Author note: This was written on 01/03/2019
Looking out of this tiny airplane window, I can see heaven. In this moment, it’s hard to imagine how much has happened in just a year. Around the holidays, I started writing a post detailing every single moment of the past year. It was getting so lengthy and honestly, it felt boxy to write — as if I were knee deep into my memoirs or diary. It just didn’t sound like me.So I decided to start over and just make it simple. At the beginning of 2018, I thought that I had gone through the hardest year ever. I had ended a long term relationship early in 2017 and I spent a lot of that year struggling to figure out who I was after seven and a half years. I felt like it had been the most formidable year of my life and, in a way, it was. I had wrapped my identity in someone else for so long that I couldn’t tell you what my life was without him. It was ridiculous.As usual, I started 2018 with a list. Goals that I wanted to accomplish or at least work towards. Some were small:
- Read more (I started the year with a modest goal of 12 books for the year and after I got sick, I pushed the goal to 52)
- Spend more time with my cousins
- Spend more time with my grandparents
- Try dating
- Start running more
Others were more ambitious:
- Get an apartment
- Bike to work (from my apartment — not from NJ)
- Update my passport
- Spend my birthday in Barcelona
At this time last year, I was sitting in a Perkins with my dad telling him that I wanted to start looking for a new apartment but I would move out around March. I started looking shortly after that and I ended up moving in the middle of January. After that I traveled for work, I found new places to fall in love with NYC, I started dating. I was so tired all the time but it felt worth it. I was in the most amazing place in the world and I was working hard. The apartment was beautiful and I loved the freedom of finally being on my own. I felt proud to be getting out there. I interviewed for another job and I got an offer. But at the same time, my apartment was becoming more dangerous to live in. I figured it was a scam and so, shortly after that, I was released from my lease and I moved back home. I felt defeated. I turned down the job offer. But I kept pushing myself.
Throughout all of that, I was also fighting through the early stages of my diagnosis. In the last few months of 2017, I had what my doctor and I believed was the first signs — I had flu like symptoms but despite my urging for blood tests, I was misdiagnosed with mono and dismissed. By January my gums began bleeding profusely and incessantly for 3 weeks. Around the time I was losing my apartment and frantically trying to find another, I got sick again. This time it was worse. And then in April, it all snowballed and, well you know what happens after that.In a way I did get to check off a lot more on my list than I probably thought I would at the beginning of 2018 and, although I didn’t get to spend my birthday in Barcelona, I’m grateful that I made it to my birthday at all. In this past year, I got an apartment, got out of an apartment, started dating, read more (35 books!), took time to take care of myself, started seeing a therapist, and spent time with my family. More recently, in the last month, I started a new job and on the last day of the year I bought a Jeep Cherokee (name suggestions welcome!).
And now I’m on a plane to Florida for work and I feel like I’m slowly getting back to some of the things that I had missed most while I was on disability.I look to 2019 with fresher eyes, my rose colored glasses steady on my face, I am ready to make a new list. There are so many things I want to do and sitting here, with my eyes set to the heavens, I know that no matter what happens, I will be happy. Nothing can shake me anymore. I cannot be afraid of my ambitions and I cannot hold myself from improving my life in every facet.
My head may be in the clouds right now, but I have looked at Death and I have known him — I have known God.
I am overwhelmed with emotion and I am grateful that I am not sitting immediately next to anyone because now I can appreciate how fucking beautiful everything in this life is.
Looking out of this tiny airplane window, I can see heaven. In this moment, it’s hard to imagine how much is yet to come.