This is a post that I’ve gone back and forth deciding whether I should share it, and a post that I’ve written and rewritten a million times because I feel like it has to come out just right to not sound like whining.
Tonight, I had a long conversation with someone else newly diagnosed with Hemiplegic Migraine. We touched on a side of a subject I usually avoid, instead responding with silly positive clichés. And that is; what I have and will miss out on. I usually blab about the silver linings, which is typically how I choose to look at it. But I often think about the raw truth.
I got my license the day after my 16th birthday, in August. After October 26th that year, I was done driving until I could go 6 months seizure free. At first, that didn’t bother me because driving actually stressed me out. Once all my friends started to get their licenses and cars and drive themselves around I began to wish I could drive. I would just say I was glad I didn’t have to pay for gas! But it wasn’t until recently that I’ve hated to always use someone for a ride. Three years later, and I still haven’t made it that 6 months free. I know it bothers me because I see my little brother driving and my little brother having to be my ride. I’m not sure if I’m jealous of Parker’s ability or experience. I’ve been just shopping around for cars I wish so badly I was scraping together money for. I’ve been craving the Independence a license gives you.
I’m so so genuinely stoked for all of my friends and each of their different college plans. UCM, Mizzou, S&T, Columbia College, SLU; they all scored some serious talent and dedication. I can’t wait to hear about Hailey’s softball and I know Kelsey will have a million clubs to keep up with. But I am a little bummed to be missing that side of the college experience. I’ve planned to live on campus and rush for years. I guess plans change, because I’m not perfectly coordinating my dorm and going on coffee dates with my new roomie. I’ve desired sorority life probably forever, but I can always do it next year. I’m most sad that Kelsey will be two hours away while I’m stuck at home.
I always joke that I stay locked away in my house, which has changed recently but was true for quite some time. It was hard for me to realize how uncomfortable I made people, when I felt like I was the only person who should get to feel uncomfortable. Something being wrong with someone you care about is hard to adjust to, and though I couldn’t see it at the time, I now see in how many ways that can affect a loved one. I’ve never been one to be uncomfortable in my own skin until I had to worry about who I would seize in front of or not be able to function around. But I’ve never been so embarrassed as I was when, while I was cheering, someone yelled over the crowd that I was a fainting goat and asked if I would fall when they snapped at me. That still makes me sick to my stomach. During this process relationships have been the hardest “normal” to maintain.
But the thing I still struggle with most of all are the countless lost high school memories and most of all cheer. My parents always teach us a lesson using a time from their rebel days, and share their best memories from their glory days. I worry what stories I’ll have to tell my kids someday, or lack thereof. But to top the list I had the hardest time having to walk away from cheer. I was a good cheerleader. And no matter if it’s a sport or frilly and girly, stunting is hard work. All I ever looked forward to was stunting with Kayley and Libby. When I could no longer practice I felt like an awkward bystander just off to the side, I fell out of the always hilarious inside jokes, and felt too easily replaced in the stunt group I loved so much. If I had known October 25th, the last football game of the year, was going to be my last full game ever, I would’ve been a little sharper, thrown another basket, killed the fight song dance, and stunted with Kayley til our arms fell off. I would’ve cheered a little louder. I miss nights in Maddie’s hot tub and giving fart noise makers as birthday presents. At the end of the day I still scored best friends, basically a twin, and better Tan-Tar-A memories than anyone else. Always wear swim suits when body painting😉