Weekly Photo Challenge: Transformation

Chronic illness transforms us in many ways. For thanksgiving, I chose to focus on the good ways that Fibromyalgia has transformed me, as I reminisced about my life in general.

Just a few years ago, I was a high-energy person with no time nor thought for anything but to get ahead in the world. Yet now, I am a much calmer, more “centered” soul who is reconnecting with her old timey loves.

By letting go of the old, we gain the opportunity to transform into something new — and beautiful!

Until I came down with fibro, it had been years since I had read purely for pleasure, though reading used to be my favorite hobby through much of my childhood! Always an inward-leaning and introspective child at my core, I incorporated my thoughts and feelings into my art (I did watercolors back then) as well as the poetry and fiction I would write for myself.

Later in middle school, I was the student reporter for the school-beat of the local daily, and contributed towards the school magazine in high school. I remember a particular editorial I once wrote about anxiety, depression and suicidal thoughts among students, and how the current education system in my country handled the issue poorly, not to mention the social taboo it was to even talk about it!

I lost touch with all of that once I got into college. Perhaps because of various new stresses and changes in my life at the time, I transformed into a much more “outward”-oriented person. I wanted to make the most of my experience in a new country, new environment; I wanted to soak up all the opportunities I suddenly had which I couldn’t have dreamed of before! Always an ambitious person, I finally saw the roads which could lead me to the success I sought! My definition of success was complicated; it definitely included job satisfaction and doing what I loved, but I also wanted money, position, autonomy, and a certain rank in the hierarchy of society. And I was going to work hard to make sure I did not waste the chances I was granted to attain it.

Though I am glad I got to chase my dreams and live that fast-paced life for several years, I am equally glad for being able to slow down as I developed fibromyalgia. Now I am finally able to reconnect with the pleasures of my childhood:

I am finally able to enjoy quiet moments reading at my leisure, or lost in thought as I write just for pleasure. I learned to paint in oils (one of my childhood dreams), and express my emotions through my paintings. (And that little rhyme was a nod to my childhood poetic musings, though I do little of that now.)

I am glad that even when I am stuck in bed, I can now find joy just watching the golden sunlight dancing on my walls, making patterns as the light passes through the blinds or filtered through the warm, fall-colored, translucent curtains.

I am glad that I am now able to delve more into photography and art, as I had always hoped to do more with those! There is something flighty and fun about stopping the car at random places to photograph a particularly beautiful purple leaf. Or simply walking around the park and admiring how the leaves on the shade-side of the maple turned red, but the light-side remained green. Or just finding a sudden glimmer of magic as the sunshine gleams through some colored leaves!

I gained all this and more as I let go of the person that I was before fibro!

And I am grateful for the opportunity to find a more authentic person hidden inside me, who is encouraged everyday to live a more authentic life, and all because of fibro!



7 thoughts on “Weekly Photo Challenge: Transformation

  1. Beautifully written! I remain so curious if it’s the slower pace the illness brings or if it’s the illness itself but so many of us see the world more vividly now. We connect with a new part of ourselves and see beauty, not just see it but feel it. Thank you for sharing this post, it shows such peacefulness 🌸

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I am so glad you could relate to this! ❤ I have wondered much about that as well. I think part of it is definitely slowing down, so we have more time to observe the world around us, instead of living in a blur of activities. The other reason, I think, might be that as we start to lose our energy and mobility, we realize that it was never the big things that brought us the most joy, it was always the small ones we took for granted. Now that nothing is for granted anymore, we purposely seek out those little joys. And as a result of that, as well as the many inner deliberations required to come to terms with our illness and manage it successfully, we grow and evolve as deeper, more "meaningful" versions of the people that we are, who see life and living more clearly and more vividly than we had before. That, at least, is what I think has happened with me.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Sorry about that hit reply mid sentence😬 …lovely people flooding the streets. People who appreciate life, living and the kindness of strangers. People who cherish wellness. What a beautiful sight to see, just hoping a cure or 100% treatment is on the way. Hoping your weekend was peaceful and enjoyable 🌸

        Liked by 2 people

        1. That is such a beautiful thought!! ❤ Wouldn't that make for a lovely world, if people could face just enough hardship to find the beauty in life, but then be cured so they can enjoy that beauty with no strings attached! Knowing something about people (and my own pessimism, LOL!), I just hope that a cure doesn't make us "forget" what we learned. I wonder if we will be able to pay equal attention to the little things if we are cured and jump back into our old lives and all the "big" things take us over again. I truly hope not. I hope that I am able to remember what I learned and carry that through with me forward. ❤

          P.S. No worries about hitting send mid-sentence. I have done that before too, haha! What's worse is when I see a gross typo somewhere after I hit send, or *even* worse, when I don't see it immediately and only much later. I hate that mortified feeling! Hahahahaa!!! 😛

          Liked by 2 people

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