8 years ago I was a college freshman. I spent time going to classes, doing the reading for classes, hanging out with my friends, and going to Church meetings. (So, I was a little odd.) I remember having a particularly good semester 8 years ago. But mostly what I remember about 8 years ago is that I had brain surgery that summer.  And again 6 years ago when I had just finished my junior year of  college.  And then again two years ago during my last semester of seminary.

Over those 8 years, I have earned two degrees, moved across the country three times, been ordained in the Episcopal Church, had four different neurosurgeons, had 16 MRIs, made friends, kept friends, seen friends drift away, and started my first job as a priest.  I have taken one pill a day, 8 pills a day, and am currently on about 5 pills a day.  I have lost weight, gained weight, lost weight, gained weight, lost weight, gained weight, and lost weight, with a net of having gained weight due to medications.  I have been depressed and I have been healthier than I may have been since I was in high school.  I have suffered from unbearable insomnia and slept like crazy (although that is usually after surgery when I literally can’t do anything else).

8 years ago I could not imagine surviving most of what is in that paragraph.