December 8 – Beautifully Different. Think about what makes you different and what you do that lights people up. Reflect on all the things that make you different – you’ll find they’re what make you beautiful.
I can easily rattle off a list of things that make me different:
- I'm 6′ tall and wear a size 11 shoe
- I can palm a basketball
- I put maple syrup on my bacon, and ketchup on my hot dogs (My husband says this is weird. I'm not convinced.)
- I love dipping Barbecue potato chips in cream cheese
- At 23 years old, in 2001, I was diagnosed with Goodpasture's Syndrome, a rare autoimmune disorder that occasionally get thrown out as a potential diagnosis on House (But it's never the right answer)
- I married my high school crush (not sweetheart; crush. He never knew back then) it just took 13 years for us to get there.
- At 24 years old, I was told that my kidneys would never recover, and I needed a transplant.
- In 2004, my mom gave me life, again, and gave me a kidney.
- I gave birth to my son, Max, at 28 weeks gestation, in 2008, and I spent what should have been the last 3 months of my pregnancy sitting in a chair next to his isolette instead.
- When Max was six months old, my transplanted kidney, that amazing gift from my mom, failed for good, putting me back on dialysis.
- I've spent a total of 2 years on hemodialysis (the in-clinic one most people are familiar with) and 3 years on peritoneal dialysis (done overnight, at home)
So there are some things that make me different, but I'm still not totally clear on how they make me beautiful. I don't know how I “light people up”
So I asked for help.
I posted the prompt on my Facebook page and asked my friends (my community, if you will) for guidance. The two friends that replied right away set me off down this path, skipping along like Dorothy on the yellow brick road.
I don't set out to inspire, motivate or energize people. I'm not a life coach, motivational speaker or a meditation instructor and yogi. I'm a graphic designer, a wife and a mom. I'm just doing my thing, what I need to do to get through the day.
But apparently, that's what makes me inspire others. The *way* I go about my life… to quote my friend Heather: “Lizz. My dear. You have grace. You have the ability to take whatever comes at you (and a lot has come at you) and say ‘Whoa. OK. Here's my reality. And this is how I am going to deal with it.' And you do. Beautifully.” (Don't I have the most amazing friends?)
I'm an incurable optimist.
I vividly remember a moment when I first got sick, sitting in the hospital room that had been my home for the previous six weeks, thinking to myself, “I have two choices; I can rant and rail against God and scream ‘Why me?!?!?!' or I can move on and make the best of things.” I chose the latter.
You can only play the hand you're dealt, and if it's all you know, it's all you've got to work with. People have commented to me more than once, “I just don't know how you do it… dialysis, working, commuting, a kid, a husband…” And my answer is always the same.
You do what you have to.
So I guess what I'm saying is, I'm just living my life, and if I get the chance to influence someone, that's great. I'm not going out of my way to do so; it's like I'm an unintentional role model.