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The Future – Learning To Count The Memories and Not The Days

By  1st March 2019

Every new day is a blessing but each one brings a new opportunity for something to go wrong

The ‘Future’ is a strange concept.

The dictionary defines it as: “a period of time following the moment of speaking or writing; time regarded as still to come.” But how long is this period? How big? Is it tomorrow or is it next week? Next year, perhaps? A hundred days or a thousand? Is the future set in stone or does it change every time we change our minds?

It is easy to think about the future but when asked to define it, to actually put it into words, it’s hard. It’s just a stretch of time that no one can predict or see into or control.

The future, in fact, can be scary to think about. With it comes so much uncertainty – you can never predict how it will look. I find myself worrying about the future a lot. I worry about things like how the rest of my uni career will pan out, about finding a job once it’s over, about being an adult in the real world and having to look after myself. I guess these are pretty standard worries for a person of my age.

I also worry about things that might happen in my future that most people of my age don’t have to worry about. For example, that someday I discover my brain tumours have regrown and need radio-therapy again. That I’ll eventually need another transplant as my new organs – which aren’t so new anymore – will only last so long. That I won’t be able to have children. Or live to be married. All I want in life is to have my own family but I have to face the possibility that this might never happen.

As a person living with so many complex medical anomalies, every new day is a blessing but each one brings a new opportunity for something to go wrong. No one can ever predict if or when, but at some-point, it most likely will. I find myself mulling over this a lot. Somedays there is nothing else I can think about.

These thoughts are constantly lingering in my subconscious and every so often, they seem to creep up and catch me by surprise. For example, just a couple of days ago, I was having a drink with some friends and our topic of conversation shifted to boys and boyfriends and then families and, eventually, to having children.  We discussed how many we wanted, when we wanted them and what names, if any, we liked – I have a few. Although it was a lighthearted conversation, it triggered some of these worries. I found myself thinking about whether I’ll ever have children, if I’ll ever be able to. Simply, these types of worries plague me frequently.

My heart is only going to last so long. Next year it will be ten years since my transplant and it has spent time in its original body before me too. As I talked about in a previous post, it’s already experienced a few problems. I constantly think about what my future will look like or how long it will last. Will my heart decide to give in one day in the near future? Will I need another one? If so, will I ever get one? Its a strange thing to deal with knowing that technically I shouldn’t be alive today (if you’d have told people where I am today, when I was at my worst, they wouldn’t have believed you) and the fact that I am relies on something that may fail at any moment. Everyone has to face it one day but morbidity is something I have nearly seen so many times and something I sometimes  worry could be right around the corner.

I try not to let these thoughts consume me as I know it doesn’t make for a productive, nor joyful, exisitence. As of now, I’m doing really well, my health is great and I’m working out and doing loads of stuff and enjoying my life more that I have in a while but, occasionally, I do have to face the facts. I probably won’t live to see 80, maybe not even 50 or 60, but what I do know is that I have so many more happy times to come with my family and friends.

The ‘future’ isn’t an amount of time or a series of planned or solid events. It’s the things you do and the people you spend time with. Every single person has a future because everyone has the power to make happy and treasured memories with what they have.

Me and The Angel of The North

The Angel of the North has always been a symbol of my recovery for me and my family. 

The ‘future’ is a scary and daunting prospect that no-one can predict or decipher so why not just forget about it? Let’s live in the here and now. That’s what I’m going to do.  It sounds cliched but I’m realising how important it is to do this more and more each day. Don’t count your days or predict how many you have left. Count the times you laughed at yourself for saying something stupid or forgot that time was passing at all because you were having so much fun. Count the times you got to spend with those you love and don’t look into the future, look forward to it. Because really, the future is tomorrow. The future is next week.

The future is now.

Yours sincerely,

Cecilia-Joy x

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