With 2010 coming to a close and 2011 staring me in the face, I didn’t think I would write anything, but alas, here I am. It’s actually a bit helpful that I’m writing this online instead of in my diary; it prevents me from just writing incoherent emotional sludge.
This past year was particularly difficult for me. One of those years where nothing seemed to be going the way I wanted – almost like I was failing at life. But as this year is literally within its final hours, I’ve come to realize that I do have a lot to be thankful for, and more importantly, a lot to look forward to.
I’m thankful for (in no particular order):
1. My health. Since the beginning of 2006, I’d been dealing with “mysterious” health issues. I was incredibly prone to bronchitis, pneumonia… anything dealing with the lungs. Doctors kept testing me over and over for lung and auto-immune diseases, but there seemed to be no answer. At the beginning of this year, my lungs were only working at less than 50%, partially destroyed, so I was diagnosed with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD). I was alone and so scared – how could an active, 23 year-old non-smoker have COPD? It’s something for a middle-aged, fat smoker. I ended up demanding to be seen by new specialists (ugh, my Kaiser story would take hours to tell in its entirety) to determine the cause of my lung deterioration. After about 2 weeks of non-stop doctor visits, I finally got my answer. It was something so simple: asthma.
I’m severely allergic to the pollutants in the air (yay, LA!) and my prolonged exposure caused my bronchioles to be in a semi-permanent inflamed state. Combine that with just being sick and you have instant pneumonia. Then combine it with the fact that I never really got over being sick, which just damaged my lungs, then multiply it by 4 years. With all the damage to my lungs, the doctors didn’t think I could completely rehabilitate my lungs.
Well, it’s December 31, 2010, and I’ve controlled my asthma and regained lung function back to over 87%.
2. My family. In my short 24 years, my parents have been so supportive of everything I do. Whether it is medicine, music, going to the moon, they are always behind me 100%. I used to be so annoyed with them. What I saw as criticism was actually guidance. I actually feel a little guilty now – no, a whole lot of guilty – with how I acted as a child. My parents now are also taking care of my grandma on a daily basis. It reminds me how life is fleeting and we must cherish it and lead as good lives as we possibly can.
3. My dog. I know – it’s weird to be thankful for an animal. But, he has taught me the incredible lessons of patience, perseverance, and unshakable loyalty. It’s hard to explain, so just trust me on this one.
4. And lastly, but most importantly, Faith. I’ve never been a particularly religious person, but I think as I grow older, make mistakes, get cut down, yet somehow I’m alive through it all, my faith is strengthened. This week, in the final days of 2010, I was blessed to have my path cross once again with a dear, dear friend of mine. This friend reminded me that I need stop being so selfish by living for myself and forcing fate.
I always thought my dad a proud man. Yet, with my eyes opened, I realize that he has always attributed everything in his life as a gift and blessing. I don’t want to go into some in-depth analyzation of all of this, but yeah… I get it now – at least a little better than I did earlier this year.
While packing up this morning, I skimmed through my Bible from 3rd grade, looking at various passages that I had highlighted and noted. I don’t see it as a resolution (because 99% of us don’t keep our resolutions), but I’m really going to try to live my life in a good and honest way – to do the right thing, even when it’s difficult and my heart says otherwise.
So there you have it. I know it’s not much, but it’s as much as I can get out without sounding like a bumbling idiot.
Here’s to a fresh, new year. A year of peace (with others, within myself, and with God), joy, love, happiness, family, and friends old & new.
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
and never brought to mind?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
and days of auld lang syne?
For auld lang syne, my dear
for auld lang syne,
we’ll take a cup of kindness yet,
for days of auld lang syne.