"There are these two young fish swimming along and they happen to meet an older fish swimming the other way, who nods at them and says 'Morning, boys. How's the water?' And the two young fish swim on for a bit, and then eventually one of them looks over at the other and goes, "'What the hell is water?'"
I'm constantly being prodded with the question, "So what have you been doing with yourself?". I hate this question. For the past couple of months I've pretty much been held hostage to my illness. On the exterior, I do not appear to be sick, and I'll be the first to admit I'm far from the lowest of the low. But still, many of my goals this past year have been put on hold because of my health. It's frustrating because just when I am on the verge of complacence...BAM...I'm hit.
During my three month internship, I experienced a level of health and overall well being I could not have not imagined. I learned a lot and came to many realizations about some of my goals. Like most things I find important, I kept these things close. My mentality of internalizing my goals has been justified throughout the years as I have experienced much disappointment at the hands of illness. It's easier to internalize. I don't have to explain to people later why it is I couldn't get that job I wanted or canceled an engagement I'd been looking forward to for months.
Case in point: I applied for a job back in June. I told a few close friends about it. I got through the first testing phase and subsequent interview phase. I had to get in ridiculous shape for the job. And I did, despite my setback in June when I was hospitalized for a week. But by the time the next phase of the interview process rolled around, I was too damn sick to even go to travel the two hours to where I needed to be, let alone participate in the process. A couple weeks later when someone asked me how everything turned out, it took every ounce of strength to not break down right there.
And then there's the half-marathon, which I originally created this blog for. When I decided to do it, I was running 6-8 miles about 5 days a week. Now, I'm probably going to have to walk it. To me it's another defeat and although I should be proud of what I'm doing, it's that very pride that's getting in the way. I can't just be happy with doing something amazing for a charity that means so much to me. Instead I'm thinking about the fact that I'm not doing it on my OWN terms (running) but now I have to walk.
The other day someone I'm not particularly close with said to me, "I can't imagine what you go through every day." I replied, simply, "Thank you." End of conversation. And you know what, that made my night. Most of the time it's the simplest gesture of compassion that makes me feel not so alone in this.
This all sounds like a pity party and I hate pity parties. I'm conscious of the fact that I've been in the midst of a wild one for the past couple of months. I know life is too damn short to be feeling sorry for yourself all the time. This is something I need to work on.
You'd think after seven years it would get easier. Looking back, I can't definitively say that it has or hasn't. But I know for sure that from this moment on, it will.