A couple of weeks ago I caught bronchitis, for some people this is just a hassle, but being asthmatic, it is something a bit more serious for me.  For two weeks I barely slept, coughed my throat into tenderness and was generally miserable.  It seems like nothing good can come from this story, but something did.  Getting sick was really a wakeup call for me: I wasn’t living, I was simply existing.

It might sound crazy to you, but the first couple days that you can get out of bed and return to your normal life after a couple of weeks in bed are euphoric.  You get to live life again, and life is so precious.  Prior to getting sick getting out of bed was a struggle.  Some days it all seems so pointless.  Right before I got sick all I wanted to do was just be finished with school, now I have a new appreciation for what I’m doing.  If I going to spend 2-8 years of my life specializing, then I better love it.  I know there will be bad days, but there are always bad days in life.

In some ways, that is the back story to this blog.  Being sick made me realize that I did not just want to exist; I wanted to do something and be a complete person.  Since I started school in June, I have struggled to find balance.  I don’t think anyone can be fully prepared for the jump from undergraduate to graduate academics.  Somewhere in the shuffle I lost myself.  I would come home daily frustrated because I was discovering things I hated, but with the exception of my boyfriend, I had given up everything I loved.

In some ways this is all about rediscovering who I am, but as I have heard it recently argued, every couple years people change into new people.  I guess I’m just trying to direct my new person in a way that will lead to an actual enjoyment of life.  Some people take life so seriously, as if they work hard enough nothing bad is going to ever happen to them.  The reality is that things go wrong in life, so you have to embrace the days that go really well to help you get through the really bad days.  As Churchill said “If you are going through Hell keep going.”  If you keep moving forward, hopefully you can escape your bad situation.

Some of the changes I am making are small, for example, I am striving to eat breakfast every morning.  Others are a bit bigger, I have taken up playing the guitar again, I’m writing, and I’m trying to overcome my more diplomatic nature and actually develop solid opinions on things that are important to me.  I might fail, but I figure what is the purpose of living if you don’t take at least a little bit of time every day to do something you love.  So my question for you is what do you love and how often do you get to do things that make you genuinely happy?  Right now, “Die Trying” by Art of Dying makes me happy.

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