Like many great moments in history, this one happened in the backseat of a Manhattan taxi cab. (As a sidenote, I'm convinced that cabs breed brilliance b/c of the "near death experience" nature of most intercity cab rides.) So anyway, I was sitting there -- hoping to avoid a collision and thankful that, just in case, I had already registered to become and organ and tissue donor -- and I had my epiphany. Because suddenly, in the midst of all the honking and the lane changing and the jaywalking pedestrians, I had this single, crystal clear thought:
Life would be so much easier if I could just stay seated all the time.
Seriously, that's what I thought. And no, don't worry, that wasn't the brilliant epiphany. Because immediately after having that one, singular thought, I started to remember how absurd, wrong, and well, just "un-Piperlike" that thought really was.
I grew up in Colorado. I spent my childhood hiking, biking, and skiing, when I wasn't busy swimming, riding my horse, and "galloping" around my backyard over hurdles in make-believe horse shows with my friends. Later on, in college, I volunteered my time at a day shelter for homeless youth, at which my primary job was to chase five year old children around and around the center's playground. In short, while I may never have been a super athlete, I have always been extremely active. And I certainly never in my life thought it would be "fun" to sit still.
For me, the hardest part of this whole process has been the feeling that I am slowly but surely "losing" parts of myself and my personality, if only temporarily. I no longer have the physical energy to do many of the things I love to do -- even small, silly stuff like dancing around my apartment or chasing the puppy. And I no longer have the mental energy to commit to certain other activities -- long conversations are sometimes tiring, and I find myself less likely to expend effort on being funny or outgoing. It's not like I'm not me anymore -- I definitely am. But I sometimes feel like a painting that's been left out in the sun too long. The picture's still there, with the artist's unique flair, but the colors are maybe just a little bit muted.
But, I promised you guys and epiphany, so here it is:
No matter how much CF takes from me right now, I will never allow it to cause me to lose sight of myself.
Okay, fine, I know that sounds a little bit cheesy, but you'd be surprised at how hard it is sometimes to say to yourself "okay, today I might only have the energy for the necessary things -- the treatments and the exercises and the appointments and the breathing -- but tonight I will make some time, even just a minute, to remember what it was like before those daily tasks took up all I had for the day, and to
And that, my friends, was an epiphany worthy of even the most terrifying taxi ride.