My favorite TV episode : “Funny Pants” from Season 4 Episode 65b of SpongeBob SquarePants, where Squidward, Spongebob’s cynical neighbor and coworker, falsely informs SpongeBob that if SpongeBob laughs one more time in the next 24 hours, his laugh box will explode, and he will never laugh or giggle again.
Squidward’s lie attempts to stop SpongeBob’s incessant laughter, but SpongeBob does not stop laughing. Neither do I. SpongeBob would rather laugh and never laugh again than to live in fear, just as I would rather laugh and never laugh again than to live in fear of endometriosis. Endometriosis is a disorder in which tissue that normally lines the inside of the uterus — the endometrium — grows outside the uterus. Endometriosis commonly involves the ovaries, fallopian tubes and the tissue lining the pelvis.
Laughing helps me grieve the person I was before endometriosis and gives peace of mind and body. If I can laugh, then I can envision and motivate myself to accomplish my goals, whether it is becoming a pediatric surgeon or receiving a publication in Teen Ink Magazine. If I want to continue laughing, then I have to be open minded to different TV shows, YouTube videos, and memes that could make me laugh. By practicing open mindedness, I fell in love with watching Wild n’ Out on MTV while eating Jollof rice with chicken and I took a risk tasting banana barbeque sauce in St. Thomas. Yes, barbecue sauce made out of real bananas, and I couldn't taste the difference! With open mindedness my learning never ends and I am always guaranteed adventure.
For a while, I struggled with being open minded to a friendship with endometriosis because my memories consisted of endometriosis restraining me to my bedroom floor in excruciating pain and forcing me to escape class to hide in bathroom stalls. But as I debated forming a friendship with endometriosis, endometriosis taught me the best lesson: embrace my vulnerability and my own company. When I admitted to myself that I needed help, I stopped living in fear and I reclaimed the power to steer my own life. I was liberated when I came to terms with my doctor’s words: “The cause of endometriosis is unknown and there is no cure.” I could finally enjoy spending time with myself because I realized it was me, not endometriosis, who decided to close myself off. It is me who is emotionally responsible for myself. I cannot train myself to have a specific reaction to a particular situation, but I can train myself to remember I am in control of my emotions, not the other way around.
Ultimately, endometriosis taught me that I never lose the ability to make choices but recognizing that ability becomes harder when the choices appear limited. Endometriosis promised me that I would prouder of myself if I accepted a choice it gave me. The choice was learning how I wanted to define myself and what I wanted others to see in me. I've accepted the choice (or challenge, as I see it), but how would I begin writing that story? Sadly, I just finished typing it.