When I was a child I would spend every weekend with my grandmother. It was my favorite part of the week. She would take me to Publix and buy me carrot cake and let us pick what was for dinner my sister and I and just all-around dote on us for a whole two days. I remember sometimes at night I would have terrible pain in my legs, and she would rub them, and try to make me feel better. She told me they were just growing pains, and I remember wondering why growing hurt so bad. I don’t fault her for not knowing the pain I was having was actually a sign of the condition I am now diagnosed with, Chiari malformation. My skull is not big enough for my brain. I look back over my life and I see the signs so clearly. The pattern is so plainly insight now, with each new level of pain I would be in agony and then I would get used to that level and it became just another part of my life. Until the next new level of pain would come. I would wonder what the hell is wrong with me. And then I would get used to the pain again. I’ve done this for 33 years, until a few months ago when I simply couldn’t get out of bed.. when you think about it almost every type of growth hurts at first. Growth pushes us out of our comfort zone. It gets us ready for the next level. It makes us wiser, and lets us be the most authentic version of ourselves.