Changes

Thanks to Pinterest, I come across hundreds of quotes a day. Many of them I agree with, but few as strongly as this:

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I think back to what my life looked like a year ago, and it was dramatically different than it is now. One year ago, my dad was about to retire for the second time, and his long overdue knee replacement surgery had been completed (little did we know, he was going to be having a second one in the coming weeks). With all of this, I was looking for an advisor for a thesis topic I thought I was sold on. Thanksgiving 2015, Colin provided the turkey for our family’s dinner and we actually got to have our family gathering on the federally recognized day. Sounds like a lot of great things, doesn’t it?

Well, one year changed everything.

I watched my dad fight a horrific staph infection that required him to have a PICC line put in so he could receive Nafcillin on a drip for 20 minutes every 4 hours for 6 weeks, and (fortunately) make it out of that strong as ever without needing a third surgery. After seeing my dad flawlessly go through at least 7 other surgeries leading up to this, I hadn’t been more scared in my life with what happened (which was 100% not the fault of his replacement surgeon nor his orthoscopic surgeon preceding that).

I picked a completely different thesis topic than originally planned, and it turned out beautifully. My original thesis idea was not anything I was passionate about, and I would have hated every minute of the process with that topic. My advisors were tough and that entire semester was trying, but they pushed me to ensure the finished product was the best it could be.

This year, we effectively cancelled Thanksgiving. My Thursday, November 24 consisted of work for the bulk of my day, followed by pumpkin cheesecake and hard liquor.

I’m not meaning to sound tragic, rather, I want to emphasize the importance of being thankful for what you have while you have it. As difficult as some of it has been, I have learned so much about myself and others; I’ve had people walk out of my life I thought would be there, and I’ve had others that I was certain were gone unexpectedly walk back in, I’ve been blessed in ways that I can barely fathom, and I have experienced some of the greatest loss I’ve known in my life to date.

There is only one thing I can guarantee – my life this time next year will once more look completely different than it does right now.

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