It has been almost seven months since I retired from my job.
Most people thought that by now I would be asking for my old job back. The decision for me to stop working and take care of my body was NOT a decision I took likely. It took me about two years of back and forth in my mind, asking myself “What should I do?”
The thing is I am thirty-one years old and I have lived my entire life overcoming surgeries and dealing with a body that ages faster than I do. It would be great if I was the average thirty-one year old, but I am not.
I’ve had both shoulders replaced, a right hip replacement and several other surgeries. But when doctors told me that they wouldn’t be able to fix my left shoulder after the replacement failed, that was the beginning of a wake up call to me. A wake up call that happened two years ago, but I was too stubborn to face it at that time.
Now I have people asking me “What are you doing with your life?” and when people ask me that it gets to me every time because for me that just lets me know that they don’t truly understand my decision.
“What am I doing with my life?” I am living it. For the first time in my life I am out of school and I am not facing yet another surgery. For the first time in my life I am not working my life away. For the first time in my life I can spend time with family and not worry about being too drained of energy to take my nieces and nephews out somewhere. I can read more books. I can stay home and play with my youngest niece and watch her grow and not worry about how exhausted I will be later.
But also, right now I can focus on my writing. It has been years since I have been able to feel the creativity of writing and slowly I have been able to get back to that. I was so clouded by pain and exhaustion that the one thing I knew I was great at- writing- I was no longer doing.
So for now I am living so that I can have more stories to tell. The stories that I have written in the past carry a lot of pain and sadness. It has taken me my whole life to get to the point of letting go of those stories. Now it’s time for me to write my happy ending.