In just a couple of weeks, it will have been one year since doctors discovered my brain tumor. Though this year has been extremely difficult, I have learned several valuable lessons. These lessons will not only help me over the course of my lifetime, but hopefully I can share my knowledge and impact others.
The first lesson that I've learned is that each day of our life is not guaranteed. You don't realize how fragile life is until yours nearly ends. I knew at this time last year that I was sick, but I never thought that I was close to dying. We have to learn to soak up every day that we have on Earth and we also need to spend our time trying to impact others and make their lives better in any way possible. Even in difficult moments, we have to realize that those moments are given to us by God and that he feels we can handle whatever He gives us.
Another lesson I've learned is that you cannot judge people based on what you see on the outside. In the past, I tried extremely hard to be open minded and give everyone a chance, but we all fail at this sometimes. Now, I know that a person’s outward appearance is only a small portion of who they truly are. Many people look at me and say, “You look great! I'd never guess that you're blind.” Or “I’d never know that you've gone through so much.” But you can't just assume these things. Not all illnesses or limitations are visible to others. I've learned to be extra patient with everyone I encounter because you never know what they're going through or what their life is like.
Finally, I've learned what true friends are. After my surgery, many people didn't know how to communicate with me or felt that I was too different for us to continue being friends. These people are not friends that I'm meant to have and keep. Post surgery, I've met several new people who are now some of my closest friends and I've become closer with people who I wasn't as close with before I got sick. These are the friends that truly care and they are the friends that I need to keep. I'm so thankful for friends who spend any free moment they get with me. I love my friends who treat me exactly the same as they treated me before. Despite some differences, I'm still the same person and I still want to help my friends just like they help me.
I hope that everyone reading this can learn a little bit from my experiences. And I also hope that the lessons I've learned will help you all to be more compassionate, mindful, patient, and also grateful for each and every moment. Have a wonderful week!