Reverb10 – Beautifully Different

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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.

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  1. Such a great post. I especially like the say you said this:

    "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.

    That is so true, for every situation; whether it's a very challenging health issue, or the "wow, that puts my job frustrations into perspective" stuff I'm going through.

    Thank you!

  2. Love this post. Beautifully written and shows a strength you didn't mention. P.S.- I won't eat a hot dog without ketchup.

  3. I like your post. And you are totally normal – syrup on bacon and ketchup on hot dogs? What other option is there?

  4. The Hubs cringes every time I do it (and I'm teaching Max to do it too, but he puts ketchup on everything, up to and including pancakes) He says mustard and onions only. He's totally grossed out by my ketchup laden dogs.

  5. Other Lizz-with-two-zs, our name and general location is where our similarities end, because I am a paltry five foot three.

  6. Wow, what an amazing post. It made the hairs on my airs stand up. Makes me realize I have so much to be thankful for. Sounds like you're an amazing mom, daughter and optimist with such grace and inner strength. You truly are beautifully different.

  7. WOW! You just blew my hair back! Thanks for sharing all that makes you Beautifully Different.

    And yes, you have wonderful friends who recognize that the beauty is you simply being you.

    Warmly, Tracy

  8. So I was reading this quickly at first and I thought you must have actually said "ketchup on bacon and syrup on hot dogs," 'cause what you originally had makes total sense to me.

    But wow, your medical history is extensive, so I can see how people would admire you for doing what you have to do. I've never been tested the way you have, and I could only hope to show some of that grace when I need it.

    Thanks for coming by! It's nice to meet you.

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