“Always Ask ‘how?” Guest blogger #2: Single Guy in NYC

Good morning friends. Today’s guest blogger’s story relates to a physical illness as opposed to a mental illness. I  think you’ll find that though they are different, both can lead to similar conclusions and thought processes. This whole week is about understanding each other and connecting through writing. Once again, you can find more information about “Always ask ‘How?” here. You can find Single Guy in NYC’s blog here.

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When you lose blood from an orifice to the point of dizziness without knowing why, you’re in trouble – much like I was a year ago. (A word to the wise, if this you at the moment, listlessly close your laptop and finish reading this post at an emergency room near you. Just looking out.) Never in my life had I been so ill and the soonest I could see my doctor was in month.

 

Symptoms ranged from fatigue to night sweats to diarrhea to weight loss to abdominal pain. Front row seats to the variety show, how thoughtful! My thought process became slow and unadorned. Ever been so sick that you’re unable to come to terms with your own condition? Shortly after a few pricey procedures, monotonous tests, and tepid doctor visits, I was diagnosed with an unsettling autoimmune disease affecting both my intestines.

 

Although my day to day, with a sufficient med intake, for now isn’t terrible, an ominous mound of medical bills, procedures, and surgeries can now be seen on my horizon by the time I’m 30. Look, I’m aware you’ve heard all this bull schnitzel before and you’re now bracing yourself for the predictable “live life to the fullest” revelation – and I did have that – but my epiphany was being able to see the sickness not just within myself but all around me as well. When I die doesn’t matter to me as much as the point where I can no longer think critically and cogently. My sense of purpose becomes revoked at that juncture and, unfortunately, this precedes death and it’s intrinsically non-revealing.

 

As a highly evolved primate half a chromosome away from a chimpanzee, two things were clear:  1) Better oneself in every possible way, and 2) Express oneself in a manner that is progressive, concise, and constructive. If you know anything about Greek pedagogy, you’re aware of paideia; an education system designed to rear intellectually and physically well-rounded members of the polis. One was not just a philosopher but also a mathematician, an astronomer, an athlete and a litigious member of society. The late Christopher Hitchens once said, “I want to live my life taking the risk all the time that I don’t know anything like enough yet, that I haven’t understood enough, that I can’tknow enough.”

 

My second point brings me here, writing a passage to an unknown reader. Catharsis is liberation. Liberation, ironically, connects mankind. I’m a single man living in New York City with plenty of stories to tell, so I created a blog. I wanted to connect with others like myself and gain perspective. It’s another stream for personal growth.

 

Notice how there is no expiration date to this mindset. There is neither a goal nor an asymptotic curve. There is only an unspeakable summit far off in the distance whereby continuous motion means greater knowledge and, one hopes, wisdom.

 

–       Single Guy in NYC

–       @SingleGuyInNYC

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Thank you again for you submission! Next week we hear from someone who has used meditation and reflection to better her situation. I think it’s a great read for anyone.

-Jess

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