Thursday, April 26, 2012

Snap Back to Reality – Oh there goes Gravity

As this week comes to a closing, I have found my Facebook newsfeed clogged with status updates from friends and classmates expressing their joy and excitement that they have completed their undergraduate degrees. I have faithfully “liked” each status update as it has appeared and I am truly proud of all my graduating peers.

Yet, I can’t seem to stop thinking about how bittersweet it is.

What stands between me and my degree is 120 hours. That’s nothing right? Well right now it seems like a lot, and while I sat grunting over the idea of spending 120 hours in a studio, I stumbled upon this statistic,

“The Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of Canada found that 69 per cent of people who had IBD when they were young were delayed in completing their post-secondary education due to their disease”

Huh? What do you know, I’m a statistic. Don’t you love it when that happens? When you can see yourself numerically represented in research – it’s a strange feeling. A feeling that untimely snapped me back into reality.

What does this reality check entail? Well I’m glad you asked. At the end of the day I, like a great number of young IBD-ers, will have taken a slightly longer route to get to the place that I want to go. Some may see this as failure and others might see it as weakness; but what I think we often fail to see, as chronically ill youth, is that this longer route has taught us more than any textbook or lecture could have ever done.

It has taught us about ourselves and the world around us. It’s shown us that we are tough and can deal with life when it throws us curveballs and it has given us a wider lens to look at life through. It has taught us that it is difficult to lose control, but in return we have learned how to regain our footing once we stumble. It has taught us not to stress over the little things, but rather to appreciate what we have instead. And it has taught us that being vulnerable does not mean you’re weak, it means you’re strong.

But let’s be straight - I think we can all agree that the main thing it has taught us is to truly appreciate three ply toilet paper just a smidgen more than we did before. Yes?
So as you finish your projects, and write your exams, or maybe spend some time in a studio like me – try not to focus on the longer route you have taken, try and focus on what this longer route has given you in return. I know that’s what I’ll be focusing on.


P.S. Did anybody catch my title, totally throwback to 2002 – Eminem style 

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