Second Time Around

I’m sitting in an airport while writing this.

To say I am exhausted is an understatement. At Day 10 of this trip, I didn’t expect to feel this way. I knew the fatigue would set in, but not this feeling of anxiety and worry. 

I remember feeling this intense purpose while on my first trip. There was nothing left for me to lose. Because of that, there was a sense of freedom in what I was trying to accomplish. The goal was simply advocacy. There was a room waiting for me once I was home, plus a job and family. 

This time around, the circumstances are vastly different. The pressure is on, more interviews than I’d ever imagined assembling (but I’ve always jumped head first into a challenge). Tons of destinations, less downtime, more information to digest, and a strange sadness that lingers overhead. I’m not sure what ingredients have created this recipe, but I think it has to do with the amount of change I’ve tried to cram into my life at one time, and the fact that I am still healing despite being on a drug.  

Much like my flight personal item, pretending it’s not at all heavy and cumbersome in order to get past the gate attendants, my life is squished into a bag that is barely zipping. I did it to myself — very aware of that reality — but I’m trying to manage it all with a smile on my face. There is much excitement, yet it’s stifled. There are other priorities burying that emotion. 

Instead of a steady job awaiting my arrival after this trip, it’s an expensive master’s program that conjures both gratitude and fright into these tired bones. And instead of family and a familiar landscape, I will be settling into a new country, literally foreign to what I know. I haven’t signed my letting agreement, I must do a swift “fly in and out” of that country in order to activate my visa, and I have less than one month to acclimate to the plethora of changes — banking, budget, matriculation, medical treatment, and most of all, everyday life. 

The medical situation, by far, is the scariest. Even now, I had an idea in my head that this mission would be easier or expedited since Dupixent is masking the inflammation that painted me like a red, peeling canvas less than one year ago. Though extremely happy with the drug, I am naïve to have bought into that idea because that is all this drug is, a mask. My body has been screaming at me. She is praying for a lay-in, a day off, an environment where she isn’t being tested. To focus on herself, nothing else. Sadly, I can’t grant her that for some time. And worse, once I’m across the pond, I have to be vigilant in getting all the appointments needed to keep Dupixent in my hands. 

It’s hard. Some days it’s hard to keep the smile on. 

But, everything always works out as it should. I know once I’m there, the documentary footage safely stowed into my hard drives, I’ll be able to focus more on my own life for a second. And even though I’m right back into that space of not knowing what I’m doing… I do.

This second time around I am wiser, have built a reputation that allows me to interact with medical professionals with trust and grace, and I’ve done something that others may never have the courage to do – let go of a comfort zone that was no longer serving them. I’d never forgive myself if I didn’t devour this puzzle in front of me. The weight of it is daunting, but yesterday, I asked someone I care about if they were doing okay. Their response: “I’ve been good 🙂 life is good.” 

I look forward to that feeling. To truly mean it. It brought me a smile just knowing that life doesn’t always have to be about surviving anymore, or snorkeling through trauma. That I’m finally coddiwompling towards an actual destination. That life can be good

One response to “Second Time Around”

  1. 🫂

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