|I'm certain Bowie left this shirt for me after he passed...|
(Fair warning: This will be an exceptionally nerdy blog post because I really. really love Star Wars.)
So Saturday was the two-year anniversary of me being diagnosed with endometriosis - my endo-versary, if you will. But my mind wasn't really on it or even on what it should have been, which was the fact I'd be seeing Rogue One in mere hours.
Instead, feelings of sheer hopelessness and inadequacy decided to pile up that day.
My husband, Andrew and I drove that afternoon to a local humane society, hoping to adopt a sister or brother for our dog, Juno. I have a bleeding heart for animals and will literally take any homeless animal that crosses my path, Andrew, on the other hand, is much more rational, assessing whether the dog will thrive despite our lack of fenced-in yard, whether he or she will get too big for our rental home, etc.
So of course, this episode led to me falling in love with a yellow lab, only to have Andrew gently (and, admittedly, correctly) tell me she wasn't a good fit for our home. In fact, none of the dogs at the shelter that day were a good fit for Juno or our small house.
I guess my heart couldn't take another "no" because when we got to the car, I silently held back tears and drove us home. Once in our living room, I curled up on the couch with Juno and cried to Andrew, trying to explain my overflowing emotions that may or may not be directly related to my IUD - WHO KNOWS IT'S A MYSTERY.
Ever since my surgery, my life has felt like a long series of "no"s or "not good enough." My best efforts to support my health, benefit myself or even contribute to my community felt like a drop in the bucket. Like I was throwing effort, energy, time and money to the wind, only to have it come back that I wasn't making a difference.
Whether it was a lonely dog I wanted to give a home for Christmas, or money donated to a cause I care about, or a new treatment that I expected to alleviate my endometriosis pain, my best intentions were continually met with "no."
And I consider myself fairly patient, but when I can't make any headway at all, I tend to take it personally.
I managed to get my tears together in time to grab dinner with our friend who came with us to Rogue One. If one thing can briefly take my mind off my frustration, it's Star Wars. I've been pretty much obsessed with these movies since I was six years old, so as someone who has waited 20 years to see women as THE Star Wars hero, this is a great time in my life.
So let me start this section off by saying it is REALLYYYY difficult for me not to completely lose my shit over how good Rogue One was and ruin it for you, but I will try my damned hardest.
Without giving away the movie's glorious plot, I will summarize it as this. The main characters give so much to a cause and have no idea how much their actions will impact the grand scheme of everything that happens in Episodes IV-VI. They run at it headfirst because they believe in the cause, but there's honestly no expectation that they will succeed or that it will make difference. But they do it anyway because they care and hope so. much.
And when that realization hit me in the last 15-ish minutes of the film, I literally started sobbing. Hard. In the middle of the movie theater. While my husband laughed and held my hand.
I continued to cry through the end of the movie and intermittently until we got to the car.
My epiphanies tend to happen at unlikely moments and right when I need them. At that time, Rogue One was exactly what I needed to hear.
I understood the sensation of foolhardy hope and the overwhelming, consuming need to do something, to not just sit there idly and let things happen. It's why I made this blog to begin with. It's why I spend an entire day carting my husband around to gather things for a cause I need to help RIGHT NOW, NO NOT LATER, NOW.
And while I feel that talking about my uterus, arguing with my doctors and begging strangers to take control of their health aren't even blips on the radar of history, they are.
I may not live to see a cure for my disease, but I hope and believe there's one out there. I at least know there are better treatments out there.
I may not live to see the causes I'm devoted to resolve themselves or end happily. But my effort does amount to something.
One of my favorite lines from the film, which will not spoil Rogue One for you, is "Do you think anyone is listening?" I love that because it's something I say to myself so frequently, especially after I launch off an embarrassingly emotional blog post or leave a crabby voicemail at my doctor's office. Or in other words, "I've done my part. Now, what will people do with it?"
No matter how much it hurts or exhausts me, I'll continue doing my part for endometriosis advocacy. And I'll push myself to do more. Because I know I couldn't live with myself if I did nothing.
If you're feeling like me about something in your life, I encourage you to keep doing what you're doing and never let the fear of ineffectiveness wear you out. As pessimistic as I've been about the world over the past few months (or year?), I do sincerely believe things come together the way they should when good people work hard toward an end.
I believe in a better future for our world. And we're the force to see it through.