I’ve come across a problem I never thought I’d face.
You see, when you grow up sick you learn to not think too far ahead.
At a young age you have an awareness.
An awareness that, as dark as it sounds, you might just be cut a bit short.
So you take a day at a time.
Forward thinking to at most a month.
You don’t make future plans- you don’t want to let yourself down.
And you’re okay with this.
Your life goals are things like finish a year in school, be well enough to play outside, make it to another birthday.
Now that’s the thing.
I’ve always had the goal of just one more birthday.
But there’s a point when you’re young and severely sick- a point you don’t expect to make it to.
I’m not trying to be dramatic, but I suppose I never expected to become an adult.
See, you become a realist at a very young age when you live at the hospital.
And I knew my odds.
Maybe I should’ve dreamed a little bigger, or had a little more faith in myself- because I beat my odds.
I reached this birthday.
But, where does that leave me?
I’m about to enter a stage in my life that I never really planned for.
I never let myself think about Adult Nikki.
Adult Nikki was someone I never thought I’d meet.
But in a week and a half she’s moving in for good.
And I feel like I should be excited, but mostly I’m just afraid.
I feel unprepared and a little overwhelmed.
Imagine realizing your lifespan will actually be five times greater than you originally expected.
That’s a lot of time you never planned for.
It’s just…it’s just strange.
And incredibly overwhelming.
On top of the stress of becoming an adult, I now have to face the realization that I have a full life ahead of me.
And I’m not ungrateful by any means.
I’m incredibly thankful for the doctors and treatment that allowed me to even get old enough to have this privileged problem.
But it’s just unexpected.
The universe is throwing me a surprise party and see, I’ve never been good with surprises.
I never took the question, “what do you want to be when you grow up?” very seriously when I was younger.
It was always a rhetorical question- the answer didn’t actually matter.
But now it does.
And I’m not sure what to think.
I guess that’s why I’m writing this informal little piece.
Writing and creating has always helped me process.
And when I can’t process something, writing at least lets me leave my mind.
So I’m putting this out there in the hopes of finding peace and finding rest.
I’m scared, I’m overwhelmed, I’m apprehensive.
This is the first of a series of unexpected birthdays, but I can do it.