Not Where You Want To Be In Life?
We all remember the day we got diagnosed with heart failure. That numb heartbreaking feeling when those words slipped from the lips of our doctors. From the day I got diagnosed with dilated cardiomyopathy, I knew that my life would be forever changed.
How? I didn’t know at the time if I would even survive to see my 30th birthday because I did not think the survival rate was that high.
Some of us were working in our careers and some of us were not. Some of us were in relationships before we were diagnosed and some of us were minding our business when heart failure found us. Heart failure comes and steals our independence, confidence, and our way of life.
Who are you when all this happens? This is something that I struggle with even with a heart transplant. Who am I?
You may feel like you are losing at this game called life. It is as if the whole world is going on like clockwork and nothing is stopping except your life.
Not where I wanted to be in life: Living with heart failure
Even sitting down to write this, sometimes I feel as though life is passing me by. I got diagnosed at 25 years old so I was barely able to live my life devoid of heart failure. Societal norms like having a career or even marriage, buying a house, and having children are then put in limbo. You feel like your life is just useless and you are just not where you want to be with heart failure.
I will use my life as an example. I am now 34, no career, not married, no kids...yet. I say yet because I know they are coming in God’s time. Everything is going well with my transplant 3 years into it, no rejection to speak of. My now annual right heart catheterizations are coming back fine which means the heart is happy. Yet still I feel lost.
Part of the reason why I feel like I am not where I want to be is that what I graduated with a degree in is no longer what I am interested in. My degree is in Criminal Justice and I thought I was going to be an agent in one of the many of the law enforcement agencies such as the Secret Service and the Drug Enforcement Agency. After graduating from school, I decided to start applying for law school but did not get accepted at any of the schools. Most people identify with their careers, but I find myself running from one-on-one conversations with people because I do not have a career to speak of. Today, I am not sure if because of my medical history I would be able to be an agent.
Another reason I am not where I want to be in my heart failure journey outside of heart failure is because I am not independent. Meaning I live at home free of rent. Not that there is anything wrong with that - it just feels like I should be a part of the rat race.
Comparing myself to others
I am always comparing. Comparison is the thief of joy and I know you have all heard that before. COVID stopped the dating scene for me because I was not going anywhere. I was hiding from the virus due to being immune compromised. You may be thinking what about dating sites? Well, I tried them and the swiping left or right is not organic enough for me.
Never give up
Society says we should have certain things to be successful as a human, but none of these things has ever come easy for me. There is no specific order that these things have to be done. Maybe you have your children first, a career next, and a spouse after that, or maybe another order.
Many of us have bumps in the road on the way to success, or whatever it is you are looking to do, but the key is to never give up. A lot of us are working towards a goal. Maybe it's not one of the things that I mentioned, but do not bow down to societal norms.
Everybody’s path is different and we all have a purpose on this earth. It is easy to get down and discouraged comparing your lives to others, but the key is not to compare. Your time for these things will come. Remember, God’s timing is the best timing.
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