Four years ago, my mother was diagnosed with stage 3 breast cancer. She later had a mastectomy. I remember speaking with the doctor over the phone, 120 miles away from home, on this clear early autumn day, between classes. He said it was a 50/50 chance. He didn't sound hopeful. And that was that. I remember being in the waiting room. I always hated hospitals, something about the smell, the death, the sick people. I remember the chemo treatments. That autumn, I took 18 credits, an internship 50 miles away from campus and at one point, between dealing with all of that and heart break, I couldn't eat for two weeks. The thought of food physically made me nauseous. I ended that semester with the highest GPA of my college career.
Two years ago, I packed my life into a suitcase and caught a flight to Florence, Italy. I moved in with 15 complete strangers, and it was the best thing I ever did. There were weeks where there was nothing more that I wanted, than living in the moments I was living in. You know you have it good when you don't want time to pass by any faster than they do. There was no, muddling through the week simply to get to the weekend–where in the ordinary life, living begins. Every day, I couldn't believe that was my life.
I've had my world, everything I've ever believed in, almost crumble. Where nothing mattered but praying. And I've had days, months where I've done more living than most can say in a life time.
So now, whatever the next stage of this life brings me, I know I'll be ready, I'll be okay, and things might even end up amazing.