I remember it like it was yesterday. Coming home from the hospital this summer and the texts immediately coming in.
Us three college kids who all went to Dr. Miller at the same time this summer, had (and still have) a group message going.
Once we were all back on our home turfs, we each sent a message along similar lines.
“I miss Wilmington!”
“Guys, I didn’t think it was possible to miss a hospital or Delaware… but I do.”
We all shared the same feeling. Wilmington, Delaware and Nemours had touched our lives in obvious and impossible-to-shake ways.
For me, I really mean it when I say impossible to shake. There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t think about Dr. Miller, Wilmington, Nemours or all of the above.
I’ve wrestled with why that is lately. Being thankful is one thing, but truly missing a place and a group of people is another.
Feeling like a part of you is in another state is a different story.
The first conclusion I came to is solely just the fact that what that place and those people did for me, literally got me to UF.
Dr. Miller, Nemours and Delaware gave me my life back. They replaced my physical pain with hope and possibility.
But then I thought, there’s got to be more to this. There’s got to be a reason why God puts Nemours on my mind every single day. There’s got to be a reason why I miss the little city of Wilmington, DE, of all places, every single day.
I used to hear people talk about how in college most people have just a general idea or even no clue of what they want to do with their lives.
I remember Freshman Jordan thinking: Not me, I know what I’m doing!
Now Sophomore Jordan is laughing at Freshman Jordan. Because I’m now in that “just have a general idea of what I want to do with my life” boat.
Freshman Jordan was 110% going to be a sports journalist.
Sophomore Jordan just knows that somehow, she just wants to tell stories.
I’ve always known that I have been blessed in my medical journey. For some reason, a grade 3 hemorrhage and a 9 week premature birthday didn’t affect me as much as it probably should have.
For some reason, God gave me this voice that a lot of other disabled kids don’t have.
If my medical chart spoke for itself, I probably shouldn’t and couldn’t be at UF.
But for some reason, I am. For some reason, I can’t do math for the life of me but I can write all day.
For some reason, I have this unique platform.
And that has been very convicting lately.
The disabled population at UF is larger than people realize. And because I live in the specifically accessible dorm this year and find myself in the Disability Resource Center (DRC) a lot, I see it. And one word creeps into my mind and drives me up a wall:
Why am I on crutches but the kid down the hall from me is fully wheelchair bound?
Why can I talk but the kid to my right can’t and communicates through an iPad?
Why did I start this blog?
To be a voice for kids like me. To advocate for the population that has their lives stamped with that blue symbol.
Here’s where Delaware and Nemours comes in. A year ago, I was going full speed ahead into the sports media industry. Now, I feel like I’m at a crossroads with two paths.
Do I go into sports or do I go into healthcare? Do I step onto a field and tell people’s stories or do I step into a hospital and tell people’s stories?
While both of those scenarios get me excited, lately the latter gets me really fired up.
I don’t know what that looks like right now. Part of me is starting to dig my heels in and look for communications internships at Nemours or any healthcare system where I can learn to do just that. Be a voice for kids like me and families like mine.
I guess the funny, scary and awesome part about life is you never know where you’re going to end up.
Who knows, maybe one day I’ll find a way tell stories in the sports and healthcare fields.
I don’t know where I’ll end up, but I do know that feeling God’s call is awesome.
Right now? I’m confused because Freshman Jordan’s plan might be changing. But excited because I know God’s got something big.
I used to end articles or posts telling ESPN to watch out.
Now, being fully open to God’s plan that could be ESPN, could be Nemours or could be somewhere else, I’m just saying that I’m excited.
What is clear is that I want to be a professional storyteller.
And what that looks like? I am not sure yet.
This summer at Nemours gave me a perspective and uncovered a dream that I pushed off for a long time.
But now I’m open and excited about it.
A little confused and scared because the perfectionist in me likes to know exactly where I’m going, but I’m slowly surrendering to the fact that that’s not possible. So I’m deciding to just be excited.
Like, really excited.
Dear Delaware: I love you a lot. Thanks for lighting up passions in me that I always had but never knew how to pursue.
Thanks for giving me the courage to finally start trying to figure that out.
Related posts: Dear Nemours