Jake Bailey is currently in remission from Burkitts non-Hodgkins lymphoma, a condition he was diagnosed with in 2015 – his final year of high school. Based on his experience, we asked him to write a letter to his future self and share what he learned during this journey. Here’s what he said.
To my future self, I hope you remember…
- Always remember how lucky you are for every day you receive.
- Live every day with passion and pride, simply because you are able to.
- Understand that your life could change beyond recognition in a day. Live accordingly.
- Never have regrets. Do what you want to do, tell people what they mean to you, achieve as much as you can in the time that you have because you don’t know how long that is.
- Don’t feel sorry for other people in situations you cannot change, it will achieve nothing. Instead, be grateful for the people in your life and your ability to live a normal life. It seems impossible, but next week you might be fighting to cling onto that life.
- Take great pleasure in the journey of life instead of fixating on the destination.
- Treat your body well. Just because other people thrash themselves and are fine doesn’t mean that it’s okay or healthy, or that you’ll be fine as well. If something’s wrong, then don’t take a “she’ll be right” attitude – being tough is about taking care of yourself so you can be strong, not just ignoring your body.
- Appreciate hospital staff; the doctors, nurses, cleaners, kitchen staff, and the orderlies. These people dedicate their lives to saving others, and that’s an incredibly powerful thing. They go underappreciated so often, and they are the last people who deserve that.
- Suffering is a building block. Those who go through life without suffering are worse, not better for it, because the blade never gets sharpened.
- What separates those who succeed from those who fail is not the number of times they get knocked down, but how many times they’re willing to get back up and start again.
- Some people are broken by misfortune, whilst others choose to grow from it.
- Happiness is not an objective we seek, it’s a talent we develop.