I've been thinking about the title of my blog. "The Journey to a Brand New Beth". I named it in the midst of the fundraising campaign to raise money for a stem cell transplant. It made sense at the time. I thought I would have this transplant and it would transform my life. I would have remission and hope, hope that my health would be brand new. Since I was rejected for the transplant, it's been difficult for me to see how that old title I chose could still apply. It seemed to me that the same old Beth wasn't becoming brand new. I was becoming a sick girl on a quick road to a short, stationary life.
And then a few days ago I was looking through pictures I had been tagged in on Facebook. I came across a picture that had been taken of me 10 years ago by my very favorite International student at college named Yoko. I was completely shocked at what I saw. I studied the picture and then clicked back to a picture of myself taken just a few weeks ago and couldn't believe the difference. I clicked back and forth and back and forth. An unbelievable thing has happened to me. I absolutely LOOK like a brand new Beth. Feel free to take a look at the difference:
Ten years have passed between these photos but my spirit feels just as alive as I was at 22yrs. I've learned a lot, some big lessons and a lot about love.
#1. I've learned to roll with the punches where my physical body is concerned. Ten years ago didn't look that great but I was VERY healthy. Now, I look ten times better but my body is incredibly unhealthy. Life's funny like that and physical beauty means so little when you're forced to get down to the core of who you are.
#2. Nothing on this planet can replace the love and importance of family and a support system. I'm the luckiest girl on the planet to have people who have sacrificed and continue to sacrifice time, money, work, and many times their own personal preferences to help meet my needs. I hope that when things get hard in your life, and they will, that you have even a fraction of the love and support I have. They make me strong and happy.
#3. I have learned over these 10 years what love is. The completely unselfish, 100% committed, humbling, real thing. And her name is Sandy. My mom has been my biggest teacher, supporter and example of love. She is responsible for me being who I am. (So if you don't really like me much, you might wanna take it up with her.)
#4. This is the biggie. Here's my single biggest passion and I've learned all about it. TIME. As in, it's here. And it's passing by. That picture from 10 years ago shocked me, but I can tell you this, when I look in the mirror I don't see that big of a change. Almost like no time has passed. It just goes so quickly and before you know it, a decade is gone. If I had known at age 22 what I know now, that I would have a progressive, incurable disease. That my lungs would fail me and my biggest dreams would always be out of my reach, OH how different these ten years would have been. The trick here is, we don't get that advantage. None of us. So stop and think now. Stop wasting your time. Here's what matters: God (or whomever/whatever you believe in) and your human relationships. And that's it. Period. Take care of what's important, stop being so serious and get over yourself. Stop worrying about failing someone else. Stop letting someone else tell you what you're worth. Stop waiting around for your future to fall in your lap. Stop being selfish and start being kind. And go live. Enjoy this time because you don't have a lot. Cliche of all cliche's but it's true.
The thing is, I am becoming a brand new Beth. You can see it in the pictures but more importantly I can see it IN me. I want to grow more and learn more and love more. I'm tested daily and trust me, I get testy! But I don't care about money or fame or status. I just wanna love and be loved, just like everyone else. And I'm not afraid to admit it!
The brand new me will come. I'm still on the Journey.