Mine.

We all desire to find our place to belong. Starting as a young child, we try to make friends by sharing our chocolate chip cookies at the lunch table. We try out for soccer teams and give Girls Scouts a chance just so that we can be part of something. Some of us flourish in the making friends department, and these are the ones who are high fiving in the hallways and getting in trouble for talking too much in class. Others are instead picked last for the softball team in gym class and bounced around from club to club, never quite finding a niche. The age of the cyber world has allowed many to browse onto Facebook to peer into the lives of others who we think are living the dream and have found a true sense of belonging.

Who am I? A question we all want answered. Our desire to belong never fades, as we strive to determine what it even means to be. We bounce between jobs; we seek out our passions and we follow our heart to fulfill our deepest desires. We meet new people, and sometimes we even have to leave behind others who are taking away from the journey of self-discovery. Time becomes limited and precious as we age, so we keep those who mean the most closest to our hearts. The question of Who am I? seems to be a puzzle with pieces, or various aspects of life, that we are constantly trying to put together.

And if only the puzzle was simple enough to just piece together.

Instead, life throws us curve balls and we must decide every day how we are going to react to them. Some of them are expected troubles that we must overcome with time. But others come at us from our blindside. These are the ones that knock us over and leave us on the ground for quite some time as we question whom we can really trust in this world. These are the ones that are so hard to grasp and get our heads around. We always want to know Why me? Why this? Why now?

If we let these curve balls get the best of us, we will certainly have trouble finishing the puzzle. All we can really do is keep sharing our chocolate chip cookies to make new friends, keep trying out for teams, keep connecting with family, and just keep striving to uncover new passions. We have to get up from the curve balls and realize that we have two options…

Hide from our misfortune in shame and let it strip us of all of life’s joys.

Or be proud to call it Mine.

Sjögren’s is something I can always count on as a piece to my puzzle. It belongs to me, whether I like it or not. There are days when I want to give it back, but there are also days when I am proud to know what I have made it through. We all have something, but Sjögren’s is Mine.

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