Light on

With the passing of Thanksgiving weekend, it has officially transitioned into many people’s favorite time of the year-Christmas time. And with the transition into Christmas time inevitably bringing the transition into December, it also brings me that much closer to receiving my very unique Christmas present-brain surgery.

Some moments the reality of everything that is about to happen hits closer to home than others, and over this recent break, one specific moment struck pretty hard. It was Friday night, where one could find many rummaging in stores through the remnants of the early morning Black Friday madness, and where you could find about 17 of my closest friends at my house, stuffing our stomachs for a second time, celebrating a group Thanksgiving. After dinner, we had planned to complete an adventurous scavenger hunt, a little competition my friends and I have become accustomed to doing every couple of months to change things up a bit, and spirits were high and bellies pleasantly, (and some painfully) full from engorging ourselves with such scrumptious food as we all departed for the hunt.

There were four groups, and each of us received a list compiled by yours truly with required tasks such as getting a picture in a deserted cabin, and Christmas caroling at a stranger’s house.They were fairly achievable accomplishments whose difficulty only lied in scrounging up the small bit of courage it took to complete them. The bonus, however, was a different story. In order to receive the points for it, two members of the group had to swim in a lake, which clearly, in roughly 30-degree weather takes serious bravery and also physical wellness, something I currently lack.

Naturally, being the spontaneous person I am, I gladly volunteered myself to complete this addition to the list, to which initially no one had any objection to. When it came down to it though, all of them realized the risks that jumping into the lake would put for me. Not only can I not get sick, as I explained in my previous blog, with the cyst in my brain also comes fluctuating temperature. There are times when I will randomly get a fever and others when not even standing directly in front of a full-fledged fire can keep me warm. The lake was clearly a double-edged sword, one that I could not even be poked by.

To say I was a little disappointed was an understatement. I was upset. Standing outside the car, waiting for my friends to get their towels and dry clothes prepared for after their daring jump, I thought about all the reasons I couldn’t do this, and all the reasons it made me want to so much more. I truly believe this surgery will go well, but I’ll be the first to admit that I have my moments of doubt, and this was one of them.

I wondered if I would get another opportunity to do this, act a little rambunctious with my friends, spontaneously jump into a lake simply for the sake of winning a scavenger hunt that didn’t even have a prize besides the rightful title of being a winner. Those are the moments that I live for, I relish the nights I’m surrounded with the people who have stood by me this whole time, doing crazy things, acting completely reckless and ridiculous solely just because we can. Not being able to participate in something with them because it puts a risk to my health is so difficult for me, I’m not quite sure I can even properly put it into words.

The great thing about my friends though is that all of them have come to understand this. They know when I’m feeling down, when I’m over thinking, when I’m stressing too much over a situation. And just as I was focusing in on the reason I couldn’t be a part of it, they totally changed my perspective. They helped me see why it would put me in danger, and they also helped me still feel semi-important as I held the camera filming the whole fiasco. It was in one of my darkest moments that they helped me reveal one of my brightest.

I am surrounded by people who genuinely care about me. Every weekend these kids are at my house, encompassing me with their silly jokes, their laughter, their raucousness. They help make my life seem normal. They protect me. They are more than I could ever ask for and I can’t tell you how much they all mean to me.

This past week was a time when we all shared what we are thankful for. This year there have been times when I felt like nothing in my life was going right. When I’ve been scared, in pain, in dark places. But even in the blackest of all these moments, there’s always been a little beacon of light, and that light is my friends and family who have strung me through all along.

Many people say how they’re thankful for their clothes on their back, the blessings they’ve been bestowed upon, and many other things. And while all of those certainly matter to me, I think this year the thing I’m most thankful for are the people who never left. You guys are amazing.