Image by Corey Tegeler via Flickr
Have I said this lately? Being a sick chick for 22 years of my life has nurtured my personal growth and maturity. Illness has shaped me psychologically and spiritually into the person I am today. While I'm not always thrilled about the places I visit along the way, I've somehow found a peace and confidence within myself that helps me feel O.K. despite ongoing chronic illness.
Sometimes I wonder what I would have been like if I hadn't gotten cancer at age 22. I'm thinking that in a parallel universe there is a Selena that has never had major health problems who might have the answer. I almost want to meet her ... and I wonder if I ever get to be her. (Is she the selfish and self-centered one my mother kept talking about?)
Building on my post yesterday about how I learned to have a mature relationship with my mother, I thought I'd list more ways I have matured and grown because illness was a part of my life:
- I accept that life is not "all or nothing" or "black and white." I've learned to live comfortably amongst the shades of gray. (Think about it: gray really does go with everything.)
- I can deal with reality, even if it does bite.
- If I ask the question "Why?" I need to accept that the answer might just be "Why not?"
- The only constant in life is change. If I haven't change my opinion, perspective or hairstyle in a while, I better check my pulse because I might be dead!
- I can get through life's rough patches. I may have to go over, under, around, through or somewhere else all together, but I will figure out how to move on.
- I recognize that I have no control over a lot of things in life. I guess that should freak me out, but frankly prefer not being in charge all the time.
- When faced with a situation where I either need to bend or break, I choose to bend.
- I realize that it is easier to accept other people for who they are than to trying to change them.
- If I am putting up with someone else's crap, it's because I want to, not because I have to.
- It's just easier to make the effort to get along with other people, even the ones I don't care for or particularly like.
- I don't always have to like the people I love.
- Life is much more fun when you share it with other people, especially the furry ones who don't talk back.
- I make mistakes and I am not perfect. I can admit when I am wrong and acknowledge that there is always room for improvement.
- Now that I have broken this lifetime in and have gotten comfortable with it, I refuse to trade it in for anything else, no matter what else is in store for me.
- I am stubbornly holding onto this life that I have come to cherish until I absolutely, positively have to let go.
What do you think? Are there benefits to being a sick chick? Can illness spur personal growth? Leave me a comment and let me know...