While I’ve been stuck in bed the past few months, I’ve spent a lot of time on the internet, reading blogs, watching YouTube and finding interesting people on Twitter. It’s struck me in the past week or so how many of the spoonies I “follow” online manage to achieve a lot, in spite of their illness. In some cases, they’ve used their illness to their advantage. As thoughts about this were swirling around my mind one night, I pondered how these women manage to do so much, when I seem to do so little. Was it because they weren’t as sick as me? Possibly, but that’s not the whole story. After much deliberation, I decided it was because they weren’t afraid to admit they had dreams and begin taking baby steps towards achieving them.
Failing yet again
When this academic year began, I had set my mind to focus on getting through my studies, it’s no surprise then that I fell into a depression when I got so sick again. Seeing weeks go by without my being able to study has been really difficult. I love learning, since I can remember, all I’ve wanted to do was go to university, and I love learning about politics. In a way, having tried so hard for so long to get through my degree only to keep “failing” at completing modules has just made me afraid to try anything else. I wouldn’t admit it out loud but my subconscious was saying, “why bother trying to do something you love? Your illness will only ruin it anyway.” I’ve been making plans but the majority of them have begun with the sentence, “when I’m well enough…”, which just isn’t happening.
Don’t misunderstand me, I haven’t given up on university, I will find a way to complete my degree, and I certainly haven’t given up the belief that I’ll get better, but I’m done waiting around for life to begin. That’s how Paul and I have felt, we’ve pushed ourselves to complete things, and life itself has been a real struggle for a long time, but when it comes to deepest desires, the things that mean the most to us, we’ve popped them on a shelf for “one day”. In a way, that’s allowing my illness to control us, the fear that we might only get one chance and that my illness will blow it for us, has prevented us from doing some things. There’s a certain amount of wisdom in that, but there’s been a lot of fear in that too.
This week we took the plunge and used some of our savings to book a holiday. The idea that we need to save for a rainy day has always been on our minds, and while that is generally a good principle to have, it’s made us afraid to spend any of our savings. Since we first became a couple and I got sick, we’ve been talking about going to Paris, and therefore, we’ve never wanted to spend our money on going anywhere else, because what if we can never save enough to go? Paris will still be there in future years when it is the right time for us to go, and I’m not going to believe that we’ll never get to go there if we go on holiday somewhere else. We know that we both need a holiday and we’d love to have a belated honeymoon. After all, lots of people generously gave us Euros at our wedding for that purpose. As we were chatting away about this, we both came to the realisation that although we’d love to go to a city and have an adventure, we’re both exhausted and what we really need is some time away somewhere hot, with a pool, and a beach. That’s what we did. We’ve booked a last minute holiday to Gran Canaria for a week. The fear that I felt when I clicked the little button to pay online was ridiculous, which made me all the more certain I was doing the right thing. It’s not like we’ve spent all of our savings on a crazy extravagant holiday that I obviously can’t manage. We booked something nice, albeit the cheapest place we could book, with disabled access. I don’t think I need to say any more to prove quite how unfounded my fears are.
Having bitten the bullet on spending savings on a holiday, I’m determined to keep making progress on my dreams. I think putting all my eggs into the university basket was a mistake, and not one I’m going to repeat. What’s most important though is that I stop making my own contingency plans and start seeking God’s plan for my life. It might not be the most comfortable life, but I know it will be the most fulfilling life. Right now Paul and I are praying into our future and asking God where He wants us to step out in faith. Watch this space for more exciting adventures.
Love Katie x