Four years? FOUR YEARS?!
It feels like a lifetime ago that I started writing this blog. I mean, really. I can’t wrap my head around it beginning only four years ago, during my last semester of undergrad. (College also feels lightyears away.)
I just could never have imagined what writing my story, writing this blog, would bring to my life. How it would restore, inspire, and invigorate my entire experience with both writing and living with chronic illness. Every comment, every email, message, connection that has been born from it, astounds me. And it never stops astounding me. Just today, I was sitting in my car when my cellphone buzzed. My blood sugar was in the upper 300s a lot today, and a lot the past few days, and it was really getting me down. I’d thought maybe my Humalog was bad, so I opened a new one. No change. I thought maybe my Lantus was bad, then, so I opened a new one. Nope. So I began to think, maybe it is just that my body is bad. Really bad. Bad body, broken body. You know, how the mind goes sometimes.
The buzz was an email on my Coffee & Insulin account, from someone who follows this blog. Just writing to say thank you, and that they could relate.
Those emails never cease to amaze me. They lighten every heavy thing. So, no really, thank you.
My life four years ago, at 22, is not like my life now, at 26.
Hard things happen. Movement happens. Growth happens.
At 22, I was living in Richmond, Virginia, wrapping up a 5 year undergrad degree in Communications. I was prepping go live in Amsterdam for a year, and anything and everything felt possible. I’d been living with diabetes for 8 years, and attended my first diabetes conference after receiving a scholarship I’d applied for on a whim. I drank a lot of red wine and wrote a lot of poetry. I was heart-burstingly giddy about post-grad life at 22, and all the things I could be and do and see.
At 26, I am living in Asheville, North Carolina. I’m halfway through a post-graduate certificate in Narrative Medicine, and beginning a 6-month herbal medicine program in just a few weeks. I’ve got my eye on Master’s programs, but am having a hard time nailing down the details, because I want to learn All of the Things. Luckily, I have time. I’ve had diabetes for 12 years, and have confronted a lot a lot a lot of frustration and fear in the past few years. A lot of it has to do with the American healthcare system. I’ve had to do a lot of growing up, and a lot of taking responsibility for my life. I had to learn to stay in the same city for a while, and build a belonging inside myself that I could carry with me if I chose again to leave. Which I did, both. A year and a half ago, I stopped drinking alcohol. I still write a lot, all the time, and the piles of books I’m reading and waiting to read are covering every inch of my bedroom. A few months ago, I adopted a very mischievous and adorable cat who I adore. Her name is Prairie.
Most importantly, anything and everything still feels possible. More so, actually, than it did at 22, because for a while in the past few years, nothing felt possible at all, and it was only by walking (trudging, crawling, occasionally storming) through that, that the wild and beckoning doors swung open. Anything could happen, and will. I look forward to it. Life feels electric, and it is the contrast of darkness that makes it glow. My list of things I want to do and be and see is only growing, but so is the list of things I am doing and being and seeing.
This space holds four years of life and truth and so, so, so much gratitude.
I’ve taken a pretty extended break here in the past year or so (see above: life has been really life-y) but my brain has been buzzing with stories to tell, or collaborations to invite, as of late.
More soon, and one more time: thank you.