Facing My Own Mortality Like a Boss

Yuriko/ February 28, 2019/ Health

When you’re a little kid, even 30 years of age seems like a lifetime away. You experiment with anything and everything, unless your parents were very paranoid protective (like mine were). You jumped off the highest peaks and weren’t afraid of getting hurt. Your bumps and bruises were battle scars that you proudly displayed. But at that age, your body was very resilient and you bounced back fast.

Then, you aged. Suddenly, you’re in your forties and you can’t even remember your thirties, let alone your twenties. The only memories are vague images of maybe a place or experience. I, for one, can’t remember my twenties and I don’t think I’m really missing anything. That’s a shame, though, because I don’t have lasting memories that I could keep forever. This was before Facebook and our annual reminders of what we did and said the previous years on a particular date.

I think I wasted my years. I am swimming in the bottomless pool of “should have, could have, would haves”. If only I had the clarity to make memories instead of buying things.. Things that I had eventually broken, lost, sold, or given away. Instead, I’m playing catch up.

Speed time to the present and I’m facing my age (nearly 48) and all of the health issues that come with it. Sure, if you’ve always been healthy (eating right and exercising.. etc.), you won’t have these issues. But I was lazy… I was foolish… I wasn’t paying attention. That is until your bones creak and it gets harder to get out of the car.

Then, I see an article about Selma Blair and her struggles with Multiple Sclerosis. I think to myself that I shouldn’t complain about how my joints hate me when she’s dealing with her whole body fighting her. But, why is it that it takes seeing a celebrity to come out and talk about an illness for the illness to be in the spotlight? MS has been around for ages and millions of people suffer from deal with it. I’m not saying it was nothing special for Selma Blair to come out and show the world that she’s dealing with her illness… It’s very special. But why is it so hard to discuss illness? And let’s not get started on invisible illnesses.

We all have a limited amount of time on this planet. I’ve spent half of my life already turning a blind eye to my own health issues because I didn’t want to accept them and be treated differently, I suppose. I didn’t want to be treated any less than a normal human being. But that was where I mistook my own fears for everyone else’s. Nobody looks at me differently because of my osteoarthritis or diabetes.

So, now, I have the chance to live life to the fullest as I possibly can… Or I can just sit here and moan about my painful joints and how I shouldn’t eat so much pasta. Being brave enough to continue your life when you’re dealing with an illness, no matter what it is, should make you proud. Remember, everyone is different and we all go through tough times. Nobody is perfect. And normal is a setting on the dryer.

I’ve also decided that if I ever get a terminal cancer diagnosis, I am going to go skydiving. Might as well go out with a bang (or splat, as it were.) You never know, I might be one of those that bounce.

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