new year. same shit.

My mind is BLOWN 🤯

It’s 2021!! and this little one just celebrated her SIXTEENTH birthday!

My niece arrived in this world mere days before I received my second (failed) kidney transplant. 

Now she’s sixteen?!?! WTF.

Excuse me, I’m sixteen (well, at least in spirit and sometimes – maturity). How can this be so? 

It’s miraculous how kids serve as a daily reminder that time is indeed actually passing. This year especially, it seems like in 2020 we WERE, we ARE, living the same day over and over. 

But, apparently, the earth kept spinning. Days indeed have passed. I even hear it’s a NEW YEAR!

Time kept on slipping into the future. The future is NOW! 

We were supposed to have flying cars by the year 2000. Instead, we all freaked out about computers. The freaking computers! It all seems so quaint and ridiculous now.

Oh, to have 2000’s problems. 

Here I go aging myself. This time 21 years ago I had not yet been officially diagnosed and none of my nieces or nephews were even born yet! Now the oldest is in his SECOND year of college.

Now this little one- who’s standing at 5’8” (3 inches taller than me!) – is not so little anymore, and is old enough to drive.  A CAR!!. 

Like a real grown-up sized car. Not the little kid one she used to ride around the park. 

As I said before… mind blown. 🤯

She’s grown so much. And, WOW, so have I. 

It’s that diagnosis-versary time of year again. * 21 years on January 11th! * 

My disease (FSGS) is now old enough to drink!!

Cheers to 21!

Holy moly shit!

I’m seriously in shock at how long it’s been.  But also not at all.  If that makes sense. 

I’m a brand new person. I am no longer the weak (seeming) 17 year old.  I am on the cusp of 39.  I am STRONG AF now.  Seriously throw it at me.  I can handle it.  

When you have faced your own mortality since your teens your whole self changes.  I am now immune to so much pain. Yes, I still struggle with my mental health. But, I am at a place now where I can recognize my feelings, and how to get through them.

If I had one piece of advice to offer anyone it would be this:

FEEL. YOUR. FEELINGS!

Read that again.

FEEL. YOUR. FEELINGS!

If you let yourself feel your feelings…

Not try to push them down…

Not try to ignore them…

I promise you…

YOU. WILL. FEEL. BETTER.

I’d say that’s been my biggest lesson from this journey. When I am sad, I let myself be sad. When I am happy, I try to live in that moment and really feel that happiness. When I am struggling, I open up and share it with my loved ones – my irreplaceable support system. I let them help. Most of the time, just addressing how I’m feeling, just saying it out loud helps.  

If you can identify what you are feeling, wonderful

If you struggle to do so, I implore you to take a minute the next time you feel icky to sit with it. Try to identify what is making you feel bad. Think about it.

Then, LET. IT. GO. Elsa knew what she was talking about 😉

You don’t have to forget about it, but you have learn to live with the discomfort. I swear, just acknowledging it is HUGE! 

It shifts from those feelings controlling you… to you controlling them!

This is by no means easy to do.  It took me over THREE DECADES to figure this out. But that journey was worth every minute.  I am so much happier now.

YES! I still get sad, angry, anxious, etc, etc. It’s just that NOW I can identify what I am feeling and why I am feeling it. I can control it (at least most of the time, I’m not a robot 🤖). I can acknowledge that I am struggling and as lame as that cliche is, admitting you have a problem is the FIRST step!

It’s never too late to learn.  Learn how to control your feelings and you control your life! 

2020 was trying AF. We collectively felt, well frankly, like shit.

2021 seems like it will be no different, as we have seen within this first week.

If I can leave you with one final thought it is this.

Enjoy the small things…

Pet an animal…

Let the sun shine upon your face…

Watch that show you love for the gazillionth time…

Eat that yummy treat…

DO. IT! Do what makes YOU feel good.

Live your damn life. 

Feel your damn feelings.

you do you!

I LOVE you all for the ongoing support, without you I wouldn’t be me, and I kinda LOVE me and think I’m rad😉. 

HAPPY NEW YEAR. Stay sane. 

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