Guest Post “Make It Good” by Dan Digmann

Guest Post “Make It Good” by Dan Digmann

I thought I would kick back for a couple days so I called Dan Digmann to fill in.  Dan & his lovely wife, Jennifer, both have MS  and write for their own blog which you can find in the My Odd Sock blogroll below.

Please enjoy Dan’s essay…”Make It Good”…..

I’m not even trying to hide my smile as I walk across Central Michigan University’s crowded Mount Pleasant campus.

It’s the first week of classes for the 2013-14 academic year, and it’s the 14th first week I’ve experienced as a full-time writer & editor for CMU University Communications.

I smile because I feel all the emotions I see in the student’s eyes and faces.  I feed off their collective hope, anxiety, uncertainty and promise for what this new year has in store for students like them, staff like me and the faculty on whom we both depend.

Dan in black (I think).  Photo by Steve Jessmore/CMU
Dan in black (I think). Photo by Steve Jessmore/CMU

Even without speaking to the students, I can tell.  Who are the freshmen.  Who are the seniors.  Who are the graduate students.  The sophomores & juniors are indistinguishable and that’s too bad.

Why, you ask?

It occurs to me that it was around 20 years ago that I was eagerly entering my junior year at Wartburg College ( in Waverly, Iowa.  Twenty years.  And I want to see myself in one of the juniors at CMU  ( so I can fully remember that time in my life.  What were my hopes…my anxieties…uncertainties…the promise that I sought for my future?

What if, at that point in time, I had a foreteller of my future who could show me where I would be in 20 years from that moment in time?  What kind of life would the would-be Nostrodomous predict for the next two decades of my life?

And what if he provided highlights of two possible paths that my life could take, and I quickly felt like I was in the ophthalmologist’s exam room when she asked me which looked better:  Number One or Number Two?

Number One

Within the next two decades, through the lens of this crystal ball I see that I would:

-Spend my entire adult life more than 500 miles away from my family in Iowa.

-Suffer through one of the toughest jobs of my life and be onto my fourth place of employment in less than five years after graduating from college.

-Experience an unfulfilling & painful marriage that eventually ends in divorce.

-Live nearly 80 percent of my post-college years battling multiple sclerosis (


Number Two

Within the next two decades, through the lens of this crystal ball I see that I would:

-Serve as a leading member of  national award-winning news and publications teams.

-Marry the love of my life who is my best friend and endlessly loves me as much as I love her.

-Co-author a 163-page book that helps to inspire countless people across the United States.

-Get tapped to present at major conferences in cities such as Iowa City, Detroit, Cleveland and Louisville.

Which one would YOU pick?  I imagine it’s such a no-brainer that I didn’t need a college degree to know that the second option is the better of the two.

But in life, I didn’t have the freedom to choose one of the other.  My reality:  I’ve lived through the highlights of BOTH of these scenarios, and I truly couldn’t have experienced one without living through the other.

I had to:

-Move to Michigan to establish my successful career (I’ve been at Central Michigan for nearly 15 years).

-Go through a bad marriage to eventually find Jennifer (Celebrated our 8th anniversary on Sept 10th).

-Endure life with MS to pursue my passion for writing & speaking (How else would I have the opportunity to write for My Odd Sock?).

Ultimately, I’ve realized that in life we all have to weather the bad, the good and the ugly.  We can’t choose one over the other.

But the one thing we CAN choose is how we respond to the challenges we unwillingly have to face.

Is it bad?  Good?  Ugly?

It truly depends on how you look at it.  And it’s the only choice we have to make.


2 Replies to “Guest Post “Make It Good” by Dan Digmann”

  1. Wonderful post! It’s funny, another MS blogger, Stumbling in Flats, just talked about how being diagnosed with MS opened the door for her to pursue writing. I’d have to say the same for me, although I’m still working full time and don’t have the energy to devote tons of time to writing…as Sock can confirm from my spotty blog presence. <–that sounds gross, for some reason.

    Anyway, well done!