When pigs fly… Once in a blue moon … A cold day in hell… When the sun rises in the west and sets in the east…Not once in a month of Sundays
These phrases as a whole are called idioms of improbability… used to describe something extremely rare, nearly impossible, highly unlikely.
Like several of the events in my life.
I never had a broken bone, stitches or even a cavity, until I turned 25. Growing up I’d had some wild child tendencies and subsequent adventures, but otherwise, had a fairly standard upbringing and had no reason to believe that I wouldn’t live a perfectly normal life. I had hopes of advancing my marketing career, getting married, having babies and living happily ever after… (sigh), silly girl.
Over the following 10 years, my body would wage a vicious attack on itself through two entirely separate, extremely rare, life-threatening and, UNRELATED auto-immune diseases. My mind, body and soul would be put through the ringer as I fought to stay in control of the body that had betrayed me. Many times, I would pick up the pieces after watching my life shatter around me, but it would never be the same. I would never be the same.
So, you could say a large part of my life has been a series of unfortunate events. You could say that and you wouldn’t be wrong, and yet… The words are hollow, they lack sincerity, intensity, importance. They are not worthy of such remarkable, life-altering experiences. Because I believe that without any or all of these events, I wouldn’t be who I am…and I wouldn’t have such a story to share.
I am learning to not only accept, but actually embrace, the adversity of my life’s journey, which is both challenging and liberating. This acceptance has shifted my focus beyond merely surviving, to surviving with a purpose. I wanted, no, NEEDED something positive to come from all the bad.
In late 2014 I was given the opportunity to participate in a documentary on the Discovery Life Channel about rare and difficult medical diagnoses. It would require opening some old wounds and sharing some deeply personal experiences, but there was really no debate about whether I wanted to be a part of it or not. This was exactly what I needed to continue moving forward. The response after the show aired was both overwhelming and humbling. I felt vindicated in being able to promote awareness and to comfort others going through similar situations; like the good side had finally won. It made me feel like a part of something bigger than myself.
I want to share that feeling and the experiences that led to it. I’m still recovering in ways, I’m still learning who I am after the dust has settled. And not unlike the furniture I “rescue” from thrift stores and flea markets to restore in my spare time, I am, piece-by-piece, rebuilding the various aspects of my life. Similarly, some pieces will never be the same, never restored to their natural state, never thought of the same way. But I think that’s okay, because some of those pieces will be transformed into something better. Weathered by time and experience, they will not be perfect, but they will surpass their former state and become MORE.
So, I hope these random excerpts from my crazy life might provide a brief respite from your own trials and tribulations. I warn you that whether you’re familiar with fragments of my story or just along for the ride, there will be moments that may shock you, may move you to tears, may make you laugh out loud– and, honestly, I sincerely hope so! Regardless, I hope you’ll recognize a kindred spirit and perhaps find inspiration to embrace your own life journey, no matter where it takes you.