“Don’t just exist. Live”

A friend of mine wrote this quote to me last week; and I haven’t been able to stop thinking about it. Really. This has really struck me deeply.

Since July 18, 2011, all I have tried to do is figure out how to exist. After you have brain surgery twice…at least for me, it’s about figuring out where you exist in this world. Where you exist with your friends (figuring out who really ARE your true friends and who are vetting themselves out); where you exist with your job (or getting a new one); where you exist in your church, your community, fill-in-the-blank here.

Some days I think I’ve got it figured it out. I’m cruising along…just doing my thing, not worrying about any little thing. And then something happens and reality slaps me hard right in my face 2 minutes later.

[Oh…and let’s not forget the doctor appointments too.]

But after reading his letter and his very profound quote to me…I don’t want to just exist. I WANT TO START LIVING. Or, is it a matter of doing both at the same time?

And, dear readers….I ask YOU:

Those of you who are currently experiencing life-changing situations …are you trying to exist now? Or have you figured out HOW to live? What did you need to do to get past that hump? From just existing to living?

I’d love to hear from anyone who’d be willing to share…

I know this post is rather skim. Or slim. Take your pick. I’ll probably expand it soon or write a part #2 to this. I just wanted to get this down & generate some discussion hopefully. 🙂

Thank you



EDIT: 11/1/12

I’ve pondered about this post and phrase a lot the last few days.  HOW I am going beyond existing and actually living my life.  Volunteering with the cats.  Going to my nephews classrooms and to spend some time.  Getting out of my comfort zone and finding MY LIFE beyond Cowden’s Syndrome.  And although Cowden’s Syndrome and Lhermitte-duclos Disease do not define me – unfortunately (!) they are a part of me.  Always were…just never knew about them until last Summer and Fall, respectively.

So, as I embrace this blog and raising awareness for both of those genetic conditions, that is also helping me to LIVE.  People are searching either of those terms and coming across my blog.  So they can read about my life and see that although I struggle quite profusely at times, I’m learning.  I’m doing.  I’m growing.  I’m trying.  And, I guess as it boils down to it…whether you have a brain tumor or not, genetic condition or not…that’s the gist of life.

Struggle – learn – do – grow – try. 


8 thoughts on ““Don’t just exist. Live”

  1. Oh Heather, I’m so happy you wrote this. I’m getting ready to write a Movember post, about a friend of mine who is a 20 year testicular cancer survivor. I’ve had a line running through my had that is very similar to what your friend said to you. Maybe it pertains to your life as well. What I’m going to tell my friend is

    “You were not just meant to be alive. No, you sir, were meant to LIVE.”

  2. YOUR LIFE IS NOT ABOUT YOU! Sure, you’re the most-featured star of it; but your happiness is not a ‘goal,’ your happiness is the result of meeting a true goal.

    So if you’re living, you DON’T CARE whether you exist or not!

  3. That is a tough question. I still sometimes feel like I have to take things day by day. Or even break things down hour by hour. But it seems like no way to live. I guess it’s taking joy in the small things. Because when you are grateful for what you have, then you have it all.

    • I practice gratitude moment by moment. The kids were here today and Grandma was chasing them all around the house (inside/outside) and they were laughing/screaming and hiding from her. Hearing their laughter (from all of them) was just a joy and such a blessing to me. I’m so lucky to have them! Grateful indeed.

  4. Since my brain surgery and the after effect of being blind in one eye, no more real taste or smell and having an auto immune disease, I refuse to just exist. I have decided I enjoy being this side of the dirt and will not let these things get in my way. I am relearning how to manage. I actually started my own rehab of sorts. Cooking for fun not because I have to. Trying new things and attempting recipes that I have never cooked or eaten before. Calling a fa,ily member up and telling them you do t have to worry about dinner tonight all you have to do is either tell me what time you will be home or stop by my house at 6 pm and dinner is served. They really appreciate the gesture and I don’t have all of these leftovers. It is a win win. I get the needed companionship and they get a free meal.

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