I’m in no way trying to diminish the sadness and shock that the world is going through right now, but I have to say that this particular moment in time is indisputably the most relatable the world has felt to me since being diagnosed with cancer.
COVID-19 and Cancer: definitely the two strongest ‘C’ words of my past year. (How fitting that my 20th blog post would be one to summarize the most powerful moments I had in 2019/2020).
I was talking to a friend the day after I rebooked my flight home, hurrying to get back amidst the very real threat of being stranded. (Yes, I realize that stranded in Hawai’i sounds lovely in theory… but realize that means stranded with no health care and minimal gov’t assistance. It means potentially being stranded and taking up a much-needed hospital bed that wasn’t intended for me). So I was talking about going home, and the virus, and the incontestable circus it has made of everyone’s lives. What came out of my mouth surprised even myself. I said,
“Right now, it feels like the world is experiencing what I experienced last year, but on a global scale.”
Continue reading “Episode 20: COVID and Cancer”
“Don’t give up in your mind something that your body hasn’t even attempted yet.”
That thought popped
into my head this morning. I was just
sitting in silence, enjoying a quiet morning. Or trying to enjoy it, I should
say. Way back, in the recesses of my mind, nagging fear was doing a number on
I took a deep breath in, and a deep breath out. I counted my blessings. I stretched. I even walked to the ocean and just marvelled at its beauty. I didn’t look at my phone. I didn’t check my emails. And all this before 8am. I’m telling you, I did everything right. Or rather, I did everything that today’s ‘mindfulness’ gurus tell you to do.
Yet there it was, the
anxiety. The unknown. The dull panic that somehow, somewhere, in some way I was
Continue reading “Episode 18: Paddle Out”
I’ve been dwelling on fear lately. Wait, I should rephrase that. I’ve been mulling over the reality of the word again, but I haven’t felt particularly afraid in some time. That’s a kind of cool thing to brag on isn’t it? I’m not afraid of anything. Except it isn’t true, and I actually don’t want it to be. Because I’ve realized that without a bit of healthy fear we aren’t truly living. Without a few butterflies in our stomachs every now and then, we aren’t really taking risks, are we? Without the knowledge that you are stepping into a situation of which the outcome is unknown, you’ll never leave your comfort zone.
Continue reading “Episode 17: Take a Hike”
Who knows me? Who understands me? If everything I did, everything I am known for, and all of my dreams of the future suddenly disappeared one day – who would stick around?
I think one of the most challenging aspects of moving or transitioning is that your community shifts and changes. You suddenly find yourself in a new place with new people you need to somehow convey yourself to. People joke all the time about how hard it is as adults to make new friends; you can’t just walk up to someone new on the playground and start a game of tag anymore (I mean technically you could… anyone game to try it out and report back?) But beyond the lack of accessibility of new friends, (everyone is hiding out in their office buildings or Netflixing alone in their homes!) there’s also the fact that as we grow older our needs change. No longer is the pinnacle of friendship defined by finding someone who also loves Barbie’s or Pokémon, suddenly we find that our expectations of relationship have expanded.
What I mean by that is simple: I desire friendships with people who track with me, are on my level… or in other words, people who know me.
Continue reading “Episode 15: Truly known and deeply loved”
A couple of days ago I was sitting around catching up with a group of friends, and someone began to get real about fear. She had been experiencing some abnormal health symptoms, had gone for tests, and now had an upcoming doctors appointment looming over her head. She summarized her fears about hearing her results quite simply, “I just wish I knew whether it was good or bad.”
Almost immediately, another friend nodded her head in agreement and said, “That’s the hardest part though – the unknown.”
Everyone in the circle nodded in agreement.
Continue reading “Episode 11: The Hardest Part”
I’m sure you know the expression, “Take a leap of faith!” Everyone’s heard it.
Well, I have a bone to pick with it.
Continue reading “Episode 10: Now I’m free fallin’”
Have you ever entered a room full of strangers and been forced to play the dreaded “icebreaker” games?
There are few things I truly dislike in this world.
Wasps, disk-golf, scavenger hunts (the worst), and icebreakers. Like, no thank you, I’ll keep this social situation nice and frozen and impenetrable thanks. I think it’s partially because I expect full-grown adults to have some amount of social skills that they are able to break the ice without a game or a line. But maybe that’s just me.
There’s one “getting-to-know” question that inevitably pops up and in every awkward mix and mingle soiree. “What’s the most embarrassing thing you’ve ever done?”
Continue reading “Episode 4: Shame, shame, shame on you babe”
I hate fear.
What is it? That thing you dread? Ugh, I hate even the word dread. The idea that there is something coming that I cannot comprehend fully, predict remotely, or control entirely. The idea of the unknown. I think we shudder at the concept that perhaps the unknown will not turn out as we hope (which, humorously enough, it usually doesn’t). Yet despite all this, the unknown tends to also be the space in our life that creates the highly necessary room for adventure, laughter, romance, discovery.. the unknown.
Continue reading “Episode 1: Paradoxical Fear”