My family thought I should be a scientist or an engineer or “something that would actually make money and not waste time”. I understand their reasoning. I got a degree in psychology with my rebellious double major in women’s studies. I went onto a PhD program that I became too sick to finish.
I eventually worked in a stressful counseling job, but I had so many mysterious illnesses that I finally had to quit after I couldn’t get a bout of transverse myelitis to resolve and turned into even more strange things.
It’s been hard to see gifts in life lately. I lost my son for a completely unjust reason and now know what my son is being told. It’s completely heartbreaking. I will eventually muster the strength to fight. Right now, I’m resting and rejuvenating. My gift is that I don’t have to be a scientist or an engineer. I can just be me.
I’ve been pretty sick since the end of July. I’ve been pushing through with the help of IVIG and a couple medications to help handle symptoms and combat fatigue.
My last round of IVIG didn’t give me the huge boost I usually get. Perhaps I’ve been doing too much, or at least dreaming of doing too much, while really doing nothing except wanting to do things I can’t anymore.
Grieving my son takes energy. Setting boundaries with people takes energy. I often tell people who understand that, “I have less energy than money, so you know that’s hardly anything”. The reality is that grief and boundaries will eventually come full circle to make me a better person and to protect my least abundant resource, energy.
I realize it already has. I’m meeting new people who feel more genuine and authentic than I even knew existed in this world. My new forming community over the last 18 months doesn’t expect anything of me. They give to me just because. It doesn’t have to be an equal exchange, or often any exchange at all. Unconditional love??
I went on a hunt for new community when I realized many old friends and “chosen” family didn’t like the strong woman I had become who had a voice to say, “I will no longer be treated that way”. Somehow I wiped doormat off my forehead and put a beautiful one on my front porch, where it belongs.
I also know things are coming back around as I haven’t painted in 4 months. I was going back to those old thoughts of, “why bother? I’m not good enough”. When I took the expectation off myself that everyone has to love everything I did artistically or feared someone telling me “it’s terrible”, I could be creative.
When I take the expectation of “why bother? You’re not good enough” off myself, I can soar, even if I do require about 14 hours of sleep right now as my body is very sick. Luckily, I remembered my mind is clear and strong, and the ability to recognize the good amidst a ton of chaos returned, well at least for right now!