Thursday, September 22

in my shoes

I doubt that I can do any justice in describing how strange it is to be an ‘invincible’ type of person one day, and the next to be setting off down the road of long-term illness. Perhaps the oddest thing about it is that I am used to deciding what happens next...and this time I was left out. All of us have had that beastly flu which shows up on the busiest week of our year - but try to imagine that untimely illness lasting that whole crucial year, and potentially many more. It feels unspeakably inconvenient.

As an aspiring flautist, it really didn’t seem to be an option to allow the beast to just move in just like that, with no warning or promises of recovery. I needed to practice for hours, to be mentally alert, to be fit for long days and rehearsals.  So initially, while feeling utterly wasted, gray, grumpy and ill – I pushed on. I mean, you can go to work with the flu; everything will just be utterly unpleasant. After a harrowing year, my summer did much to revive me and I ambitiously declared that I was well enough to move to Melbourne and begin uni at the con. But it took only five weeks for me to discover a truth I never want to forget: you can’t ignore your body.

You just can’t. Well, you can for a wee little while and that keeps you under the illusion that you have ultimate control. Sooner or later, that big beast pins you to the ground and you can’t fight back. By half way through the year, I was limping into practice rooms at lunch time, locking the door and lying down – guilty to be using someone’s practice space, but unable to get home unless I lay down first. Then it going home after one class and sleeping the rest of the day, trying to get in 30 mins practice before bed.
I would cry to this piece of music every single night – have a listen:
 Then it was conceding, and arranging not to return to uni the following year. I was at such a sick point that I was relieved to know that I could now rest. Just lie, not go out, not do things, not see people. Here began my journey of acceptance that I am not in control of my life, that tough things can teach lessons you can’t learn another way, that being successful is not the most important thing. Life is so much more wholesome than I ever realised before.

1 comment:

  1. Best thing I have read in months. Good on you for writing this... It makes me think of James 4:10. "Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up." I can testify to the way you have grown in the last few years... Your weakness has brought strength. Always praying for your recovery, Roo.