Friends and Family,
Cameron and I want to continue giving all of you our first-hand insight on our experiences thus far, therefore we’ll be updating you periodically through this blog. We hope that you’ll stay in touch!
It has been about 3 and a half months since the transplant surgery and for the first time in a while, I’m beginning to feel like myself again. I have learned a great deal from this experience, but one thing in particular is the fact that most of us take the simpler things in life for granted far too often. It’s not until our sympathy becomes empathy that we truly live our lives more appreciative. It doesn’t have to be that way though.
I have witnessed loved ones become ill and the struggle that they go through trying to climb their way back to a healthy lifestyle, specifically my brother over the past decade. Yet, it’s one thing to witness hardship and another to experience it for yourself.
We all go through life on our own paths (hopefully that’s the case), hitting these figurative speed bumps along the way, however some are more significant than others. For me, this experience was just that. I’ve lived through years of typical pain from the common sports injury of a broken bone or the mental anguish from the occasional stomach virus (most of us cringe just thinking about that one), but this experience was different. It wasn’t only a byproduct of the magnitude or invasiveness of the surgery itself.
In fact, it really didn’t have much to do with the physical pain at all. I will admit, there was pain. Significant pain that at the time you begin rambling off the things you’d give up to dissolve it. As I said though, that wasn’t it. It had to do with the mental strength that is necessary for one to possess. After all, without mental reaction, pain is only a word. Our consciousness must acknowledge it for us to actually feel it.
When you’re lying on your back most of the day with time seeming like it’s barely crawling, your mind begins to wander. It begins to question many things and you find yourself on a self-discovery mission in order to help cope with the recovery. Or at least I did. I’d say that I knew myself fairly well before the surgery, yet what I learned throughout this experience is exceptional. The mind is capable of incredible things.
I couldn’t help but constantly reflect back on my life and what it has amassed to. I thought about my accomplishments, but more so the individuals who had entered my life, only to leave it hurt by my actions. I believe that when someone is hurting, it’s only natural to think about the others they have hurt. At least that has been my experience. But we cannot change the past, can we? We can only put our best foot forward and learn from past experiences. More importantly, we can live a life full of love, rather than full of resentment. That is the key.
Thankfully, I had so much love and support from family members and caregivers that it wasn’t difficult to replace any thoughts of guilt with thoughts of gratefulness. Gratefulness for having gone through each and every experience of my life, both positive and negative. Gratefulness for having had relationships that made me feel wonderful and also shed tears of sadness. It is my past that has shaped me into the individual I am today.
Luckily, in my state of despair, I discovered a new found love for both reading and writing. “Man’s Search for Meaning” by Viktor Frankl (a Holocaust survivor and psychologist) put everything in perfect perspective for me. You’ll go through challenges throughout your life and not every moment is going to be joyful. The most important thing however, is to find meaning in all of life’s moments. Always embodying the life of a student. For my brother and I, we’ve chosen to take what we’ve learned and teach others through our experiences.
I’ve never felt so passionate about wanting to inspire others. It’s as though Cameron and I need to share this experience with the world. Thankfully, our intuition is constantly being reinforced by emails and messages from complete strangers, explaining their connection to our story. It’s a beautiful thing to witness and we know in our hearts that we’re onto something special.
Lastly, I’m finally getting back to my passion of music, which feels incredible. I began recording my new music back in August of 2013 so you can imagine my anxiousness to release it to the world. I’m anticipating releasing some songs next month and cannot wait for everyone to hear what I’ve put so much of my heart and soul into. By the way, the music that I’m currently writing has never felt as meaningful as it currently does.
To quote one of my most significant musical influences, Brandon Boyd, “in this moment, I am happy”. Thank you all for your continued love and support.