Three years ago, I was really sick. Like, “I had no blood and felt like hell and knew I was going to die” type of sick. Literally.
I don’t believe in coincidences or accidents. I think things happen for a reason. Sometimes, things can seem pretty crummy. That’s because we don’t know all the answers yet. Sometimes, those crummy things turn out to be really good things – they often set us up for good things that just haven’t happened yet.
That’s why I think that almost dying was one of the best things that ever happened to me.
I’ve always been a “big dreamer.” I had always said that I wanted to go to New York City. For a long time before I got sick, I had been saying that I wanted to “take my show on the road” and speak at conferences. I’ve been saying that I want to write a book since I can remember…
When I was in the hospital, when I wasn’t sure if I was going to make it out alive, I wasn’t laying there, regretting things I had done. I was thinking about the things I hadn’t done.
I had never been to NYC. I had never gotten to speak at a conference. I never wrote that book.
I also thought about the things I wouldn’t get to do … If I died, there would be no more hanging out with my family; I wouldn’t get to watch my nephews grow up.
About six months after I got out of the hospital, I started planning my first trip to New York City. And that trip also including speaking at a blogging panel, that I had planned at Etsy’s headquarters. Since then, I’ve spoken at BlogHer and was invited to speak at Blissdom.
I still haven’t wrote the book. But I’m going to be sending out some proposals, soon.
I am still hanging out with my family almost every day. I am very grateful for every ordinary moment, especially after living in Alaska for so long and missing out on a lot of stuff. A few weeks ago, there was this moment in my sister’s kitchen, where my sister, nephews, and I started singing We Are Young by Fun. It was just a normal, everyday type of moment, but that is what counts.
A lot of people plan to do things in the future. They plan to take trips. They plan to make changes. They plan to do things differently. But most people never end up doing the things they plan to do.
It’s easy to get so caught up in daily life that you don’t even see the magic in the everyday moments.
The biggest lesson that I learned from my whole Pernicious Anemia experience, is that life is really effing short. And it really is a gift. So don’t waste it.
So, just get out there and grab life and take it for all it’s got. Take those chances. Take those risks. If you want to do something, do it. If you want to make a change, do it. If you fall on your face, so what? At least you tried. And that’s better than just sitting there and doing nothing.
This is your chance. This is your time.
Think about all of the people in hospital beds, who aren’t going to get out of those beds. They wish they could do the things that they wanted to do in life. They can’t. You can. Do it.
Start living your life! Your adventure is waiting for you! Are you just going to let it sit there? Or are you going to grab it?
P.S. After all that, you may be wondering how I’m doing, health-wise. If you look at me today, you wouldn’t know I had Pernicious Anemia. I take B12 shots once a month and I only have to get my blood checked twice a year now. (when I first got diagnosed, I had to get it checked every week…)
I’ll never forget what if feels like to be sick and dying. It really makes you appreciate feeling healthy. And for that, I’m eternally grateful.