You know, if I had a store of miscellaneous awesome crap I would called it Girly Progress. I've never been seen as a very girly girl, and many strangers thought I was a boy for a big portion of my childhood. However, I've always been simultaneously a complete girly girl and a super tomboy. I think that's good, personally. I like both worlds.
Since I got sick though I have gradually lost almost all those boyish pleasures. It's all knitting, embroidery, baking, and Japanese dolls. No more climbing and hiking, no more cartwheels and tipsy swagger home. My first car was a 1988 Ford Ranger, completely beat-up and run down, but oh so perfect. Now I drive a 1992 (or closeby) Pontiac GrandAm. That is pretty much the ultimate metaphor for the changes that have overtaken me.
The best defense is to think wholeheartedly about everyone else in the world. I try to feed my mom at least once a week, pack up soups and such for her to take for lunch (she works twelve and fourteen hour days regularly). I knit and sew and bake for my nephew. I scrape whatever good news and glad tidings I can find in my life and make that the focus on my conversation with my dad and siblings.
And then I decide to undertake a large-scale embroidery project for my high school best friend with whom I haven't been in regular communication for about six years. I still love her so much, and I miss all those friends. All these people who suck at keeping in touch and peeled off rapidly when I got sick. I was the glue, the one who called and wrote and made the effort. Then I couldn't make the effort anymore and no one else picked up the slack.
Sometimes I am so angry about it, so deeply hurt, so stubbornly clinging to the fact that it's their responsibility to remember me even while I dream and pine for them. I am trying to get over it. I am trying to force myself back upon them but it feels so much like begging. Begging to be remembered, to be treated like a normal friend again and not some scary "There but for the grace of God go I..." example for everyone my age.
So here I am. Toiling over projects that I may never work up the courage to give away. It is a way to cope. It is generally healthy for me. Plus, it certainly yields some beautiful work.