Friday, May 13, 2011


Our entire lives, we are faced with odds. Unbeknownst and unannounced to us, every event in life comes attached with a probability, and we try to steer through, wanting to be one in a million.

And usually, for those of us who battle with our bodies, the odds are monumentally stacked against us. The decked is stacked, the dice are loaded, the lottery is rigged against us, it sometimes feels like we’re holding our breath waiting for the repercussions of the war we did not wage against ourselves. For a long time, it made me feel like the odd one out, because I was - every other 12 year old was able to sit in a classroom and not worry about their bowels, every other 12 year old was able to attend school instead of going to a hospital, every other 12 year old seemed to have an accessible future when mine seemed like it did not belong to me anymore.

But let me stop being metaphorical and philosophical, let me get to my simple, important point. The odds were that I was not going to finish this semester, well really, the odds were that I wasn’t going to be able to have a sophomore year. With four hospital stays and a bruised confidence in my health these past few months, the odds - and perhaps the best choice - was for me to go home, and try again next year. The odds were that every doctor and nurse who came in to my hospital room would offer the same well-meaning advice to call my parents and have them take me home. But I don’t do well with odds, because I refuse to be defined by probabilities that don’t account for determination and spirit. The odds were that I was not going to finish the semester, but as of yesterday at 3:45 PM, I did.

Before you project any heroic notions onto me, let me stop you and refuse them. I may have crossed the finish line, but it was only because of the people who helped pick me up, dust me off, and carry me forward. The odds are that I would never have so many generous, amazing, empathetic, and wonderfully good people in my life, and somehow I’m been honored with more than my share. And even though my words of thanks will never repay them properly for their support, encouragement, love, and friendship, the odds are that I’m never going to stop trying.

In statistics, a list of ‘exhaustive possibilities’ includes things like a coin landing on it’s side, things that never really happen, things that aren’t really accounted for, but still possible in some way. The odds may be sky-high against us, we may get beaten down and broken down by the challenges we suffer, but our dreams are possible, attainable, and waiting for us. The odds have made us who we are, have opened our lives to every kind of experience, have broken our hearts and stitched them back together. The odds are that we’ll never stop fighting, which makes the odds that we’ll succeed even greater.


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