As I've mentioned in previous posts, I fell ill with mononucleosis on New Year's Eve 1996. It was this infection that so suddenly initiated what ultimately grew into a diagnosis of ME/CFS. I can still vividly recall counting down the last few seconds of that year with as much hope and optimism as always, excited for what great things 1997 would bring me. I was young and successful; my whole life awaited me. I never anticipated I would wake up the next morning, my health rather abruptly stolen from me, with a continuous decline ahead that would last what has now been 14 long years.
This being the anniversary of my illness onset, the new year, understandably, brings with it a mix of emotions. While I remain stubbornly hopeful, that hope is now admittedly a bit more cautious in its enthusiasm. I have grown somewhat wiser over the years, and more keenly aware of life's uncertainties. While I continue every day to hope and strive for the possibility that this year finally brings some measure of recovery and/or a cure, I must also be prepared for the possibility that it will not. In this way, my day-to-day happiness is not as reliant on expectations. That is, whatever each day of the new year may bring, I am better able (at least theoretically) to be patient with what is, and at the same time, remain determined and hopeful for the future.
But while my daily hopes have become more cautious, my dreams have not. My dreams run bright, limitless and free. Whether it is this year or next, I am steadfast in my belief that one year, one day, at least in some form, they will indeed come true.
Among many other things, today I find myself dreaming of...
Going on a picnic
Getting my master's degree
And going back to work
Being able to take long, hot bubble baths
....and dance the night away with my fiance
Traveling to far away places
Most of all, today I'm dreaming of perfect health;
of breaking free
and shouting to the world with joy:
"Within your heart, keep one still, secret spot where dreams may go."
"Dreams come true; without that possibility, nature would not incite us to have them."
All photos from: weheartit.com