Our lives are filled with monumental precipices that impact the course of our journey. As we look out towards the horizon, we can see the moments, experiences, and choices that have all led us to this very moment in our lives.
I find myself at the edge of a new precipice. For the last month I have been standing at the edge, terrified and resistant to take the next leap. I’ve been merely free falling: desperate to cling to the life I’ve had, the body I could trust, and resistant to face the realities of the future. Decisions and choices consume me that will impact every part of my life. I would be foolish to say that cystic fibrosis has not impacted the way in which I’ve made decisions in my life, and my hunger for it all. Despite cystic fibrosis and its relentless attempts to undermine the course of my journey, I’ve lived passionately with intent. I have faced each precipice life has brought me to without regret.
Passion, Intent, Hunger
I used to be a master at concealing cystic fibrosis, but for the past couple of years it has been making its presence more and more known in my life: making it impossible to hide. As it progressed, I simply would throw myself into life more passionately, shutting out the truth of what was really happening, desperate to silence the deafening realities of CF ringing through my body. Through it all, however, there’s always been this small, stirring presence that has lived deep within me: the voice of CF that would quietly stir and resound within. Every time I’d hear it stirring, I’d simply push harder. I’d fill my life with more just to prove to myself I could do it all: graduate school, teaching, singing, road trips, a marathon of rendezvous with friends, and other spontaneous excursions just to show myself I could do it. But what was it was really costing? That hunger, drive, and passion still burn passionately within, but the voice of CF within is resounding loud and clear. As I stand on the edge of this new precipice, I can no longer run from that thunderous voice. I must take the next leap embracing every part of who I am, fearing not the fall, but trusting that I will spread wings and fly.
The last month has left my body vehemently fighting rampant bacteria in my lungs, Influenza A, and extreme exhaustion. The more I merely try to push through the more my body fiercely fights back. Life has become an art of conserving and expounding energy. The last month has sparked some serious discussions about my lifestyle, my future, and the reality of the cost of what I’ve been putting my body through. Simply put, I was given two choices. Either continue doing what I’ve been doing and know that it could ultimately be killing me, or make some drastic lifestyle changes and learn to respect my body and get as many beautiful days as I can.
Learning to Fly
So, here I stand at the edge of my precipice, looking out over the incredible moments, relationships, and events that have made up my beautiful life thus far. It’s time for me to take that leap, to make some changes to my life, to step off from the edge. Through the tears I shed for the amazing life I’ve been able to live, I am happily grateful for all the beauty each new tomorrow holds. I am ready to step off of this precipice, spread my wings, and fly.