Sunset over gentle Tahoe waves (February 2014)
"Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will." — Mahatma Gandhi
I have been quiet on snap. eat. love. recently. Unusually quiet. I have debated sharing why — moving something I am quite open about in my offline life into this space. This wonderful place where I get to share how I see the world and capture moments in time…while recognizing that these reflections are “permanently” recorded for the “world” to see. Yet, it is something that not only affects my daily life, but has also profoundly shaped my world view — and so, I think it is time to share.
Several years ago, I was diagnosed with a rare genetic disorder that causes severe pain and a myriad of other symptoms. It affects almost every system in my body — musculoskeletal, gastrointestinal, neurological, cardiac — to name a few. My outlook living with chronic illness: I am incredibly grateful for my amazing support system and what I *AM* able to do. Although I am always in pain, I continually strive to do the best things possible for my body. I continue to push the limits, recognizing that balance is important. I choose to live. If I am going to be in pain, regardless of activity, I choose to be active.
Yet, there are times that, in spite of best efforts and coping strategies, I am unable to do things. Many things. For example, in the past few weeks, I was unable to engage with technology — finding it too difficult to look at screens long enough to even post a quick picture. I fell (far) behind in following. Bigger daily tasks have consistently been pushed to “tomorrow.” Vertigo will do that to you. Waves of unrelenting nausea and pain will force you to step away. Yet, in those moments, I try to hold firm to the belief that, at the very least, tomorrow will be better.
Again, I am so deeply, deeply grateful for the love and support of my family and friends. I could not go through this alone. I know there are many, many others who face far greater challenges and I continually draw from their strength and example.
Tumblr community, there are so many of you who have inspired me — from incredible photographers to run-streakers, sassy humorists to positive adventurers. So, thank you, to the many who unknowingly provide daily reinforcement that there is so much to be thankful for. Although there may be times I am a little quiet (or have to catch up in large batches), please know I am cheering you on from a-far!
I share this with the humble intention of rounding out the picture of the adventurer behind snap. eat. love. and to express my deep gratitude to all those who have shown me great thoughtfulness. It has been a challenging few weeks, but I am choosing to focus on beautiful walks, new friendships, wonderful Olympic moments, snowflakes the size of cotton balls, comfortable pillows, delicious food, and love. Lots and lots of love.