If today is a good day, it is because one year ago today was a hard day. If it wasn’t for that day, I might not have been able to stick around to see, and touch, and feel, and taste today and all its glorious possibilities. Was it worth it?
Yes. Oh, yes.
Of course, not all of the 365 days between then and now have been ice-cream Sundays and apple pie. I’ve written before about my post-surgery trials and tribulations — collapsing from dehydration, irregular heartbeats, struggling to stabilize my diet and INR, and so on. I do my best to find a balance in this blog between the absolute truth and maintaining an optimistic attitude. Happily, the two often go hand-in-hand.
But like any human, I occasionally dip into lows between my highs, and some of them have proved quite low. There were times when I felt broken, ugly, lost. Days when I wished for impossible things — time machines, miracle cures, a new, unmarred body that didn’t need medication to continue functioning properly. Nights when I woke up crying from dreams of scalpels and a failing heart.
At my worst, I questioned the point of it all. What had I fought to live for, if nothing and no one lives forever and death is inevitable anyway? I lost sight of the things I saw so clearly when I woke from surgery last year and realized, with utter clarity, how glad I was to be awake and breathing. Now I had my life back, I found myself unsure of what to do with it.
Truth be told, I’m still not 100% sure of what I’m doing. But then, who is? I have my ideas — some big, some a little crazy — and I have more hopes and dreams for the future than can ever possibly come to pass. But I don’t presume to know what’s in store for me. As David Bowie (RIP, lovely one) once said,
“I don’t know where I’m going from here, but I promise it won’t be boring.”
That’s the fantastic thing about this fleeting oddity we call life. Things don’t have to last forever to matter. Quality is independent of quantity. Significance is in the eye of the beholder, and I must choose to believe that every day and every breath is worthwhile because I make it so.
Today, I feel stronger than ever. My INR is (mostly) stable, my energy levels are up, and my pulse is steady. My heart keeps on tickin’ with an admirable, beautiful persistence — and so will I.