I haven’t always loved words but they found me in some of my darkest day. Whether it was in the form of a book or a blog post I stumbled on. I recently wrote that words have power. More than one will ever know. I love to write, sometimes its a story, sometimes its an elaboration of a thought or something that evokes a feeling in my soul. I like sharing my life and my thoughts in hopes that someone, somewhere might read it and not feel alone. I share them because I believe in the power of the written and spoken word. That maybe if we all shared our truths and the messiness that is called life; maybe, just maybe it’d be a better world.
But. There is always a but.
I hesitate. What if it’s not as good as so and so’s. What if it unintentionally hurts someone. What if it make me seem this way or that. I could literally go on and on about the stream of thoughts I have in my head. For 12 years now words have been my constant companion. They’ve built me up and tore me to shreds. I’ve stoped writing because I cared more about likes and if I was good enough. I hesitated to share my journey with cancer this time because I’ve been so hurt by people who I thought cared. But I miss it. I miss sharing my heart and my thoughts. I’ve read several blogs and post from other cancer survivors that I resonated with that got me through that heart wrenching moments. I still believe it’s better to share than to bottle it up, but I see so many people who want to create this façade of this or the other, why not just be yourself? You never know how you’re true story is going to help some one else.
I love when I read a book and it sparks something in me. It evokes feelings I didn’t know I had. I just finished reading Far Cry by Kate Canterbary and I’m just in awe. I relate to the main character, Brooke so so much. The years I remember of my childhood were spent in and out of doctors offices and hospitals with my dad. Don’t get me wrong I never lacked the love or important stuff, but growing up with that leaves a lasting impact on my soul. In the book, Brooke is this fiery, fierce woman who has endured a lot and has learned to take no shit. But underneath it all she is deeply impacted by the wounds of her life. In one part she says “I’ve been dragging little red wagons worth of issues around since forever.” I’ve never had something sink in my skin the way that sentence did.
We all bare scars from the life we’ve lived thus far. It’s up to us whether we learn from them and allow them to hinder us or enable us. The past 5 months have unearthed past hurts for myself and my mom. Hurts that I didn’t know she had and hurts that I didn’t know really bothered me. Those are her story to tell and to work with. I tend to take in others problems, especially of those I care most about. I’ve lived a life where it’s easier to pick up and carry on than it is to sit with my feelings and allow them to teach me something. Cancer is a huge part of my life, as is my journey with my past. I’m allowed to feel the way I do and so are you. Know one has lived in your shoes but what I do know is, it’s possible to hurt people because you hurt. Cancer has taught me more than anything in my life and yet I hate it with a passion I didn’t know I possessed. Cancer is like looking in 360 degree mirror of your life. It invites feelings that you didn’t know were there. My soul hurts, my depression is worse than it ever has been. I have suicidal thoughts more than I had in my teen angst years. My soul is tired. Im tired of fighting this battle and carrying the weight of the world on my shoulders. I don’t know that I want to live anymore. I’m tired of fake people who make it seem like their life is perfect. I’m tired of the financial and emotional burden cancer has put on my mom and I. I’m tired of people who say they’re there but never really show up.
This wasn’t wrote to seek pity but as a reminder that words have the power that a knife never will. The letters and sentences can be the very thing that lifts someone up or bury them Remember that the next time you speak.
I wish I had some big, verbose thing to tell you but I don’t. I’ve just been thinking recently about cancer, life, boys, and God and how I have changed. It is entirely by Gods grace that I’m not the same person I was not too long ago. I fought hard to become this person I’m becoming, but cancer, it sucks. It kinda puts a stopper in any kind of progress. As my dad would’ve said ” it has a way of knocking you on your back so you’ll look up.” So I have. I’ve found God in all the corners of my life lately, it’s a scary time at its core. I put on a brave face, but cancer is a cold-blooded killer and I’m not ready to die. I feel amongst all the yucky-ness of this that there is a silver lining waiting to be discovered. I truly believe everything happens for a reason and in the words of one of my favorite authors, Anne Lamott,
“Sometimes when a lot of things around you start going wrong all at once, it is to protect something big and lovely that is trying to get itself born. In other words, perhaps it needed you to be distracted so it can be born perfect.”
I don’t know what the future holds, but I do know who holds the future and He makes broken things beautiful. My life has been so broken the past four years and I saw how He worked in dads life and I saw how He works in the messiest times of grief. I choose to believe that He’ll show up and work in all the brokenness of this season. Speaking of brokenness, I recently had several encounters with dating in this modern generation, and they all sucked. Guys these days are quick to want to hook-up, play little mind game, and be terrified to catch feelings. Well, my heart has been cracked and I’ve omitted pieces of myself to fit what their looking for and I’m done. Life is far too short and too precious to waste on that. In the words of my homegirl Bey,
“middle fingers up and tell em’ boi bye.”
I’m worth being pursued and worth some effort. I’m too old and mature to play stupid little games. If you like me, tell me. I’m worth a man that can stand his ground and sees me for more than an object. Yes, I like the skin I’m in, but you should see my brain. It’s far more sexier. My life is spent taking it minute by minute. I’m going on with everyday life, including college because I have no intentions of dying this soon. So they’ll be plenty of time to check off my bucket list. Plus let’s be real, who has money to do that when they have cancer? Do they know how much it cost!? If anything, cancer has certainly made me more introspective. And let’s you know where your priorities lay…
Life sucks sometimes, I think it’s ok to say that. It’s not meant to be roses and sunshine all the time. Hard times make you appreciate the good ones all the more… I’m in a weird way lately, missing what could’ve been and what might not ever be. I had an Mri on Thursday, I was sedated for the the 2 1/2 hours. Which was an hour longer than planned. Nothing goes normally or according to planned with me. I’m not sure of the outcome or if they’ll be able to read this one. Scanxiety is real. I’m grieving for things that might never happen and how my life is nothing like it should be. People my age are getting married or having babies and starting their careers. I never planned to have cancer. Now it’s taken so many things from me, how does someone cope with that. I just feel broken and who wants anyone that’s broken.
I don’t like complicated. I like clear cut, straight to the point, give me the answers right now. Cancer isn’t simple, the answers never come when you want them and sometimes not at all. I got the news today that I would have to go back and have another Mri, this time under local anesthesia. Here again, I don’t have answers in the time I want them. Along with this I have some decisions to make about bariatric surgery, something that, mind you, has never crossed my radar…
Speaking of that, I have a little story for you and the point to this:
I’ve never been skinny, no one in my family is. Genetically speaking, I was predetermined to be big. I was bullied in school for it. I had horrible body image and no self confidence. I was in my late teens and was trying diet pills, appetite suppressants, fad diets, calorie restriction, and unhealthy amounts of exercise. You say how is exercise unhealthy? Well when you’re restricting calories which your body turns into energy to exercise you get light headed and vomit or pass out. Thankfully I never got to the last one. I was in a destructive cycle. I hated myself and my body. Then one day, I said I’m done. I found the body positive community on Tumblr and my life was changed. I took back the word fat, as it didn’t have power to be used as an insult anymore. It was simply a word to describe my body. It took years and a daily essential, but I found peace, happiness, and a love for my body.
I’m passionate about body positivity, body image, and a firm believer that your weight does not equate your health. I think all bodies are good bodies. However, being told that your weight mixed with genetics is causing cancer… Well, honestly, it’s really messing with this foundation I live on. How do I be all these things when I need to have a surgery that alters my body so I can lose weight? I’ve never wanted to be a “normal” size. Not that there is anything wrong with that, mind you. But I like my body the way it is, it’s lumps and bumps and hills and valleys. It was once a war zone now it’s a happy, peace filled place. I fought to be that woman, now I’m having to change without even knowing it’s going to put the cancer in remission. How do I deal with that? How does that place I’ve built to live in, not crumble? Can I find that place of peace?
I’m in a barren season in my life. I’m not producing much and honestly it has me depressed. I’ve delt with these health issues for so long that normally they wouldn’t stop me, however, when you throw in low blood counts and a lower back injury it’s pretty much a complete k.o. I’m so far removed from pretty much everyone these days, having one car and mom needing it more takes priority. My depression is at an all time high and I feel like most days I’m just barely hanging on. I read a post by Jen Hatmaker recently where she elaborated on a quote that says “Be patient with your self. Nothing in nature blooms all year.” That summarizes my life these past 7 months. I’ve bloomed so much in the past 3 years, loosing dad showed me just how much I had been losing out on precious time. But now I feel stagnant and stuck. How do I be ok not producing anything? How do I not lose my sanity while waiting to bloom again. Am I the cause of my solitude or is this all part of the season? She goes on to say that it’s ok to be hidden away, but is the solitude what is necessary? Friends, I would appreciate your prayers for this season of my life.
The air turns cooler.
The blooms of Spring turn to to the crisp-ness of Fall.
The bright colors of Summer turn into their darker brothers and sisters.
It’s almost as it one season dies and lend it’s spirit to another.
Time continues to move forward, as always. Never stopping for anyone.”
I’ve been thinking about change recently. 2013 was the biggest change I’ve ever had to endure and it seems that my life is ever evolving now. Never staying the same, always keeping me on my toes, yet always leaving an air of the same things. I’ve changed a lot over the past year, some ways for the better and some ways not so much. I’ve also been thinking about how God has been there in these things. No matter how good, bad, or horrible it has been. He’s been there and never let me fall. I’ve went through some dark times and I’m forever grateful for that minuscule glimpse of hope that He’s gave me to keep holding on to fight another day. And some days I ask why because it is so hard sometimes to just get out of bed and shower and carry on with my daily activities. This week has been one of those weeks; I’ve been sick with a sinus infection and dealing with that old health issue that no one knows why it’s happening, My car battery died, then my window motor broke, I find myself wanting so many things and being very ungrateful and un-content with what I have, I’ve missed my allotted days of school and am slightly behind with some of my classes, I’m dealing again with being content with my singleness and find myself asking “what’s wrong with me!?”. I haven’t been eating clean lately and haven’t been able to workout. But then I stop myself and think, God has provided for almost every one of these things. He provided the money to have my battery replaced and my window to have a temporary fix, He provided a way to see the doctor in both cases, I was able to speak with someone about school who knows the issue and seems to be on my side, I have everything I need and a roof over my head. And most of all, I have hope that tomorrow is a new day, full of His grace and mercy and new opportunities and chances. Change isn’t a one time deal, it’s all around me for me to seize and make my own. I have to remind myself of that, often it seems. I started school in August. I was so scared and nervous. I’ve never had good experience with school, I was always bullied or the kid who was always bigger than the others. So it was natural for me to have these feeling prior to starting. However, once I got there I have found I love it. I’m so excited to see what each day holds and to see the people I feel like I’m starting to make friends with. There still are those mean girls and guys, but so far it hasn’t been too bad and I’m at a point now where I can hold my own and I’m not afraid of my spirit anymore and will not omit pieces to make anyone feel more comfortable. I have this want and willpower to change the things I’m not happy with in my life and the one I’m working on is my body. While I’ll always be a big girl and never a size 2, I’m ok with that. I just want to be confident with myself and how I look. I believe in the body image movement and feeling positive towards yourself, so I’m embracing that and working towards feeling that way about myself. I’ve found on this journey that I actually like to sweat and enjoy the feeling of my feet hitting the pavement, I’ve seen the fruits of my labor and I like that. So while reminding myself that change isn’t a one time deal, I’ll do what I can, when I can. I’ll eat foods that are good for my body when I can and when I’m feeling good and up to it, I’ll exercise. If one day I eat pizza or a chicken sandwich from Wendy’s because I’m in a hurry. I’m not gonna beat myself up over it. It’s not a race and I’m not competing with anyone, I hope we all make it. Yeah, change seems to be my motto in this season of my life and it’s a season I’m embracing with open arms.