We had a talk on organ donation earlier this week and it brought up a few very unexpected feelings in me.
I’ve always thought about becoming an organ donor or donating my body to science. After all, I won’t have any use for it once I’m dead. However, when the conversation turned to which organs one could donate, my resolve became a little shaky. I had no problem with the standard things like the heart, liver and kidneys, but then the donation of tissues came up. This includes things like skin, bone and eyes. It wasn’t until they mentioned eyes that I realised just how attached I was to my body – this shell that houses a soul.
I processed this within a few minutes, figuring I might as well let them take as much as they can. Who knows what sort of good they’ll be able to do. Whatever remains after that can be cremated.
Then, a jolt ran through me. Suddenly, it seemed so sad that after having endured so much, this skin-and-bone would be reduced to nothing more than ash.
It was a confrontation with death that I’d not had since my early teens. I’d forgotten how inevitable and final death is…
This confrontation gave me a lot to think about. Mostly, I’m thinking about how the decisions I make now will define me because not a single one of us knows how long we’ll be around. We have to be living a life we can be proud of right now. I’m not. But, I’m going to work myself to the bone to get there or else my life will mean little more than scattered ash.
We turned on the radio at 3 a.m
to drown out the silence.
The summer heat would filter through
our open window on those restless nights,
on those sleepless summer nights
we sat on the windowsill
sifting through my loneliness
and your heartbreak
the same way we’d sift through our coins,
gathering the silver to buy midnight snacks.
No one told us then we were worth more
than silver and gold
and fifteen tasted so bitter-sweet…
I wouldn’t wish it back
but I’d wish us back to that windowsill
if it meant things would stay the same between us.
Holding on to your anger is like holding your breath for a long time. You feel the discomfort building until it becomes painful. Then, you let it out and it feels like breathing again for the first time. Learning to forgive is like that. It’s like breathing again for the first time.
I was going to write a short story tonight and put it up for you all since I haven’t done that in a while. There’s this concept I’ve been fiddling with for a while, but I didn’t really know where I wanted to go with it until this morning in one of my lectures. We were watching a video on spine immobilisation and suddenly, I had this incredible brainstorm (completely unrelated to spines or immobilisation).
I had the draft done within ten minutes. But, now I’m sitting here and the words won’t fit together on my screen as well as they did in my head. I wouldn’t call this writer’s block. The ideas are there. It’s just that every time I try to shape them into the story I envisioned in my head, I get this sort of twisting sensation in my chest.
I guess we all have days like this where we know exactly what we want to do, but when it comes to the execution, we freeze up. It can sometimes be difficult to pinpoint why we feel this way, but today, I make no excuses. I’ve been writing about confidence so often, but here I am, still afraid of putting myself out there – still afraid of making mistakes.
I’m not sure what I expected. Maybe that some switch would flip and undo the damage caused by years of self-doubt. People can say the most terrible things about you, but no one can hurt you as much as you can hurt yourself. I guess learning to love yourself, with all your flaws and mistakes takes more time than I reckoned.
This must be what it means to be a work in progress.