French Word of the Day: Le futur (luh foo-tour)- the future
I wasn’t sure that I was going to write this one, but I thought it was a good one to note.
10 years ago today, I had just returned home after a stint in the ICU. At the time, I was sick and tired of being sick and tired. I had been in and out of doctors’ offices for the past 8 months, and now here on my 18th birthday I had evidence of my own mortality. I had been prepared to think I was going to live and be young forever for at LEAST 10 more birthdays.
For that last hospital visit, the nurses worked very hard to get me out for my birthday. (Nurses are seriously the best.) While I appreciated them, I was pretty bummed on my birthday. It was a Saturday and coincidentally also one of our high school dances. I didn’t end up going to the dance. My best friend Christine came over and hung out with me all night, but I was pretty bad company. I was sitting and thinking about all the things I hadn’t done yet: learned French, lived alone, been in (romantic) love, gone to college, or even graduated high school…
I began wondering if I would ever be healthy enough to be normal. Time seemed to have stopped and put everything on pause.
But then something happened. Time restarted. I began to feel better.
It was everything.
I knew I couldn’t spoil things this time, so I decided I was going to push myself. I finished all the course work I had missed and graduated high school. I went to college. I got a role in every single theatre production they had that year. I got a lead role the next year. I wrote a play and saw it performed. I went to Ireland on a research project. I traveled. I went to France completely alone and not knowing a word of French. I learned French. I fell in love. I graduated college in the top 10 of my class with honors and 2 majors. I learned guitar (well, 3 songs). I got my heart broken. I got an internship. I got another internship. I searched for a job. I got a job. I tried online dating. I stopped online dating. I begged for a job I wasn’t qualified for. I got it. I did well enough that I got another promotion after that. I fell in love again. I got invited to participate in several friends’ and my twin sister’s weddings. I got to see some of them become parents for the first time…
I remember thinking, “I made it!” when I was sitting at my college graduation, and I’m probably one of very few people who gets excited when I see a wrinkle or a grey hair.
There have been health scares in between those moments and I’ve been sick enough to need chemo, but nothing was ever as bad as that first time because I know now what I didn’t know then- that things get better.
It’s given me the courage to put myself out there, and for that, I’m grateful for lupus. Looking back on the last ten years, there’s very little I would change.
I look forward to the next ten.
Here’s to aging!