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PERSONAL STORY BY JONATHAN KOHANSKI

SPRING RESET

FEARS VERSUS PASSIONS

Forty-One. That’s the number of springs I’ve lived through here in New England, in fact I’ve never lived anywhere else that has less than four distinct seasons. Summer with all of its sunshine and warmth is a distant memory while in the throes of a snow filled and frigid winter. With the exception of sledding, winter sports are largely beyond me these days.

As summer gives way to fall, the squirrels are frantically seeking out and hoarding food, the temperatures begin dropping, the stability of summer now gives way to a restlessness that permeates the landscape. In almost slow motion, the trees transform from the radiant green of summer to a canvas of blazing reds, oranges, and yellows before losing that brilliance to the ground in the fall. As the days grow precipitously shorter and colder, the frequency of cold nights and frost increases. The first snow arrives and it hits you, 5 months of short cold days. At the best of times, we might get a 60-degree day at the halfway point, February, just to tease you and remind you that there’s something other than the cold that seems to infest everything. Sunlight can be a premium at this time of year, mostly the sunlight seen is from window, even the commutes are dark at this point. After what seems like a never-ending onslaught of cold, the days start growing longer, the temperatures aren’t so frigid and the blanket of white that has persisted for weeks and months begins to fade into the brown of mud.

“…it’s not too late to start over.”

With spring comes a sort of rebirth of everything, it may be the same landscape, but everything is new again, fresh. Everything was dormant through the darkness and cold of winter, much like a depressive spell, shedding a brilliance and light and withdrawing, internally from the rest of the world. Sometimes spring can be a metaphor for our lives and a fundamental reminder that it’s not too late to start over.

I’m no stranger to those bouts of withdrawal, and at times feeling like the darkness won’t end. Sometimes it’ll last days, sometimes weeks, but there’s always a spring. One thing that I have found that helps during those situations is change. Not a new pair of shoes type of change, but actual disruptive change. The kind of change that forces me out of the repetitive and mundane patterns that have landed me where I currently am. Maybe I’m just a tad overzealous when it comes to hitting that reset button to change things, but turning the page of life and moving onto the next chapter has generally come easier to me than perhaps it should. I’ve debated if this is such a terrible quality to have or a reasonable course of action; recognizing when a situation isn’t healthy, even if it once was, or life circumstances have changed to a level that wiping the slate clean makes sense.

Being diagnosed at 25 with a disease that slowly takes things away, learning to press “reset” and learning to be okay with change, isn’t just helpful, it's necessary. One of the “gifts” that MS has provided me is a completely different perspective. What life is, what it can be, what I value, the type of people I want and need in my life, and ultimately how I define happiness. It has provided me, many times, situations where I can practice leaving the past in the past and moving forward. 87 AWARENOW / THE MAYDAY EDITION

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AwareNow: Issue 16: The Mayday Edition  

In this issue, we present stories that speak to the needed conversation of awareness to action. For the causes we support that tie us all to...

AwareNow: Issue 16: The Mayday Edition  

In this issue, we present stories that speak to the needed conversation of awareness to action. For the causes we support that tie us all to...

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