Today marks 2 years since the release of "Fangirl", my debut album. It marks 4 years since my lovely cat, "Chubs/Ashe", disappeared and was found with a mangled leg after going missing. He didn't die on that day. He made it to the ripe old age of 14 and passed in February 2019. Lastly, today marks 5 years since I went into hospital for meningitis and was quite concerned that I would die. I didn't, thankfully, and I went on to finish my first album and put it out there for the world to see. I had made a promise to myself that, if I didn't die in the hospital, I would release my album. I will always observe July 3rd as the day of NOT dying.
I am lucky. I know this. There are moments where I forget, usually moments of depression, but, for the most part, I am grateful to be alive and healthy. I look at the world right now--the ongoing pandemic, the economic consequences and hardship of it, the Black Lives Matter movement and the stupidity of the people who deny that there is even a problem with systemic racism, the terrifying ineptitude of governments, the undeniable climate change--and, sometimes, I think it would just be easier to depart from this world suddenly in a puff of smoke. Like Keyser Söze.
But then I stop and try to appreciate what I have. And, though it would be easier to remember July 3rd as a terrible day, I try to think of it as a wonderful one. In my mind, it's one of hope, of achievements unlocked, of reassessment, and of gratitude. My life, my sense of purpose, has changed significantly in the last few years. So has my health. I am the happiest I have ever been and that is not an insignificant thing to say.
When Mikal kHill and I did VPC, we named our team "NotDeadYet" because we had both had experiences when we thought, "Crap, it's the end of the road." But it wasn't. There was a strange mix of hope and the macabre in our team name, but it's a fitting team name for those who celebrate survival.
Tonight, I will get dressed up and go out to dinner and I will toast to not being dead. I will toast to the doctors and nurses who saved me and to the large amounts of antibiotics pumped into my body. I will toast to the everlasting support of my husband, who taught me how to be kind. I will toast to my psychiatrist who listens to me without judgement and prescribes me medication that helps me to be who I am right now. I will toast to my friends, who are each fabulous stars that sparkle in their own way. And I will toast to the folks out there, probably including you, too, who have supported me in the last two years since "Fangirl" was released.
Thank you to those who have made life worth living.
I wouldn't be here without you.