Friday, December 11, 2009

My Jordan Year

I think a lot about what I'm going to do when I finally have the opportunity to get out of the house, back into the world, and to resume my life. Let's assume, for conversation's sake, that I will once again have that chance and that this part of my life is temporary. Before anything else, I think I'm going to take some time to myself and do some of the things I want to do. I mean, I guess you could say that right now I'm getting time off, or a break, from real life, but it doesn't feel that way. And before I begin real life again, I think I'll be entitled to a real break where I can leave the pills and shots, aches and nausea behind.

I'll go where I want to go, and I'll see who I want to see, if they want to see me too, and for a little while I'll ignore the inevitable demands and responsibilities that await my return to normalcy. For a little while, however long it lasts, I'm not going to worry about anything except enjoying myself. And that's something I'll try to take home with me, but I haven't forgotten how difficult it is to live worry-free. The steady schedule of tests and scans to which I'll subscribe for the rest of my life may make carefree living that much more challenging as well.

But I will take the time I'm craving just to be out there in the world again, wide-eyed and impressionable as a young child to beauty and splendor I've never known or seen. I'm not going to set a time to it, or draw up a plan, either. When I can go, I'm just going to go. I'll figure out where, and for how long will be a question I'll answer when I'm out there, but for once I want to abandon boundaries and limitations. I know they'll be anxiously awaiting my return, when I'm ready to be subject to them again.

And that day will come as well, when it's time to come home and start anew. It will be like starting from scratch; I'll have to build my entire life all over again. And I don't feel that young, anymore. Twenty-three could be argued either way, I guess, young or old, but I no longer feel defined by age. Experience has dictated my rate of maturation, though I presume it's never really too late to start over.

I won't have a job, and obviously I can't live at home forever, though my parents might try to convince me otherwise. My friends have jobs and roommates and leases, but I don't feel like I need to force myself to make up ground. The bottom line is that I want to spend my time doing the things that I really want to do. Life is too short to get stuck doing something I don't enjoy. Patience is a virtue, right? Though maybe the most frustrating of them all, it may be the quality in which I am most well-versed. So I'll employ it then as I employ it now, and over time I'll do my best to adorn my life with the people and circumstances that make me happiest. It's the only way that makes sense to me.

All of this is easier said than done, though, isn't it? Otherwise, we'd all be happy-go-lucky and ultimately satisfied with our conditions, but that doesn't seem to be the case for everyone. I'm hoping that my adjusted perspective on life will provide me with the vision and foresight to make decisions that will, in turn, make me happy.

I'm lucky to have good friends and family who care, because even though I'll have plenty of work to do, I'll never be starting with nothing. After all, I really think it's the people with whom we share this life that make it worthwhile in the end. And it's the time we spend with them that proves most memorable.

I call this lost year my "Jordan Year." It began when I was still twenty-two, but I'll spend most of the year at age twenty-three fighting this disease. Hell, who knows, I could be fighting it for the rest of my life, but I just don't want to think that way. But Michael Jordan, whom I idolized growing up, wore number 23. Every basketball fan knows that; it's like knowing that there are fifty states. And I always wondered what I'd be doing when I reached twenty-three. I imagined grandeur, though I never considered such plight.

My Jordan Year will continue to teach me invaluable lessons that I never wanted to learn. It will continue to put things in perspective and change my perspective and rearrange my values. I can't wait to be free again; I'll start running and I won't stop until I get where I'm going, wherever that might be. That's all I know right now. Anything past that is a mystery.

But maybe those are the only answers I need, and maybe that's all I really need to know at all. Something's always going to fill in the blanks. For the first time, I'm starting to feel okay with not having all the answers.