It’s hard for me to remember sometimes that a person’s life doesn’t self level. That there is no guarantee of a good for a bad; that fairness and unfairness don’t even out, that the giving and the taking don’t meet somehow at a perfect middle. It’s hard for me to remember, because I have a tendency to want assess my life like that. I want to weigh diabetes and valley fever and this cold that won’t go away against things like the breathtaking beauty of where I live or the joy I get from my husband and have everything come out even, nice and clean and precise.

The truth is more complicated, though. The truth is in the waiting rooms, in the prescription bottles, in the frustration of being 28 and having a specialist appointment every month, in the needles and the blood and the terrible uncertainty. The truth is also in the smell of the pine forests and the way my husband is the only person I need to feel whole, the spectacular rolling clouds that fill this valley and the way the birds lift from the tree outside my window in dark bursts. And weighing any of these things against another lessens them both.

The longer I live with diabetes, the more I learn that I don’t need neat and clean. I don’t need a middle or an average. I just need to live every second of my gritty, imperfect life with all the joy I can muster.