So today is my birthday, I am 24 years old. I seriously cannot conceive where time has gone over the last couple of years (I think I struggle with the last 2 years because I was heavily medicated and asleep for the majority of this time.
Ok, so I am a typical oldest child, A-type personality, perfectionist. I had my life planned out…well sorta. It was really important to me to be a young mom. I found the love of my life in middle school and I knew I was going to be a young bride, as well. I wanted to go to college and get my associates degree from a local community college followed by two-three years at the university, which was great. I imagined I would be establishing connections for my career job. By 23 I would graduate with my Bachelors degree and hopefully have money remaining in my college fund so I could do some traveling or put a down payment on a house. By 24 I thought I would have my first kid or at least be pregnant. My crystal ball of dreams and mile markers just didn’t happen.
Instead my life has taken a very different approach. I heard a long time ago, “we plan and God laughs” and I feel like that phrase is so true with where I saw my life! I did have a great path into my career without a degree to support it. I do have two associates degrees and zero bachelors degrees. I also have no baby (yet), I but I have a ton of experience of fighting a chronic disease.
Oh, here are some things I learned in my 24 years:
1. When you fill out your insurance elections ALWAYS pay into short term and disability. My payment was cheaper than a cup of coffee taken out of my pay each paycheck. Now I can collect some money from a private insurance agency because I am on disability. It is WAY worth it. I hope you never have to actually collect on it, but in the rare case that you find out you have a chronic illness…I hope you have some financial backing from life insurance.
2. I still am not entirely sure what I want to be when I grow up. I think people should stop asking everyone this question…especially high school seniors!
3. Food from Whole Foods or any other fancy store does not make the food healthy, learn how to read food labels and try to avoid foods or preservatives you cannot pronounce.
4. Love your parents and tell it to them often. It is extremely challenging when they have to watch their children be so sick and miserable. They need to hear it just as much as you do.
5. Black Friday is the most fun day of the year.
6. I married the best man in the whole wide world for me! He is perfect and this disease has shown me his dedication and love even more.