Wednesday, September 21, 2011
Happy to Be Alive
I have been a little absent from my blog as of late because life has just been crazy lately. My aunt got really sick and had to focus most of my attention there, while trying to keep up with work, photo projects, building my website, and just keep pace with life in general. I cannot believe it is already the end of September..the last month has been a complete blur! I have been making to do lists everyday and majorly prioritizing because with everything on my plate I know it won't all get done.
But with that said, amidst all the chaos I just feel so much lately like things are coming together. The last few years have been such a struggle with my back pain...completely unable to live my life for 2 years due to debilitating pain had me convinced I could never regain a state of normalcy again. Finally, the pain has slowly but surely started to improve (after no explanation of what it was). I now have a part time job, I have been with my amazing boyfriend Brent for 3 years as of yesterday, I am having so much fun learning and growing with my photography, and to top it off, over the weekend I went on a 5 mile hike - something I have not done since before I was diagnosed at age 12! And although I could not walk for a day after, just the fact that I was able to do something like this is so incredible.
Today was a great day. I photographed Brent's nephew who is now 3 months old and tonight I attended and photographed a beer tasting event which helped both 1.raise money and 2.establish a group of passionate young professionals for PCRF - Pediatric Cancer Research Foundation. At one point, I spoke to a mom whose 6 year old daughter is winning her battle against Leukemia. As I shared my story with her and watched her face light up with encouragement when I spoke about how far I have come, it just further cemented what I already know: I absolutely must in some form or another use my story to inspire and encourage current patients and their families.
Despite my years of doubting it was possible, I feel like I finally have my life and my self back. I have goals again. I have dreams, and I have hope for the future. I want to help people, I want to share the beauty of the world through my photography, and I want to somehow intersect the two.
Honestly, it is hard at times not to worry about the future...long term affects of the cancer, how my pain will affect me, etc. But I remind myself every day how life is such a gift and really do my best to focus on enjoying the moment rather than be concerned about what may or may not happen. And as more and more pieces of my life's puzzle seem to fit together, I feel more encouraged and just... indescribably happy to be alive.