One year ago today . . .

I wrote this last year while I was hospitalized in Chisinau. These words still hold true, and I wanted to share them with everyone.

Three years ago getting out of college, I told myself it doesn’t matter so much what happens to me in life but how I deal with it. Laying in a foreign hospital bed for the fourth day now, I’m truly being tested on that idea. In the end, all we can control is our reaction to the curve balls. We can choose to swing, or we can choose to stay still. Either way, that ball is coming so fast we have to make a decision. So, I choose to swing. I don’t know what’s next or if I’ll even hit the ball, but if I do I’m running as fast as I can to home run. Life is full of ups and downs but we have to keep going forward. When life gives us lemons, we need to do our best to make that dank lemonade people always talk about making. We need to stay true to ourselves.

I still don’t know exactly why I’m so sick, and perhaps I’ll never know, but I’m getting much better, and when I get out of here I’ll be healed not only physically but spiritually, because sometimes life has to knock you to rock bottom so that you can find the strength within yourself to be resilient and start from zero again. I’m stubborn and I’m not giving up on this adventure in the Peace Corps, hospitalized or not. I have too much work to finish to stop now. I’m going to get better and make the best of this, and when I come home next year from my full service, I hope I look back and say, damn girl. You did it. You made it, through all those difficulties, through everything thrown at you. You made it through it all. Because that’s what’s life’s about, learning to dance in the rain.

So, for anyone else out there struggling, you are not alone. And, I am not any better than you. My experiences do not make me better than you. I’ve simply been knocked down again and again. I refuse to stay down though, and so should you. So, let’s get up and keep going. Let no one tell you that you can’t, especially yourself. You may say, oh I can’t be like her, I’m not strong like she is. That is crap. Reach inside yourself and you’ll find that you are stronger than you ever imagined. Sometimes it takes heartbreak, illness, death. For me it took all three. But I’m not going to give up on my future because it’s all I have, and I’d rather push through and get stronger than give up and spend the rest of my life in the same place I’ve always been wondering what it could have been like if I had kept going. I believe in you because I believe in myself. We have to love ourselves first because we know the dirty parts of ourselves better than anyone and it’s hard to accept ourselves. When we make poor decisions or go the wrong way we can lie to others but we can’t to ourselves, and that’s the hardest part of getting stronger, is looking that face of ours in the mirror and saying, I forgive you. I love you. No one else can satisfy that inner need of self love and self forgiveness than ourselves.

I hope this rant leaves at least one person with a sense of hope and some leverage for a better day and a fuller life. God be with you all.

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