Heidi R. Moore has been extremely lucky in her life thus far. Moore is a writer and artist who has been lucky enough to have lived through several lifetimes and careers in her relatively short life.
If you wonder why each day of the blog is numbered (e.g., “Day 261. Touching the Ceiling”), you might want to read back to the beginning of the blog (Day 365), in fact, Moore’s days are numbered. A doctor she had never met came into the examining room and almost without looking up said (in the voice of Bill Lumberg from the movie Office Space), “Uh, yeah. I’ve seen the pictures you brought in, and I just want to be up front about this. An aneurysm this size, on a woman your age. Look, you probably can’t expect to live much past 48.” Time passed. This blog encompasses her SUPPOSED last year of life.
The truth is that this blog will serve as proof that that doctor is wrong.
By the age of forty, Heidi Moore has had the great fortune of working in her dream job as a writing professor (at a community college), where she had tremendous freedom to teach courses ranging from American Literature and Film to Humanities and Popular Culture.
On her way to academia, Moore had all kinds of interesting jobs, as an editor in a beltway bandit consulting firm and in a law office. She also taught special education (learning disabled and seriously emotionally disabled fourth-sixth graders) in the D.C. Public Schools and Fairfax County (Virginia) Schools, dealing in both places with urban education problems and children with functional dyslexia, complete illiteracy, conduct disorder, as well as other emotional disabilities. She was promoted to teacher trainer and Learning Disabilities Specialist. That was excellent preparation for any job she had afterwards, for working with every type of student, peer, and employee—especially now that she works for herself.
Always a great hand to complain, Moore often observed about all of these jobs she was lucky to have that, although they were fantastic, and all taught her a great deal about writing (especially when she did the research for her Ph.D. while teaching full-time at the college), she never had time to do her own creative work.
Well, then her leg exploded—literally, not figuratively. With much pain, suffering, gnashing of teeth, a grave diagnosis of a genetic connective tissue disease (Ehlers Danlos Syndrome-Vascular Type) ensued, along with the end of Heidi’s dream job as a college professor.
It took some time for her to realize that this outcome was not so bad after all.
Almost two years of intense cheerfulness bootcamp were required for Moore to find the positive reasons for the red light on her path to success as a college professor so soon after getting her Ph.D. Having to sit still and focus on things she could do more quietly than teaching forced Moore to do some of the very things she had always been too busy to do before. As a result, though, Moore realized that she is the happiest she has ever been in her life.
Writing, revising, painting.
The artist’s life.
This is paradise.
Baby, life’s what you make it.