By Carla Schick
When I was little, I swore I was never going to do two things: wear mascara and get married. Well, I’ve been brushing black mascara on my lashes since high school, and I have been husband-hunting since I was 20 years old. My point is that things change. Sometimes we’re in control of that change, but more often than not, change occurs when we least expect it.
Those in the IG community have received an unwelcome change in the form of a chronic illness, which has for better or worse altered life’s course into something unexpected. When we are young and healthy, we have no limits; the world is our oyster. But, the unexpected can force us to alter our list of goals and dreams. I know I’ve altered mine on several occasions. The trick is being open to those changes, and to roll with the punches so that we don’t become discouraged.
Here’s a current list of my top five goals and dreams:
- Drive Route 66 from start to finish
I’ve always wanted to drive America’s iconic 2,448-mile stretch of highway known as Route 66. Starting in Los Angeles, Calif., and finishing in Chicago, Ill., this tour would take me through Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico and Arizona — states many of my ancestors once called home.
- Write a book and get it published
You’re not really a writer until you become an author. One of my goals is to put my ideas for children’s books down on paper, and God willing, get them published.
- Buy a first edition copy of E.M. Forster’s “A Room With a View”
Forster’s 1908 publication, “A Room With a View,” is my all-time favorite book. I always go back to it when I’m looking for a good read.
- Take an extreme driving course
There’s nothing like the adrenaline rush that comes from getting behind the wheel of a car going way too fast for its own good. I’m not what you would call an adrenaline junky, but I wouldn’t mind learning how to do high-speed reverse driving, hand brake and J turns.
- Find my soul mate and marry him
We have officially arrived at the mushy part. Yes, I’m still in search of “my better half”, “Prince Charming”, “Mr. Right”, or whatever other titles I decide to assign my husband-to-be. One of these serendipitous days, maybe I’ll walk into him.
Our dreams and goals make life tick. They keep us going in the face of adversity and hopelessness. Just because they alter as our circumstances change doesn’t mean they’re any less important. And it’s a good thing that they evolve over time; otherwise, some of us would grow up to be spiders, mermaids or Power Rangers.
What are your life goals? Did they change after your diagnosis?