Thursday, March 12, 2015

Become A Student Of Life

As I am reaching yet another Zipperversary...well, in about 4 weeks anyway...
I am taking time to ponder everything that has happened over the course of the past year.
This time last year I was prepping for a second brain surgery...had just moved to Dallas and just started a new job.  My husband and I had started our own business and we were busily laying its foundation.

Then it happened- a quick review of an MRI sent me back to Houston for testing and surgery. Round two of brain surgery recovery began.

As recovery began, our business activity slowed down. Everything slowed down.  The surgery was deemed a success, though my vision would beg to differ.  I set about on a journey to get my vision "fixed" - to no avail.  Apparently, my brand of vision difficulty is a mystery...which should come to no surprise to anyone  who has Chiari.  We always seem to be the ones that defy the medical books.. that keep the doctors just shaking their heads.

While dealing with this vision issue-- I managed to keep my job, take several business trips (and a few trips just for fun).. visiting family and friends in Ohio.

August found me hanging out in Paris, France for a week or so, for both work and pleasure.  Seeing Paris with my daughter is one of the highlights of my life- I'll never forget it.

In September, I began a certification program  to become a Transformational Coach, specializing in helping women reclaim their lives after divorce, abuse, trauma or chronic illness diagnosis. We took a brief trip to Ocala, FL to visit our family and friends there,  and I even made it to the Houston Conquer Chiari Walk Across America, where I was excited to spend a few days with a dear friend in the Houston area.

In October... I went to Hawaii for a little over a week, where I simply marveled at the beauty around me.  Before that, there was a business trip weekend in Long Beach, CA, where I wore high heels for the first time since  surgery.  It was both excruciating and elating!   For a few minutes, before it became unbearable--I even felt pretty.

The end of October brought sadness to our family in a form that I still have trouble discussing.  We are still reacting to this trauma as we slowly heal. Very, very slowly.

Since then, there has been a blur of travel, school, work, healing, tears, stress, loneliness, exhaustion. My daughter graduated from college and I've been to  Southern Indiana, Miami, Memphis and Sydney, Australia.

I am still working, trucking through school- and I go back to Paris in about 8 weeks.

I can no longer make sense of what life is now or what it was.  Everything seems upside down at times, while other times it makes perfect sense.

This is what I know.   I've grown through it all.  I've let go of people who I should've never held on to. I discovered the difference in a friend and an acquaintance.  I found that the strangest people become support in the most difficult times-- and it's never who you think it will be.  I've found that people mistake pain for indifference and that at the end of the day, the people who one can really count on are those who they least suspected to be there.   I have found that tears are truly unending..they just never run dry. I've found that sometimes the best thing I can do for myself is just lay down and indulge myself in a good, long, sobbing cry.

The problem with crying is that it makes my head hurt, then my ears ring, then I get dizzy, my vision gets wonky and I'm done for.  So, I tend to just hold it all in as long as possible until a breaking point comes and my defenses hit the ground.

So I guess my point is this--  I've survived yet another year after yet another brain surgery.  I have packed more into this last year than most people pack into a lifetime.  I have ached over losing people who never thought twice or looked back and I've gained a great many new people who seemingly appeared from nowhere, yet made all the difference.  I've learned that getting too attached to this world can be dangerous, but not getting in the game of life can be lethal.

I'm fully in the game. I am transforming the lives of women everyday through my work. I am slowly healing my own wounds and praying for the continued healing of our family.  I've ac
cepted about myself that I'm living life the only way I know how... with all my cards on the table.. I am all in.  No halfway, no mind games, no agenda.   No time for "I can't"  "I shouldn't" or "Maybe later".  No apologizing for who I am, what I stand for or what my desires are.   I have the love and support of an amazing man...a family that loves me and a career I am passionate about.

Beautiful coastline of Australia, photo taken on the Bondi to Coogee Coastal Walk near Sydney, Feb. 2015
So as I review the past year and look to the year ahead... I visualize more places I will travel (Paris, Los Angeles, Spain (several cities), Savannah Ga, St. George, Grenada-- already in the works!!), more lives I will touch, more people who will fill me up with joy, tears and amazement.  I love setting goals and reaching them...I encourage you to do the same.   Life is so much sweeter when every person you meet and every thing that occurs is viewed as a teacher. (Yes, even our pain is a teacher...learn from it)  Then you are free to learn all you can from everything, soak it in and then release the person or event back into the world.  Become a student of your own life.  I promise you, your outlook on everything will change.  Mine sure did.


  1. I had my surgery in April 1st, 2013.. We almost have the same zipperversary! :)
    So happy to hear how you are! I love the plan of traveling, I wanna do that when I am a little better! <3

  2. Thank you for your comment Sydney.. and Happy Zipperversary to you! Sorry I read this late and missed the exact date! I hope you are able to travel soon!