Wednesday, July 7, 2010

How to tell a story.

There is a point at which a story gets too long to tell.

I am no liar. My last post was written a little less than two years ago, and I announced a.) that I was off to the Peace Corps and b.) that I knew I'd be back. I am happy to make good on both.

You'll ask me how it was. It was amazing. The 1.5 years I spent in Ukraine number among the best in my life. Narrating the Peace Corps experience would be a long, long story indeed.

The difficult story to tell, though, isn't about the Peace Corps - it is about what happened afterward, and why I left.

While living and working in Ukraine, a walk away from the Russian border, I contracted a very rare and serious form of tuberculosis. I am on heavy drug therapy. I was quarantined for two months, spent weeks in the hospital, and underwent two surgeries to remove the part of my lung scarred by the disease. This is the shortest version of the story I can tell.

It is odd to see people from previous walks of life, because they are kind. They ask how I am doing. If they are very distant acquaintances, they ask, "weren't you in Russia?" Even more distant, they might ask what I've been doing since high school.

And I never know what to say. I don't know how much to explain, or where to begin. It usually depends on who asks. What mood I'm in.

For now, I am on the upswing. My mind has been riddled with TB for a while now, and I missed decorating myself with silly, pretty things.

Writers are often advised to begin a story in the middle. Here I am, though it feels like a beginning, too. I started the way most of us do. I am back in Chicago, I feel better, and despite a long road of treatment ahead I am going to live and prosper. And I'll have to dress the part.

Wearing this, I walked around the city I love - Chicago - for the first time in a very long time. I papered the town with my resume. I began again.

back!

Shades: Target
Black Blazer: H&M
Rose brooch: Forever21
Blue blouse: H&M
Black and white dress: DKNY, thrifted
Blue polka dot peep toes: Irregular Choice
Vintage 60s bag: thrifted

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...I am excited to restart my blog. It will be about style, but it will be about standing up too.

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

Holy cow! So glad to see a post from you ~ what a scary, amazing, beautiful adventure you've been on. Can't wait to read more ~ whatever it is you decide to share ~ because I love your writing and your style. :) Mia

Sara said...

Glad to see you are back and thankfully well! What a scare! Looking forward to seeing your style again.

kater said...

Hello! Just commented on your flickr, feel a bit awkward now that I said hope all was well--but I suppose in a way it is! I'm so sorry to hear about your rough time, but it seems at least that you are doing wonderfully and moving forwards! Glad to see you back :)

hillary said...

Oh I have missed you! (im miss matilda)

I am so terribly sorry you are going through that. It sounds scary as all get out. I hope you continue to upswing and for pure selfish reasons I am so glad you are back!

laniza said...

Long time lurker, here! Surely the Creator put you through all of that for a reason. Glad to 'see' you back and that you're on the mend.

Eyeliah said...

Oh my gosh Natasha! I noticed you hadn't updated your travel blog in almost a year and you'd been on my mind!! I am so sorry to hear about your struggles beautiful girl. You have my support, always.

mona said...

How wonderful to read about you on Adeline's Attic and to know that you have returned! You looked stunning at the wedding! Your dress was gorgeous!

I loved reading your blog from Ukraine. I did Google searches earlier this year for any updates and found a lovely photo of you and Mike on Fran's Ukrainian blog, but it was from September 2009. Alas, I am so very sorry to read about your arduous health battle! You are so strong and brave! I wish you a complete recovery.

I look forward to reading your fashion blog again! Best of luck with your job search!

Terri said...

Tuberculosis can be a scary proposition--Albert Camus, as you may know, suffered from it his entire adult life...in the days before antibiotics.

I didn't read your blog before, so I don't know the difference, but you have a lovely, frail beauty.

bestie said...

Wow. I'm sorry, I had no idea! But I hope everything is all better now?

Megan Mae said...

Wow! What an ordeal. May better health reach you soon. Welcome back to the blog-o-sphere.

Thanks for stopping by my blog.

Jocelyne said...

Om my gosh, I am so glad you are on the upswing. That ordeal sounds terrible. I have always enjoyed reading your writing even when you were over in Ukraine, I was wondering what happened since it seemed to slow down over there. I'm sorry to hear it was something not great, I sort of thought you were in love. :) I am glad to have you back and send you lots of healing vibes! You look beautiful as always!