So I was laying around in bed the last few weeks doing a lot of broad spectrum thinking about my life and its direction, or lack thereof. I just felt that I needed to refocus a bit and try thinking about what I'm going to do once this pesky Chiari business is out of the way (because there is life beyond Chiari, sometimes I need to be reminded of that). I think that the reason I feel utterly unfulfilled in general, while in large part due to the chronic illness robbing me of any kind of social life, is really due to the fact that I have completely denied myself one of my biggest passions; learning. I know, I know, corny right? But it's completely true. I LOVED school for what I learned but just couldn't enjoy it or do well because of the constant insomnia, migraines, and mental fog that mysteriously appeared over the course of a year when I was in 8th grade. Prior to that I was a straight-A student. I loved being challenged and, to most of my teachers' frustrations, challenging everything in return. Despite my deteriorating health, I fought hard to participate because I truly loved learning all the new things high school was trying to teach me. I bounced back and forth between A's and D's and even F's, being on the honor roll one quarter, and failing classes the next. But I don't want to ramble (be patient with me, this happens a lot). The point is, if I'm not learning, I'm not happy. I need to go to school. I just know I was meant to go to college and going through all this has brought me to a kind of epiphany. I want to study Neuroscience. At first I thought to myself "Ok, Kristen. Pump the brakes. Is this what you really want or is this coming from a place of utter frustration with the idiocy and dismissive behavior that your past doctors have demonstrated?" But then I started to look back before all of this began. What was my favorite show when I was in elementary school? Diagnosis Murder. I wanted to be a doctor just like Dick Van Dyke's character. Fast forward a few years. What show came next? Mystery Diagnosis on the discovery channel. And then? Scrubs. And? House (that man rattling off all those big medical words just makes me weak in the knees!). Does anyone else see a pattern? I don't think this whole experience has sparked an unreasonable or fleeting yearning to be in the medical field. I think I've had that desire from day one. I think that what this whole experience has done has just shown me how consistent that dream has been my whole life and I think Chiari has truly led me to focus on Neuroscience. I need to stop dreaming and start making realistic academic goals. I just feel like as soon as I get my symptoms under control I can start living the life I was meant to live! I just wanna get this ball rolling ASAP and hope to be college-bound soon!