In 2015 I wrote about my love for the worst year of my life, and the amount of personal growth that year offered me. The universe completely humbled me and reminded me that I do not dictate it’s ultimate plan, but I can control how I handle what it throws at me. In 2016 I wrote about how as healthy as I felt (aside from the 2 weeks from hell in September) my emotional and mental health took a toll as the entire year was spent waiting for my medical drama to be over. My whole life was put on hold the past two years and I watched and cheered my friends on as they lived their best lives, doing all the things you’re supposed to do in your 20s, while I waited. And waited. And waited.
When I was put in the hospital for the first time, I was there for 2 weeks and forced to drop 3 courses, weeks away from my exams. And I remember crying to my Mom about how this 2 week stint pushed back my “plan” and just threw everything off. It was so frustrating because I had finally made a move to make a change and the universe said “forget it.” But I was so so wrong about what else it had in store for me….
After that initial 2 weeks I was hospitalized 6 more times in the matter of 2 years. A total of 4 times because I was sick, and 3 times because of surgeries. Talk about a plan being thrown off. I spent that 2 years thinking after each admission, I could get back on track with my life. I wouldn’t have to be bedridden (or toilet ridden) recovering, or relying on the financial and emotional support from my parents, take more time off work, worry about accidents or leaks, or being bald. It was just one thing after another that I thought had to happen before I could start living.
But it really wasn’t until February 2017, after my final surgery I started to look a head. No more surgeries, no more medications, no more ostomy, no more UC (although I will say it again and again, that a JPouch is NOT a cure ), no more leave of absences, no more debilitating illness (knock on wood). That’s when I started to make my move. Literally.
Slowly things just fell into place this year. I was potty trained. I had a new apartment. New city. New job. New friends. New car. New hair. New adventures. New opportunities. I said I was going to do all these things after my medical drama was over. And I did. And I’m proud.
Sometimes I find myself still struggling with how “behind” I am compared to my friends (who talk all things engagements, weddings, houses, husbands, in-laws, babies, and more babies). But then I look back at 2017, and what a whirlwind of a year it was and I’m reminded that it’s okay. It’s okay that I was robbed of 2 and a half years but I’m slowly making ground. Also, it’s okay because who really gives a fuck what everyone thinks your life is “supposed” to look like. (Mind you, I love hearing about all things mentioned above because my friends are drop dead gorg. brides and make hella cute babies).
I also look back at this year and realized that in January I never said, “By this date I’m going to buy a new car, “ or “in November I’m going to go to Amsterdam,” or “I’m going to work in Oakville.” Those things just happened. I opened my soul up to the idea of possibilities, and trusted that the universes owed me big time.
Each year I write about my own personal growth, (and hair growth) and how through all that adversity, I learned and persevered, and it’s made me more self aware and reflective. And that’s true to 2017 as well. But now that I’ve checked off so many boxes this year, I come into 2018 with such an open mind it’s terrifying. For the first time, I don’t know how UC, my baggage, my health or how any of the past 2 years will affect the New Year, yet somehow it’s all changed me and is a part of me now, so it will.
2017 was difficult for a lot of people I know. It was a hard, hard year for some of my favourite people and I hate to boast about how wonderful it was for me. Yet I am again humbled because some of my lowest points were also this year (queue panic attacks) but those moments are what make the good ones great. I also think that because my year was so fantastic, I was able to be there for those people better than I could have if I was ill. It was my turn to lend a hand, and I hope I did those people justice.
So for 2017, I wanted to give a big big thank you to the universe for coming back around and repaying me for the shitty times. 2018, I come with such gratitude and candidness that I’m so welcome to whatever comes. It’s exciting, and nerve wracking literally having no plans for the whole year (aside from all the weddings) but that leaves all the more room for opportunity. But please universe, whatever you do, be gentle on me.
Because I just unpacked my bags.