With a title like that, how can you not want to read the rest of my post #pretentious #seriously?! Well, hear me out before you block me for an obnoxious title because I’m going somewhere with it. It all started one year ago as I entered Bloomingdale’s with my mom…
There, sitting behind it’s glass, caged palace, like a trapped Disney Princess was a ring that was in dire need of a rescue operation. It glistened at me as though to say save me and just like that I knew, it will be mine.
Now, to be frank, I’m not a things person, in fact, I do not like to spend more than $10 on a shirt if I don’t have to. I used to love salvo stores and held way too much pride over a bag I found that was less than a dollar. It could be because I destroy and/or lose everything that I touch, but I rather spend my money on things like-
- my exorbitant rent (worth it for the beach)
- vacations (the part of life that makes me feel like I’m living)
- activities that make me happy (races, yoga studios, the gym)
And though I knew the ring and I were destined to be together, I also knew that it would have to wait- when you love something let it go. If it was meant to be, it would be. I thought about this ring more frequently than anyone should think about an inanimate object. Finally, nearly one year after my original deliberation I decided to splurge. My precious… you are mine.
Within one hour I received a compliment on my ring- this thing is paying out. I
may have possibly even kissed it goodnight as I tucked it back into it’s special pouch.
As the week wore on I began to feel guilty… I don’t think anyone should have spending guilt, but something bothered me. It seemed like everything I discussed that week was on materialism, child labor, blood diamonds. I felt like the devil was sitting on my finger. Then I went to yoga and had left the ring on my finger. As the ring laughed at me, we discussed intangible and priceless aspects of life- elements that have no value because they are so valuable. Why did I want this ring so damn badly? To stick to being truthful, it’s because it’s shiny and pretty, and I like shiny and pretty things. It’s not that I don’t love this ring, but I did start reflecting on the bigger picture.
The bigger picture is value and worth. It’s how we quantify things in life. Most of what holds value in my life means little to nothing to another person. This week solidified this view even more- after I signed up for the Lupus Foundation of America’s Walk for Lupus, the donations started pouring in and by today I am up to $1,250, surpassing my original goal. A single person that donated $10 contributed to learning more about a disease that is so unknown and ultimately, we can only hope to find a cure within my lifetime. Thanking each person individually will not be enough to express how many times over I am truly thankful. Your donation speaks to the solidarity that I have with each and every person that contributed.
Today was a special day in the school that I work in, a day dedicated to the human spirit and this years theme was overcoming adversity. Though speakers were brought in, I chose to talk to my classes about lupus. The thought of doing this was terrifying on many levels- speaking openly about something I have kept private for so long was unthinkable. My old fears began to resurface, fears of judgement and fears over taking down a protective wall that I have built up for so long. My commitment to lupus and this blog allowed me to challenge my fears as I spoke openly for the first time about living with a chronic illness.
As each class walked in they were greeted with a poll on the smart board. The poll was interactive and enabled them to use their phones to answer the prompt on the board anonymously (website I used). The question was simple:
How much do you know about lupus?
- Very well
- I know a little bit about lupus
- I’ve heard of it but I don’t know what it is
- I do not know what it is
As they texted their responses, the results calculated in front of their eyes. They shouted at the board, that was mine! Wow! This is cool! Like the statistics show in the United States, most of my kids had heard of it or didn’t know about lupus at all. We then spent the remainder of the period discussing everything from the basics of what lupus is to my life with lupus. I spoke truthfully of the anger, fear, and isolation that I felt upon diagnosis. I spoke about the growth I’ve experienced and where I’m at now in the ten years that have passed. Ultimately, I’m happy to know that each one walked out of my class today with the ability to now say when asked about lupus that they know about it very well.
Today brought me more joy than a big old rock on my finger could ever do. Sure, bling bling is fun, but what’s better? A kid coming up to you at the end of class and saying thank you, how can I donate to lupus?