Why I changed my life. (Fibromyalgia)

Photo by Nandhu Kumar on Pexels.com

Eleven years ago, in 2011, I began this blog to document a new phase of the journey of my life. To be honest, the new phase started in 2008 when I was first diagnosed with fibromyalgia. In 2010, I made a significant decision, the kind that is not easily reversible. I decided to walk towards the unknown. I decided to step within and uncover or discover a different way to live.

Flying to…

Certainly, walking towards also means walking away from. I left behind a life I worked hard to create and tried to live. The reality, however, was that life threw me curveball in the form of fibromyalgia. Back then, I had many reasonable feelings and perhaps some unreasonable thoughts about developing this chronic illness.  

My feelings ran the gamut, from anger to fear to sadness to happiness (after all, life can always be worse). My thoughts were both pratical (how can I survive like this?) and seemingly impractical (how can I move to Italy?).

Only two things were certain: the present could no longer exist, and whatever future I have, I would need to trust to instinct and chance because I could not trust my body to function as usual. I needed to learn to accept that I was no longer who I once knew myself to be.

New Cover Art for YouTube. Click to Visit Vlog: Rome Off the Beaten Path.

You may be wondering why I decided to write about this topic today. Recently, a friend told me that they were asked by someone else, “So, why did Diedré leave her previous line of work (considering the renown of the hospital)?” It made me realize that it may be difficult for others to understand my path.

Sometimes in life your life may seem ideal to others. They may think, “You have everything I would like.” This way of thinking is not inherently wrong. It is merely uninformed. We cannot fully know or understand the intricacies of anyone’s life. It is enough to take on the challenge of knowing and understanding our own.

Ajigaura Beach, Hitachinaka, Ibaraki, Japan

So, why did I decide to go towards the within to the unknown parts of myself? Because I needed to find a new way to live, to understand myself, and I am naturally curious about the world around me.

Thirteen years ago, I sat in a fibromyalgia group support meeting. I was the youngest member of the group, by about 10 years. Listening to the group members, I learned how much fibromyalgia had changed their lives… for the worse. They could no longer work, had difficulties with daily functioning, were angry, sad, and frustrated with the hand that life dealt them.

I didn’t see their path as mine. I decided to find a different way, even if others may not understand it.

Hitachi Seaside Park, Hitachinaka

I am now in same age range of those fibromyalgia group members. Over the past decade, I have travelled quite a bit, studied, and am now working full-time. It is a very simple life that I have crafted based on my abilities and health.

I don’t know how life would have been if I had continued on my original path. I do know that the path I chose has led me to learn more about the world and myself.

If nothing else in life, know this: only you can live your life, and only you can change your path.

Until next time.またね(⁠^⁠^⁠)

With What Time…

Photo by Ian Lai on Unsplash

And so I break my silence. It’s been more than a year since I posted. In the interim, I have been on a new journey in Japan. I moved to a new city, am trying new things, and learning more about the world in which I live. Life, with all of its many intricacies, is wonderfully fascinating–when we slow ourselves down enough to appreciate the ease and challenge of it all.

まだ静かなりたくないです。声まだがりますだから。命は本当に面白いですね。。。でもよく私たちは気に付きません。毎日働きまして心配して食べすぎる飲みすぎる「これは命です」と言います。そして。。。

Ich wünsche mir, dass wir einen anderen Weg finden können. Jeden Tag versuche ich zu verstehen, was eigentlich der Sinn meines Lebens ist. Ich habe noch keine Antwort. Jedoch bin ich glücklich.

A volte mi chiedo dove dovrei andare. Dove potrei trovare la mia casa, la mia famiglia, me stessa? Dove sarò domani o dopodomani? A volte sembra che qualsiasi cosa facciamo e chiunque siamo o scegliamo di diventare non sia mai abbastanza per gli altri.

Still, I am enjoying the process of it all. As such, I have decided to begin writing again. I am still working on teaching myself Japanese, trying my best to keep Italian and German.

Also, every now and again, I remind myself that my thoughts exist in English, too.

With What Time I Have

let the snowflakes fall,
turn my hair from black to white,
smiling, I drink tea.

Con il tempo che ho a disposizione

I fiocchi di neve cadono, trasformando i miei capelli da neri a bianchi –
sorridendo, bevo il tè.

Mit der Zeit, die ich habe

Schneeflocken fallen und färben mein Haar von schwarz zu weiß –
Lächelnd trinke ich meinen Tee.

この命の時間に

雪が降って、私の髪を黒から白に染める -。
微笑みながら、お茶を飲む。

Sometimes we cannot understand our paths as we walk. Sometimes we are judged, rightly or wrongly, for what we choose. What I have come to understand is that the most important thing that any of us can do is live…and live now.

So, with what time you have, how shall you spend it?

As for me, I am enjoying my tea and watching the seasons and myself change.

Until next time…

Poetry |「見て!外人だ!」(日本語の詩)

Image from Unsplash

「見て!外人だ!」 

毎日毎日、
散歩します。
ときどき
お天気は良いです。
「見て!外人だ!」
ときどき
私は隣の人の子どもたち
が遊のが見えます。
「見て!外人だ!」
ときどき
コンビニの店員と話します。
ときどき
笑って泣きます。
毎日毎日鏡を見ます。
家で私は人間です。
いいえ、
私は外人です。

(Work in Progress)

Poetry | Volevo (una poesia italiana)

Volevo

Nel silenzio della mente
e nella distanza del cuore,
dove la nostra storia
adesso vive,
trovo i nuovi capitoli.
Quei momenti oscuri che,
nel passato,
non volevo affrontare.
Quelle parole brutte che
non volevo ascoltare.
Quei pensieri che
non volevo pensare.

Volevo solo l’idea di noi
e la fantasia di pensare
che mi amavi.

Black History Month | Event: “Lift Every Voice” (Feb. 27th, 6PM CET)

Image by John Cabot University

I am honoured to have been asked to participate in John Cabot University’s Black History Month 2021 celebration. Many sincere thanks to Alexandria J. Maloney for inviting me to join her esteemed panelists in this discussion on our experiences living and studying in Rome.

Please, join our discussion . You can register by using the following link: Event Registration.

This morning I woke up

This morning I woke up. The sounds of the day seeped through my rain-streaked windows. My body, chilled by perimenopausal night sweats, ached. I am used to discomfort.

This morning I woke up. And a thought came while I was busying myself, making my bed, shelving books and listening to the ding of my phone:

what if this is it?

If we make it through arduous task of materializing our existence and passing through the narrow canal of our mothers, we say to this world,

“I am here.”

For some who come to meet us, our arrival is enough. That we are here. That we made the journey safely is enough.

“You are here.”

I woke up this morning, you see. I glanced at social media, which tries to inform me that my life should be valued by percentages of views.

Your views are up 5% from yesterday. Your views are down -17% from last week.

I wonder when it begins, this messaging that what you do and…

You are not enough.

Is it the silent thought burning in hearts and minds of some of those who come to greet us on our first day in this world?

Is it in comparisons heard at home and school as we move through childhood?

Is it now at work?

It’s still morning. And, as I wrote, I woke up, perhaps again. I wondered, what if this life that I have lived and am living were my entirety.

Is it enough?

It is. And it isn’t.

There is much that I would still like to do while I am here. Still, I am done with having to prove my value. I have arrived at this point, without uncertainty:

I am here. I am enough.

Poetry | La Pioggia

Photo by M. Rajabi, Unsplash

“La Pioggia”
Stamattina, nella tranquilità dell’alba,
mi sono svegliata.
Non potevo più sentire
la tua voce,
solo le gocce di pioggia
sulla finestra
ed il suono del mio respiro.
Le mie mani toccavano
lo spazio vuoto accanto a me.
Ho provato l’euforia
di essere libera…
di essere senza di te.

Si trova la pace nel silenzio
del cuore.
Domani e dopodomani,
il mio mondo è ancora mio.
Posso crearlo come desidero.

Comunque,
stamattina ancora ti pensavo.

– D.

Poetry | Trying #Tanka #Poetry Form

春風が吹く。髪が白くなる。季節を数えることをやめなさい。

The wind tells of spring. My hair is becoming white. This season and next season, I keep on counting. I really ought to stop now.

5/7/5/7/7 Style

The wind tells of spring. 

My hair is becoming white. 

This season and next 

season, I keep on counting.

I really ought to stop now.

Poetry | On Language Learning & Negativity

Itako, Japan

On Language Learning & Negativity.

Listen to me.
Like a child,
my words are misspoken
and my grammar is broken.
But, listen to me anyway.

Hear my words
because they have meaning
and create a connection
between you and me.

I am building a bridge
with a language that isn’t my own.
Won’t you help me?
Or, at least, not demean me?

That I speak your language
in broken sentences
and accented words,
what does it matter?

I am trying to build a bridge,
many bridges, in fact.
I am trying to understand
the world around me,
even if you don’t want
to understand me.

Poetry | RonovanWrites Decima #Poetry Challenge #43 Spring in the A line

Ronovan Writes Décima Poetry Challenge Prompt No. 43: (SPRING) in the A rhyme line.

Hitachi Seaside Park

Step counting

The steps you’re counting while shouting

but standing still… I’m at a loss.

Yes, this distance grows…at a cost.

Summer then fall, winter now spring–

to your words, I’m not listening.

You’ve become a…well, never mind.

I’m walking, not falling behind,

away from what I’ve only known

that love doesn’t have to be shown–

that’s your lie. My truth I will find.

From RonovanWrites:

THE QUICK DESCRIPTION OF HOW TO WRITE A DÉCIMA:

There are 10 lines of poetry that rhyme.
8 syllables per line.
There is a SET RHYMING PATTERN we must stick to. ABBAACCDDC OR two stanzas of ABBA/ACCDDC.