Jul 4, 2009

Can You Stop Being Who You Want To Be?

I'm a 52 year old male with Multiple Sclerosis. In my younger years, I considered myself a "jock", with 5 varsity letters in High School, and 2 varsity letters at University. I have a BS and an MBA degree - and was living a successful corporate executive life, travelling globally 50% of the time - including being expatriated 6 years to Europe.

I went to college in the Midwest - and was recruited to a consumer products company in metro NYC. As a family, we went hiking and biking, playing sports together - and teaching my children what I had loved as a child. Socializing with my friends on the golf course or squash courts. Even as a corporate executive, I still defined myself with my physical abilities - playing tennis, golf, skiing, and working all kinds of crazy hours including schmoozing til the wee hours of the night.

After feeling "not quite right" for a few years and a couple of definable episodes, I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis in 1998 while living in Belgium.

I share this because I believe we are who we are; and when I was told I have MS - I didn't stop wanting to be who I had been - and i didn't want all my hard work and plans to go away.

In reality, life was about to change, in ways even I couldn't fathom. Nothing in MS is predictable (except it's unpredictability), and I figured my physical abilities would decline, but I never expected the effect my diagnosis would have on an extremely important part of me... dreaming.

One simple question kept haunting me:

Would I still be able to climb Mt. Everest?

I had never thought about climbing Mt. Everest before. Had this unconscious dream now been taken away, or was it a sign to start new dreams?

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Can You Stop Being Who You Wanto To Be by Nick Marazita is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.