Embracing Life’s Adventures, Even When They’re Unexpected
How a columnist responded when sarcoidosis changed his life's course
“I may not know where I’m going, but I’ll let you know when I get there.”
I used to say that to a few of my college friends. I was always the one who knew where I wanted to go in life, even though I wasn’t sure how I’d get there.
As I matured, my plans changed several times. My friends may not have understood my journey, but they always accepted it.
‘A person plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps.’ — Proverbs 16:9 (ISV)
For as long as I can remember, I’ve always wanted to be a part of the creative industry. Initially, I wanted to be a disc jockey. I love music! My brother, a few of our friends, and I pooled our money and bought some DJ equipment and albums. Remember albums? We would play for friends we went to school with and at some family functions. After a while, it became more about the music than the money.
Soon, my path changed as I began studying broadcast journalism in college. One of my professors likened my writing to that of writer and broadcaster Studs Terkel. Not a bad compliment for an inner-city kid on a big college campus. I guess, contrary to what some folks thought, I paid attention in English class! In high school, it was one of my favorite subjects — the second-to-last period before lunch.
My first work-study job was as a coordinator for the college’s radio and television labs. I’d make sure students got the necessary hands-on studio production training required for their broadcasting courses.
Another professor suggested I concentrate on being technically proficient behind the scenes rather than in front of the camera. I thought he was insulting me until he told me that people working behind the scenes have a longer career than those in front of the camera. I loved that! The thought of being a technical resource who operated complex television equipment excited me. At that moment, my path changed again. It was rocky at first, but I had to pursue it.
Fast forward 31 years, and that decision had afforded me a career in advertising, broadcast television, and educational video. But unbeknownst to me, sarcoidosis would soon change my path again.
Every day is an adventure
When I was diagnosed with pulmonary sarcoidosis, I had no idea what my adventures would look like moving forward. So far, they’ve included two spontaneous pneumothoraces, crepitus in my lungs, three days in intensive care, pulmonary rehabilitation, a pandemic, and the loss of my beloved doggie.
When I reflect on my past, I realize I’ve experienced some pretty awesome things that wouldn’t have been possible if I wasn’t living with sarcoidosis. My biggest adventure so far is being able to tell stories of my adventures, both good and bad.
Hold on for the ride
Like everyone, I have good days, bad days, and challenging days. Each day I’m blessed with a new adventure, which also means I have a new story to tell. I often tell my son that material things don’t matter as much as experiences. That’s what life is all about.
Living with sarcoidosis has taught me how to work on my independence, stay positive about my health challenges, not sweat the small stuff, and not take things or people for granted.
I have absolutely no idea what adventures my future holds. Whatever they are, I know they’re important to my journey. I can only plot the course for my continued health and rely on the path to lead me in the right direction. As the saying goes, “It’s not the destination — it’s the journey.”
Note: Sarcoidosis News is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Sarcoidosis News or its parent company, BioNews, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to sarcoidosis.