As many people with chronic disorders, I spent most of my life focusing on how to feel better, just trying to lead a somewhat normal life. I did not have much extra time to explore my interests in depth the way most people do. During sports, I was always focused on monitoring my exertion level. During biology class, I was trying to digest the material as quickly as possible and finish all the paperwork, in case I need to miss school due to illness. I did everything I could just to be able to do the things in the first place, and could never really take the time to digest what I was doing. As I work my way through my adult years, I often find myself in a state of confusion. I often feel like I am not living out my purpose, or what I was meant to do, but rather just going through the motions. It is ever-present in my life-career, interests, friendships, etc. Recently, I am trying to become more conscientious of my feelings toward things and allow myself the time to seek out new opportunities without putting too much pressure on myself to find an answer. Let me tell you, as a results-based person, that can be extremely difficult.
However, one thing I have learned in this past year, in my transition from college to the “real world” is despite what I do, I know that I can do whatever I need to do. I may not know if I want to be a doctor or an astronaut or a teacher (these are exaggerations of course), but I do have the confidence that whatever paths (and I use the plural here purposefully because it will probably be many!) I pursue, I will prosper. VLCAD, unlike any other preparation, has given me a unique ability to, as some say, “fake it until you make it,” or what I would just call adapt to sometimes very odd and uncomfortable situations. Whatever the world has in store for me, and I may not like it, I may in fact hate it and be angry or sad or confused by it, I will face it. I will face it head on.
I will face it for the simple fact that it is my life. My life. My responsibility, and what I slowly realize, my honor, to take part in. Hope is an amazing tool. It makes the task seem less daunting. But the true driver is will. Just like those personality tests that tell you where you get your energy from determines if you are an introvert or an extrovert, I think of will similarly. We all have a will, even if it is buried deep down inside, but we each bring it out in our own way, in our own time. As we all know, our will can often get beaten down. Sometimes, we often feel like we just want to curl up in a ball and give up. But if we know where our will stems from, we can find our way back to it.
My will has always come from other people. Now some may say, “well that is silly, how can will, which is supposed to be internal, come from the outside?” My answer: When I get to that point, which we all do sometimes of just wanting to throw in the towel, I remember other people and the impact I can have on them. On my bad days, obviously I often think of my closest relations of family and friends, but for me sometimes it can even be strangers. Sometimes, particularly strangers. I think “what can I do or will I do to help that person?” I have a will to live so that I can personally be here to help make the world around me a better place. I am not naïve to the fact that I may never solve some large-scale social problems, but even if it a smile or a laugh from a person who was previously having a really bad day, to me, that is a success. And what is life really if it not just counting all our small successes? #vlcadprobs