I am tired.
Physically and at times mentally.
That is what dialysis will do…even to someone who’s not even 40 years old.
Dialysis takes a toll on your body and how you feel, regardless if you try to carry on with your life. Walking is difficult, doing small or big things can wear you out, and you just don’t feel like doing anything else but sleep.
And for this writer, being unable to do the things I was able to do is pure hell…and depressing.
For the last seven months, I have been absent from this blog. I don’t have it in me to regularly write when I want to do so.
The good thing is that I have accepted that I do not have to blog when something pops up because it’s not necessary to have an opinion about everything that goes on in this world…unless you are George Takei (Mr. Sulu), Andy Borowitz, Tyrese Gibson, or D.L. Hughley.
I needed to write this entry on the last day of 2015, not as a clichéd expression of the year that was, but as an avenue for me to express my gratitude to the people who sent “get well” cards to me, and to talk about the aspect of turning 40 on New Year’s Day.
It should be a milestone, but it doesn’t feel like it, given what I have endured since May: kidney failure, moving, adapting to changes.
There are far too many individuals who have sent me well wishes in September and October. I feel bad that I couldn’t write back to them in a timely manner, because my handwriting is sloppy and it takes time to have a thought and say something that is meaningful to them in an individual way. Being tired after being hooked to a machine and not having the strength to focus is rough.
To that, I say thank you. Thank you so much. Those notes mean a great deal because it made me stop deflecting what I needed to hear: people caring about others. We live in a crazy, wild, sad, angry, goofy, and amazing world. We tend to take our frustrations out on others, whether it was a bad day, something we heard ticked us off, or anything else that trips our trigger.
I have been hesitant to offer opinion on issues and topics that has been talked about in 2015. There is no need for me to talk or voice my opinion about everything. It’s too damn tiring to regurgitate.
Some things are not worth it, and if someone tells you otherwise, respect the advice, but don’t always take it to heart. If they want to talk about it, that’s their prerogative.
The point is that if someone cares enough to say “Hey, I am (we are) thinking about you”, it goes a long way.
At midnight tonight, I will reach a milestone. I’ll turn 40 on New Year’s Day. Honestly, I haven’t thought about being 40 since spring. Any ideas of having a 40th birthday party…out the window. Volunteering at an NYE event…forget it. Sitting at a restaurant watching bowl games and having brunch…not this year.
In fact, I have dialysis on my birthday. A 4:30 am wake up call. It would be best for me to stay up and soak in the early hours of the new year.
I haven’t openly talked about life on dialysis. It’s only because, as a guy, most males do not talk about things we are dealing with. It’s a natural response. We do not feel comfortable being vulnerable about what we feel, how we feel, and what we are scared of.
With that in mind, I have to talk about being 40 and what I have went through.
It was like my identity was taken away when my kidneys failed. I couldn’t live by myself anymore…so I had to move closer to family. Moving around and doing things in town became challenging and exhausting. I had to turn down many opportunities and select a few events to go, as a way to save energy.
My horoscope today, for what it’s worth, was spot on with this:
“Over the last year, you may have developed a thicker skin. You may have become more accustomed to criticism. You may have gotten used to disappointment. You may have learned to adapt to changes you weren’t quite thrilled with. This probably happened so gradually that you didn’t even realize you were developing a darker outlook on life.”
I may appear to be optimistic on the outside, but internally, I do have a darker outlook on my life. The opportunities and the chances I put aside in order to either get ahead or to get back in the workforce. The “what ifs”: marriage, family, career advancement, vacations, et cetera. I was always scuffling to stay above water. My head is still water…barely.
For me, being 40 does bring closure to a decade that was not the best. My 30’s was the worst period in my life, outside of my parents’ divorce when I was in high school.
In your 30’s, you learn a lot about yourself. Are you marriage material? Can you excel at work? Can you handle a diaper? You slow down with the party animal phase, though you have enough energy to pull off a few more if the opportunity presents itself.
None of those things happened for me. I was unemployed for most of the decade (7 of those years), so I was spending most of my time in “survival mode” to get by. As a result, I “didn’t have time” to go on a cool vacation, go on a couple of dates, and excel in a career that was a good fit for me.
Yeah…I’m bitter about my 30’s. I am not ashamed to say it.
“Living your life” was foreign to me. Now, I have to live my life the best way I know how: with careful consideration.
There was a second part to the horoscope that is worth noting:
“In the weeks ahead though, you should discovered a new sense of longing for a happier outlook, and if you follow that path, you will have many reasons to be more optimistic.”
I won’t say that I hope that is it would be better. I hope that I can make it a happier in the new year and a better start as I began my 4th decade on this planet. There will be plenty of unforeseen events (bad and good), life and people evolve, and you have to make of it the best way you can.
There are some things that I shouldn’t be hung up on (social media mobs and faux outrage), and stuff that I should be hung up about a lot more (two goofy and loud nieces, signing up for dating sites online).
It was a bad decade for me. I can’t sugar coat it because I’ve denied it for so long. (My counselor gets an assist for pointing that out.) I hope that in my 40’s I will get better, get on the kidney recipient list, find a career or job that I want for myself, and hopefully go on an overseas trip with a partner.
To my 30’s, you have taught me to learn how to survive and be resilient.
To my 40’s, I hope those lessons pay off, and be positive.
Happy New Year to all of you and may 2016 be a bountiful one.