Monday, November 16, 2009

11/16/2009: Eiffel in love with Paris

“Who just picks up and decides to go to Paris?” asked Meghan and Jorie.
“I guess I do,” I responded with a sly shrug.

There are a number of experiences in our lives that feed our soul. These experiences or moments can be counted on one hand and will forever be imprinted on our memory. Paris marked one of those moments for me.

All my life I have dreamt of visiting Paris. I even took five years of French in school learning about the language and culture. Yet I was always waiting for the right time, or for my finances to be in order, or to have a significant other to share the experience … until I finally woke up one day and thought to myself, what am I waiting for? I deserve this. I have the time, the money and friends who would go with me.

As fate would have it, one of my closest girlfriends, Sarah, needed to escape town just as badly as I did. So we literally booked a trip and took off to Paris on an adventure.

In the midst of lighting a candle for my grandmother in the Sacre Coeur, standing in amazement in front of Notre-Dame, speaking my rusty French with some amazing people I met, riding a statue of a lion at Luxembourg, walking dwarfed in the hall of mirrors in the Chateau de Versailles and sipping cappuccinos in Montmartre with my incredible friend, Sarah, I realized how badly I needed this vacation.

I had taken my summer off from surgery and I thought that would be enough time to give me the psychological and physical break I desperately needed -- but I was wrong. Paris was certainly a welcomed diversion from my surgery this Thursday, but it does not change the fact that I am scared to death. Not just scared of surgery -- it’s much more complicated than that.

You see, every time I go through surgery (and this will be my tenth surgery in 23 months) I have to recover which takes weeks or months. Additionally, I have to learn to accept my deformed body all over again. I understand that I am moving toward a more “normal” state with my physical appearance, but it doesn't change the fact that it is scarring beyond the physical incisions. It is a growing process.

Life is all about learning and growing. I finally took that dream trip that fed my soul and once again I am desperately trying to learn to see myself as imperfectly perfect.

Please keep me in your thoughts and prayers as I go through surgery on Thursday morning at Georgetown University Hospital. I'm calling on angels ...