Getting Back Up…Again (and Again and Again and Again)

Happy new year

Happy new year (Photo credit: Amodiovalerio Verde)

It’s been a busy few weeks. My 31st birthday tripped by back on Feb. 15th, but even before then I was thinking, thinking and rethinking my current position in life and where I would like to be. Then I surprised myself (and certainly my mother) by spontaneously going on a 3 week jaunt with my dad to his birthplace in Puerto Rico as well as his current stomping grounds in Florida with no plans and a slow-healing stress fracture.

Birthdays have the same effect for me as New Year – and if you want to get technical, each birthday you celebrate is a New Year. It’s the start of your very own, personal new year of life. So, as I stuffed my face with mazamorra and corazones (yum) in the streets of Aguadilla (as well as Moca, the mountains of Aguada and as far as Ponce), I had plenty of time to think about how I want my 2013 to shape up.

In short, I want it to be awesome. And I want every one of us with lupus or any other auto-immune illness to quit settling for bare survival and commit to awesome as well.

I’m working on hammering together some specific ideas about where my life could use more awesome – and I want to hear what you think as well. Are you sick and tired of being sick and tired? Are you fed up with scraping through every day?

Lupus limits us enough as it is. But I don’t think it’s our biggest enemy.

Convention is the enemy. The little voice that tells you to stop dreaming, and start settling because you’re a broken human being and shouldn’t expect much. The voice that tells you to be afraid of everything. I know I’m sick of hearing it – what about you?

Society is not built to support you. One thing I have learned in my 12+ years with lupus (not to mention my now 30+ years with all my other health problems) is that all the conventional things that I was raised to expect… haven’t worked out. Sure I went to college…and barely made it out, memorably nearly fainting on my way to get my diploma because our graduation was outside under the sun (in our black robes no less) on a really hot day. Oh and my robe was 2 sizes too big because I was home getting a kidney biopsy instead of being at the college on time to pick one in the right size – my roommate had to get it for me. I worked a 9-to-5 desk job…right up until my kidneys took a nose dive and my lupus flared up so badly that I was on cytoxan for a 18 months and could barely walk. So yeah…me and those rules have not been best buddies. So think about it…is playing by “the rules” really working out well for you? Or is it actually harming you?

Rabbit Hill Road in Talbot County, Maryland (F...

(Photo credit: marsmet551)

What do I think is the solution? Don’t play by those rules. Yeah, I know, it’s much easier said than done, but I think it’s worth exploring and I hope that you’ll decide to explore with me. After all, you have a fair idea of what will happen if you go about your routine tomorrow (excepting sudden zombie apocalypse, of course)….but what will happen if you decide to change the game and start living differently?

I’ve added a butt-load (which, if you measure by my butt, is quite a load) of new websites to my links page. More and more, people in general are wanting more meaningful experiences from their lives and are looking to create more than the cycle of rise, work, and sleep. While I think this a great movement in general, for those of us with health problems, breaking free is really something worth looking hard at. After all, we have higher hurdles and a tighter deadline. However, this can also translate into more motivation.

I’d love to hear from you readers. Comment below, drop me a line on Twitter or Google + (+Ro), or email me (I will totally leave your name out of it if you like) and tell me what’s on your mind.

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