To quote one of my favorite guilty pleasure TV shows, “Sometimes the future changes quickly and completely. And we’re left only with the choice of what to do next. We can choose to be afraid of it, to stand there trembling, not moving, assuming the worst can happen. Or we can step forward into the unknown and assume it will be brilliant” -Christina Yang (Grey’s Anatomy)
I could easily say that the last six months have been the worst and most challenging time in my life. I gone through my health conditions rapidly progressing, becoming almost completely homebound, my insurance denying the life saving treatment that I needed, losing my insurance completely, having to switch to Medicaid where I have lost most of my health care providers, having to utilize the disability services for my MBA program, having to take medical leave from my job, not knowing if or how I will be able to stay in my apartment, and losing a $60,000 career to needing emergency food stamps. I felt like a failure. I felt like I had lost everything I worked so hard for: my career, my apartment, my academic career, friends, relationships, maintaining a hidden health status, and most of all my pride as I had to start a crowdfunding site to assist in funding my medical expenses and rent.
I am a control freak, and this was not part of the plan for my life. However, recently I have reflected on the last six months and realized without any of these obstacles I wouldn’t have been able to come to many realizations about finding oneself and self-love.
It started when I redefined my bucket list and wanted to share with the world why I value the list so much. I have been a writer for as long as I can remember and have published my own book. One of the reasons I created the list was to live for experiences,to cherish the memories of those experiences because those memories will last a lifetime and since then I have done just that. I got the article about my bucket list published and that was the turning point. Since then I have dabbled in creating my own app, which is still a work in progress since technology and not my strong suit and I am teaching myself coding. I have started a business called TashaG Photography which I LOVE, selling my original photography prints and canvases. I have always loved taking pictures, as I used to take hundreds to thousands of photos on trips. Now, I have invested in a professional camera, am selling my photos online/at festivals and use photography as my coping mechanism. I have modeled in a nude photoshoot in order to celebrate my body and showing self love instead of my typical reference to body as “sick”. I did the shoot in order to forget all that sickness has done to my body both physically and emotionally, and just be beautiful. I am know I am beautiful despite all that my body has gone through. This is where I have developed my #sorrynotsorry attitude where I realized I am no longer apologizing for being me. I am me, unapologetically. I have become friends with interior designers, plus size models, photographers, bloggers, and health advocates from around the world. I would have never pursued any of these things if it wasn’t for me “losing everything”. Not only have I accomplished all of these, but I have balanced my debilitating symptoms, countless doctor appointments, relentless phone calls to my insurance company, applying/reapplying for state and federal assistance, on top of being an adult. I had to lose everything in order to rebuild brilliantly.
When you’re so focused on a plan, whether it be your career or personal/family/societal expectations you tend to lose yourself. You tend to ignore other potential interests or even passions that you have pursued in the past. But why? Life is too short not to be happy and not to try something new. Sometimes that may involve reevaluating and redefining success on your own terms. Take a leap of faith. Trust the magic of new beginnings because you never know where they will lead you.
I don’t know what the future holds. I don’t know if my business will succeed. I don’t know if my health will continue to get worse. I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to return to work again. I don’t know if I’ll complete more items on my bucket list. What I do know is that the future, although unknown, can be brilliant.
P.S. I have linked most of my accomplishments in the last six months within this post, so check them out.