brilliantly terrifying and as chaotically beautiful as this one.