I have been reflecting on my life a lot lately. Trying to work out my place, what I want from this life, who i am… I’ve spent a lot of time swimming and on the sea, walking the path toward enlightenment, hoping to free myself from the burdens I place on my own shoulders.
I am in charge.
That was a big realisation, I can tell you. For years I have been letting my health rule my life. It’s a big deal, of course it is, but somehow along the way I have forgotten who I am. I am so much more than this sick woman.
The journey I am on to find that girl again has been wonderful. Paddle boarding has been incredible, I have become a part of a new community that accepts me as I am. A gaggle of laid back, open minded people, that genuinely seem to like me, the person. They don’t see the illness, tears and drama my life brings. It’s just me against the sea, sometimes alone, sometimes flanked by other warriors all fighting their own battles.
It’s bought about new connections, new conversations and I’m gradually finding me again. I love music, I am good at writing, teaching and learning. I’m funny. I’m smart. I’m a beautiful freak.
I am passionate about life again.
I’m still sick, I still have more pain than most could take, need rest and tlc. But on those bits of the day I am managing, I’m living again. Taking risks, going on adventures, pushing my boundaries to their limits. It’s an incredible privalage to live where I live, and I’m learning to be more grateful for the little things in life.
The feel of the salt water hitting your face as you dive under.
The feel of the wind on your skin and the gentle sound of lapping water on your board.
The sheer bliss of the sunshine on your face when you feel like you are the only person in the world.
I feel liberated and alive. For too long I’ve felt guilty, like I should be hiding away unseen. How dare I be happy and dependent? How dare I have a smile and live a wonderful life without working for it?
I don’t go to fancy restaurants. I don’t buy fancy things.
I have beautiful experiences, with unique and amazing people, in one of the most beautiful parts of the world.
Would I choose another life? If someone was to say they would take away everything and leave me whole again, would I make a deal with the devil?
You know I don’t think I would.
My health is part of me, it is what makes me a warrior. I am strong, and growing more so by the day. I have met so many wonderful people I would never have known had I not been sick.
I have a life full of love, respect and beauty. Can you really ask for more than that?
All I really have to do is find my place. That’s it, and I think I’ve found it. I give as much as I take from life, I live by the example I want to set my children. Life is short, be fierce. Embrace the oddities and challenges. Grab every opportunity with both hands and let your feet off the ground sometimes. It’s all one long adventure, and the day I stop seeing that, is that day one of you needs to sit me down and force me to read my own words.
My feelings of optimism are bolstered by the seismic shift in the last few weeks politically. People are uniting, finally. I myself have joined labour to have a say in the direction of the opposition to this desperately sad state of affairs that is the UK right now. It’s exciting. Change is in the air for everyone, not just me. Let’s grab it. Let’s lead it as one terrifying unit, peacefully putting the fragments of our society back together.
We must all be the change we want to see. I have been on such an incredible journey in the last few months where I have hit the bottom of the pit and shattered into a million pieces, but here I am telling you, it’s possible to find a life worth living amongst the fragments.
Be brave. Fight for what you believe in. A whole new unseen world will open up to you, and you will become we.
We are strong. We are fierce. We are united.
‘They’ should be very afraid…….