Join me in welcoming Author Raynetta Stocks as she shares why she dreams like she'll live forever and lives like she'll die any day...
In January 2010, I was diagnosed with congestive heart failure. My heart function was declining rapidly, and my cardiologist, in relative frustration, confessed there wasn’t much he could do. He gave me six months to live. I beat the odds, of course, but I suffered through the next two years. I wanted a life my body couldn’t give me, and I fought through it—with tears, with anguish, with anger.
I lost everything in 2012. Everything. House, car, job, sanity. Everything that meant anything to me was gone because my illness had dominated my life. Correction: I just plain gave up. I wasn’t happy. I didn’t know how to get happy. I called it quits on my life. I had surgery pending that fall. They told me to make a will. I made it. I waited to die.
Now, I know this is a heck of a way to start a post about happiness, right? It’s downright dismal! I tell you this story though to show you how low you can be. And to tell you IT DOESN’T MATTER. I did have that surgery, in January 2013, and with odds of coming off that table at only 40%. But I’m here! And what I learned about that brush with death is that life, my life, was slowly slipping by me. I had spent the last three years feeling sorry for myself instead of LIVING, to its very fullest.
One thing facing death will do is give you unlimited perspective. Three years ago, I wasn’t supposed to be here—so I place great value on every day. I’m constantly looking for fun, hunting for laughter, and tracking down excitement. Before, I spent most of my life in bed, missing crucial moments with my son. Now, I attend every event he wants to participate in, and we’ve done countless picnics in the park. Even sitting down and watching his favorite shows together is quality time that are now indelible memories in my mind.
And I had forgotten the written word. My only dream, since I was six years old, was to write for a living, to make an “adult’s salary” on my gift of words. And I let my condition snatch that dream away. So I dream daily now, on paper, until it becomes another bound package of fantasy that will one day carry someone to all the places I’ve created. And that is a legacy in itself. My dream is less about people knowing my name or filling a stage or even signing millions of copies of books. It’s doing what I love, writing as a career. And I’m well on way with that.
They say it’s wrong to dream big, especially when you don’t have a dime to your name. Well, it’s not until you have nothing that you want something—something bigger, better and more phenomenal than you ever knew. You can risk it all because you have nothing left to lose! So go for it! Bring the clouds down from the sky to envelop you! The best way see the top is to be on the bottom. I spent the last three years on the bottom. So I’m dreaming like I’ll live forever, and I’m living like I’ll die any day. And all that’s at my top is happiness.