If the test results came back positive, I don’t think I would live through it.
If you’ve been along on my journey these past three years, you’ll know how I experienced some of the most amazing things and met incredible people but you might have also seen how I grappled with many unexpected and unexplainable health challenges.
Today, I questioned everything. My whole existence, my purpose, and what the meaning of my life was. Was I just a puppet to fate? Was I meant to be condemned to a life of physical and emotional suffering? I didn’t know. As I was asked to change into a gown and wait on a hospital bed, the previous six months work towards recovery was swiped away within a few minutes.
I hate to delve too much into what I went through but it was really hard. There were so many times when I just wanted to close my eyes and never wake up because the pain was unbearable. They had maxed out many times on my pain medications from fentanyl, morphine, hydromorphol, T3, you name it, I was on it. And the hardest part was that I knew I wasn’t the only one suffering, the people around me were inevitably affected by it. I’ll be truly honest, during those minutes I wish I would just have disappeared because I was such a burden to those around me. What really got me through it was the never failing support of family and friends but also just that faith that things would work out and that I would have an opportunity to chase my dreams again.
No joke, September 20th, 2017 was the day that I had finally healed in the sense of emotionally letting things go to be able to find purpose and meaning in my life. This past summer was a big learning experience for me. I grew so much and learned so many life lessons. But through it all even though I was happy and moved on, I hadn’t found my spark again. I was doing the things I knew I should because the old Cecilia would have wanted me to but I didn’t feel the conviction to do the work I was doing. It was only until a few days ago when I found my spark and began working towards my purpose again: empowering others. During the past week, I outlined plans for this website, my book, and my NGO… I had things worked out and ready to go…But today the smallest sensation in my lung threw everything out the window. I was so paranoid and anxious I couldn’t finish my classes. I had to cancel all my meetings and plans and then plop myself in the waiting room of the ER. Let me be honest, if you complain about the wait in the hospital you’re lucky. If you don’t to have wait, that’s when shit goes down. If I could back to the days when I would wait hours in the ER, I would trade it in a heartbeat because when they whisk you right in past the whole crowded room into the trauma room, get ready for some excruciating pain. Anyhow, it’s hard not to compare my life with others. I think about morally how I try to treat everyone with love and respect, and then I think about how hard I try to be healthy. It’s like why? Why me? What did I ever do to you life?
So the main point of all this rambling (at this point I would have failed if this was an essay) is seriously ask yourself what are you doing in your life? I asked myself today because as I was reflecting on my life because I thought I could die, I realized how much time I spent thinking about the most meaningless crap. The crap was: OMG if I did this, people would judge me! Or what do people think of me when I do this? Or why do these people not like me, what did I do wrong? ETC ETC ETC I’m not downplaying my experiences of being bullied, but what the hell was I thinking? When I could have been going out in my life doing the things I love and caring about the people who matter, I was screwing myself over for caring what people thought about me. I wasted so much time and energy trying to bend my life to fit others and these were people who didn’t give a crap. Okay. Like honestly they did not. Are you living your life bound by the fears of judgement? Are you acting a certain way to please others? Are you buying things you don’t need to impress people you don’t know? OK I know you get the point. It’s hard and i know it. I lived with this problem for the past 19 years of my life and from this day on, never again. When you realize that you might not have much time, you’ll begin to wonder how you spent most of your time thinking. If you’re having trouble with living your life to fit others’ expectations, learn from my mistakes. Last year on Christmas, I had my fourth and then fifth lung collapse. When I got back home, you know why I was crying? I wasn’t crying for myself, I was crying because I knew people would judge me and ask me why I wasn’t in school. I was scared of being perceived as a failure. And you know what it’s true. People do judge me and there’s many that treat me differently or aren’t my friends anymore. While I still respect them, I don’t care about what they think anymore. Because New York taught me that there’s so much possibility out there. Don’t waste your time in fear of others when there are so many other people who will be ready to support you wholeheartedly.
So moving on the second point, are you doing what you love or are you doing things to please people? If you’re reading this you’re probably a young person. I’m sorry but you’re not invincible just because you’re young. You might think you have your life ahead of you (which is arguably true) but don’t forget that life is fragile. Literally. Life changes within fractions of a second. I agree with YOLO but remember that your actions always have consequences.
Bringing this together is that don’t look for other people’s approval, just do you! And I mean seriously do what makes you happy and what brings joy into your life. Today, I regretted so much of the things I did because I wanted to please people or not hurt their feelings or not have them judge me. But there’s saying “when you stop chasing the unimportant things, you’ll give the right things an opportunity to catch you.” And this goes for people as well. For the longest time, I tried to be friends with everybody. I would agonize over things I might have done wrong, apologized when I didn’t do anything wrong, and always tried to be the bigger person but it was so exhausting. To be blunt, who cares if they don’t like me anymore or the things I do. You do not want to be in a position where you’re looking back at your life and realize heck I spent most of it living for others.
If you’ve read this far, I’m guessing you really like me and I appreciate that a lot <3 I can’t even begin to fathom how much support my friends have given me through this time, so thank you <3 I am in the process of editing my book and I hope to be able to share it with all of you in the upcoming year!
*Shoutouts Clara, thank you for always being there no matter what time of day. I know that we’re so many miles away but even though this past year has been especially rough, I’m glad I met you through it. Noubahar, thank you for helping me find my self confidence. I can now accept who I am and look in the mirror without having negative thoughts about myself.