Friday, September 2, 2011

Three Years Running

Guy: “Welcome to the dorm!”
Me: “Thanks, it’s my third year in the same room.”
Guy: “Oh, well, welcome back then!”

On the monstrosity that is my university’s campus, I have inhabited the same little room for the past couple of years and will be living within those four walls again. After all, why mess with a good thing (aka a single room with a private bathroom - thank you intestine disease!)? After being there in that dorm for so long, I notice the small things, the new carpet in the hallway, the new lighting, and yet each year, I am both overwhelmed and comforted by the empty room.

Above everything else, it’s an empty room waiting to be filled with my things and a whole new year of memories. But it’s also a reminder of my freshman year - like when I spent Hallowe’en weekend in the bathroom with my IBD - or my sophomore year - like when I had my first blockage and was face-deep in my toilet - and now my junior year. I know that I’ll have a million great memories, and I’m a little nervous about what medical ones I’ll have.

Sometimes I find that when you’re on the journey of school or just life in general, you go through the motions, morning becomes evening, seasons change, and before you know it, you’re a little older. When I think back to the last few years, I am unable to really believe what has happened to my body and me as a person. But I think that if I knew then what I know now, it would only be more daunting. Because, it was possible - but that’s not to say that it was easy.

To everyone returning to school - good luck moving in (I hope you are a better packer than I am!) and don’t forget that you can do it and can have an amazing year. Every year is another opportunity to get to know yourself better and learn a little more about the world. Yeah, it sounds cheesy, but it’s true. I used to think that every year got a little worse: grade 7 was my diagnosis, grade 8 was Prednisone, grade 9 was being hospitalized, and so on and so on. But I think the truth is that every year is different, for everyone, but especially for those of us with a chronic illness. It’s the roller coaster we didn’t ask to be on. That’s for sure. 

But nonetheless, it’s the one we’re on. It may be a scary ride with a thousand twists and turns, and if we’re lucky, we can enjoy the view from time to time while we’re on the way to where we’re going.


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