Introducing ‘This Lung Life,’ a Column by Ella Balasa

Below is the first post of an original column that will be published once monthly. Enjoy!

Fulfillment to me means achieving a dream, pursuing a passion, striving to be happy every day, and finding joy in what I do. To say I did my best and made every moment count. I believe having those dreams and feelings of fulfillment comes from motivation. Motivation to do and be better in whatever parameters I set for myself. My motivation for life comes in the most innate form — the will to live. To live the fullest life I can, in the time I am given to live it.

Having cystic fibrosis has shaped me to want to live in this way. My motivation to Introducing ‘This Lung Life,’ a Column by Ella Balasahave this attitude has grown with each passing year, though it’s taken time to gain the maturity, experiences, and confidence to find my identity and purpose.

Growing up, I was always a quiet child, especially around strangers. It terrified me to even think about having to talk to somebody I didn’t know. I stayed the same through high school, a time that I was more insecure with myself than at any other point in my life. Having CF, being somewhat introverted by nature, and having overprotective parents all contributed to my situation. I call it a “situation” because it was always something I wanted to leave behind. I wanted to be social and make friends easily, but it never was easy. Having CF, then, seemed like a huge obstacle. I was always thinking about what others were going to think when they knew I was different.

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