it was innocent enough; i was basically playing dress up to figure out what i’m going to wear tomorrow for a club photo. Business Casual. i was naturally going through my collection of dresses and started trying on old ones i hadn’t touched in a while, seeing if they still fit or looked good.
about halfway through when i got to the more “party” style dresses (skin tight) i noticed i was feeling light headed and had a headache. i wrote it off for a while. then in one of my tightest ones realized that it was because of my lung.
the lung that had been attacked and beaten until now all that’s left in the upper left of my lung is bruised and damaged scar tissue of what used to be blood vessels. it’s hard to explain what the pain is like. it’s a mixture of suddenly realizing you’re not getting quite as much air as you’re used to and like there’s three textbooks sitting on only one of your lungs. and then the dull ache starts to set in. each breath a little more difficult, a little less productive.
i ended up having to sit down to wait for it to pass.
this is the one thing that will always stay with me from my sickness. my biggest battle scar (i suppose you could call it that if you wanted to romanticize the situation) and it’s on the inside of my body. a constant reminder;
“you’re one of nature’s mess ups. you shouldn’t be here. if nature had it’s way you would have died months ago.”
but nature didn’t have it’s way. and it makes me wonder.
why did so many people have to die before me so that i could live? why was i chosen to lead this life, to survive this trauma? what makes me so special? or am i cursed? why out of all the people on planet Earth, out of all the people in my age group living in my area, why was i the chosen One in a Million? What in the fuck makes me so lucky to be one of the ones to survive?
am i supposed to do great and amazing things for people or the world?
or is it just the universe being the universe, dealing out randomly to strangers, not caring about who gets what?
i hiked a small mountain with my sister, uncle, and a few of my cousins over winter break. when the trail got steep at the beginning and at the end my lung flared up a little. “here you are, in the middle of where you came from. in the middle of what you are; a collection of atoms and natural materials, and you shouldn’t even be here.”
one of these things is not like the other…..
isn’t that how the saying goes?
i feel like i’m supposed to be doing something, like maybe i owe the Earth or the Universe payment for dealing me a hand that placed me somewhere where if i was going to get chronically ill it would be somewhere i could still have a life. but what if i can never pay it back? it’s such a huge debt. regardless of if it was intentional or not.
surrounded by the giant, hundred year old trees and the beaten trail, the birds chirping and the wind rustling leaves all around, it was one of the few times in my life i have ever been able to make my mind go quiet. one of the few places where simply existing was enough. I didn’t have to think about earlier that day or that week or what was going to happen later that night or later that week. I was simply me. An anomaly. Something that shouldn’t be standing there but yet there I stood. Surrounded by what was once man’s humble beginnings; from hunter-gatherer to a God-impersonator. I wanted to stay there and let time stop. Let the feelings of calm and ease wash over me.
There are few places on this green earth I have been lucky enough to go that allow me to shut off my racing thoughts. They have all been in places where I have been surrounded by trees and miles from a man made civilization.
Reminders. Reminders that I’m not the one in charge, no matter how much I like to think I am or that I like to pretend I am. Reminders that my body owns me, I do not own my body. I feed my body when my body is hungry, I rest my body when my body is tired, and when I am sick my body decides whether or not I get to survive.
I do not own my body. My body owns me. And the Earth and the Universe are the true, rightful owners of my body. They are in control, for better or for worse. When I die, my body will be returned to Them, and when I die the wrong that was done unto the world via my allowance to survive will be righted.
For I should not be able to be alive right now. In the very second in time. My clock stopped months ago in the eyes of nature. Any time I have or will take from here on out is borrowed.
And that’s alright. One day when I relapse I will let the Earth take me. I will willingly exit the stage. No one likes a performer who insists on staying in the spotlight.
one of these things is not like the other…..