This year is the beginning of a brand new adventure for me - university. Although quite overwhelming and proving to be quite stressful, it’s something I am really enjoying. I am having an absolute blast. I’ve been in university for about three weeks. Every week, I continue to hear this quote that, until now, I really hadn’t had any knowledge of:
"Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans." - John Lennon
When I first heard one of my lecturers announce this, the words rang too true, especially for someone living with a chronic illness. Even those without a chronic illness never truly know what is going to happen. A change can affect our life in a tragic way, or can be the most beautiful change we go through.
It’s just the thought that, while you are busy making your own plans, “life” can come through and change your life for the absolute best. You could be walking down the street when you find a lotto ticket, and it happens to be the winning numbers. Okay, that is totally cliché, but I’m sure you can see where I’m going here. You could be on the transplant list and you’re making plans for the next few months that you’re going to be cooped up in hospital, planning visitors and treatments. 3am comes around, and the nurses are getting you ready for the surgery because a donor organ has been donated. Your mummy cries and your daddy pats you on the hand as you get pushed into theatre.
Sometimes, life has these plans. I know that we don’t always agree with them, but we can’t stop them. We can’t change them. But I think it’s important to look at the beautiful things life does throw our way. The spontaneity of it all. The thought that tomorrow, our lives could change. Maybe a publisher could find our writing on the Internet and want to work with us. Maybe, while we’re singing to our favourite song, unbeknownst to us, a music producer is looking for a new sound - you.
I was only ever “just a Heart kid,” until one day when I saw a newsletter advertising a teen camp. Then, I wasn’t “just a heart kid” anymore; I was no longer alone. I had people. I’d never really gone anywhere with my illness in terms of spreading awareness then, but now, I’m writing for a website (this one!) to which I’m an ambassador for.
I think what John Lennon is saying is that, sometimes, we have our whole lives planned ahead of us, but we need to make room for the unexpected. Life is spontaneous, and instead of disregarding that or being scared of it, we need to embrace it.
So, just remember that life gets in the way sometimes. Life with a chronic illness comes with some extra hurdles. Hospitals when you least expect it. Doctors telling you news that you might not want to hear. No matter what, I think it’s important to embrace whatever comes your way, because things never go exactly as planned.