I was finishing up my walk this morning. Fall is nearing, because I wore a thin, but long-sleeved shirt. I knew it would get hot later, which is just the way I like it. With the Goldilocks weather, music in my ears, and my usual route almost complete, I felt the words hit me.
“I want more.”
It’s a song I’ve listened to a lot since I downloaded it towards the end of last summer. And as 2021 started to come to a close, with my book shipped off to a hopeful publisher (who eventually burned me), I felt that song heavily.
I wanted away from the anxiety and depression that plagued me a good part of the year. The depression that in some ways stole my baby girl’s first birthday. The anxiety that overtook me for months. I wanted away from the sick lady status. I wanted to be done living in terror of Covid. I wanted to stand on the stage, meet with groups, and deliver the speeches waiting to be spoken. I wanted my book to be published.
For my whole life I’ve always wanted more. More tips at the local restaurant I worked at during high school. More respect as I learned how to navigate being “just a girl” from nowhere western North Dakota. More knowledge in law school. More time as a thinly stretched lawyer-mom-business owner.
And after getting sick, I wanted so much more than the woman who couldn’t leave the house, carry on a conversation, be seen in public, or be confident in anything. I wanted more of a life post-AE than I feared I would receive.
I wanted my body back. The one that fit in my favorite, colored, hiking shorts, the one that buttoned jeans, and the one that swam. I wanted to comb my long hair and pull it up high atop my head. I wanted my mind back. The one that carelessly told jokes, said random things, made others laugh, and remembered what she started out for.
I wanted my podcast to touch people in all parts of the world affected by encephalitis. I wanted people to read my blogs. I wanted more than anything to feel like I was making a difference.
I struggled and struggled and kept threatening to give up, but I wanted to write a book. And not just any book, but a good one, that someone would publish, and people would stay up late to read.
I wanted to feel needed. I wanted my children to see a productive mother. The one who is up early to make pancakes, and when she sits in her office, it’s because she's doing things. I wanted purpose so I could get out of bed. I wanted energy and for my health to stabilize.
I wanted to be a lawyer again. I wanted my place in the world. I wanted my people. I wanted a powerful voice.
As I rounded the corner, thirty-some odd minutes and a few thousand steps after I started, the sun beginning to heat me and the cool breeze lifting, I thought it and then I believed it.
I know I don’t have everything I’ve ever wanted.
But I can honestly say, I don’t want more, anymore.
“Don’t you leave me there wanting more More, like before, more I want more, more I want more” I Want More by Kaleo