Friday, January 8, 2010

I'm old and Prepared

Well, I start school in three days! I am so happy that I will have a life again.

I have defined "a life" by school and a career. I have had a good life since I got sick last June: it's been wonderful to bond with my mom and the animals that I love, to celebrate Christmas, to write in my diary and this blog. None of these things have made me feel like I've been living a full life, though. Perhaps these simple pleasures would be enough for me if I'd already experienced my post-graduate education and the career that will come with it. This will give me independence and help me make a difference in the world. I know I've positively impacted the lives of my friends and family, but that isn't enough for me. I want to enact social change.

My goal is to write press releases, public service announcements, newsletters and magazine articles for a non-profit organization, preferably one that deals with social health issues. I'd also like to work on marketing, advertising and event planning. My program will help me with all of those things and qualify me for jobs that ask for a certificate in public relations or something like it. That, combined with my Professional Writing and Health and Society degree, will surely make me extra attractive to employers.

Once I've settled into a job, I really want to start looking for an apartment. My really good friend I have been talking about getting a place together in a couple of years and my twin sister and I want to move out together this year. As much as I've dreamed about having a place all to myself, I think it would be more fun and less lonely to share a place with someone I love! Finally I won't have to rely on my parents financially. They've been so good to me, though. I will miss living with them.

I've decided to speak to my instructors and disability counsellor at school about my health issues. Well, mainly I just want to warn them that I may have to miss school because of illness or a medical appointment. I don't want to pretend that my issues won't continue to play a role in my life. The conditions are permanent and I'm sure the symptoms will continue to play a role in my life in one way or another. I must learn to live with them.

The unknown scares me a little bit. I'm sure the workload won't be too difficult or strenuous, but what about walking to and from the subway station? Up all of those stairs at the subway stations and on my campus? What other issues might come up? I will feel better once I let the right people at the campus know what's going on with me. I'm not stubborn anymore and I'm going to ask for help!

Well, scared isn't really the right word because I'm fully aware that there are resources at the school to help people like me. I don't worry about discrimination or anything. I think excited is probably the better word. I am definitely about to embark on a rite of passage and this is the one that will propel me into adulthood. I feel excited and curious like I did when I started my undergraduate studies at York University over five years ago, only now I feel really old. I guess that's what illness does to you.

I actually just visited York a couple of days ago to FINALLY pick up my diploma. The campus felt so alien to me, like I'd never been a student there. I felt the same way I had when I came to the campus for the first time, only the students walking through the halls looked really young to me, not older. I felt like yelling to them that the world is nothing like York. It's better and more exciting once you figure out what you want to do with your life. Then I realized that maybe some of those kids already knew what they wanted to do, or maybe they would never know. Maybe they weren't dying to get out of York. Maybe they wouldn't have such an aging experience as illness. Instead, they may feel unprepared for the grown up world. I can't imagine.


  1. I know what you mean about seeing the young kids on Keele campus and wanting to warn them. York can be such a fishbowl.
    I'm so proud of you for all your plans, Ash. You write about it all so eloquently, and with the charm and poise of someone who is mature beyond their years. Kudos.

  2. I'm glad you understand! You are too sweet. It helps me so much to know that I'm out living my life and addressing my issues, rather doing nothing and feeling sorry for myself.