Thanks for the well-wishes and I'm sorry I've taken so long to write again. This past weekend was a fun time with good, old friends but also packed an emotional punch that I wasn't expecting. Being back on the old stomping grounds transported me back in time...a very different time than the one I currently inhabit. There was a day when I wanted to be an actress more than anything and was working to be a good one at one of the best conservatories in this country. School was difficult and exhausting but I loved it deeply. After my second year, I had become so ill that I was getting IV antibiotics every few weeks. I was simply too sick to return for my third year. I had been asked to join the directing program, something I considered an honor. Instead, I was put on the lung transplant list and walked away from the school, my friends and my dreams.
When you are in the middle of a health crisis, you don't always have time to feel through what is going on. I was sad to leave school but was focused more on the transplant ahead and my move to California. Here, in 2007, twelve years after I left I see a different picture. I see the girl with the big dreams and the passion for what she was doing being forced, yet again, to give up another life love in the name of illness. I grieved for that girl this past weekend. I felt so sad for her loss.
I don't have my degree. When I give talks, I struggle underneath the weight of inferiority because I am the "least educated" in the room. Not for lack of willingness or intelligence, mind you, but for lack of health. When I saw my classmates, I yearned for the closure and accomplishment they had achieved with that silly degree on their wall at home.
Sometimes, grief hits me at a time and place I didn't even know it was hiding. This weekend was one of those times. I am not depressed or broken...in fact, I discovered that I was quite proud of my current aspirations. I am, however, letting myself feel the feelings I needed to suppress back in 1995. I am letting myself mourn for the girl who was only trying to keep her head above water all those years ago and had to leave the world she so wanted to be a part of. I am sorry, Tiffany, that illness took away your dream. I am happy that I have been able to find another one.