Episode 19: Little Up, Little Down

It’s been a while. Mostly because for the longest time I figured that if I didn’t write about cancer… why bother writing? Now I realize that the phase I’ve been in, the treatments I’ve been experiencing, even the fears I walked through during diagnosis… all those experiences and moments will come out in time. The time that they need to, not when I think they need to. So, for the time being, I’m going to write about the parts that what I want to (which may or may not include cancer). This part does.

One of the most difficult parts about being sick for me has been wanting to know where my life is going. For most of the fall, I couldn’t focus on ‘getting well’ because I was too busy stressing myself out over stuff I couldn’t control. It may not be cancer related in your case, but I know most of us can relate.

I wanted clear, precise directions and answers. What would my body look and feel like at the end of these 6 months? What jobs could or should I consider as I transitioned out of treatment back into ‘real life’? Where would I live? How much should I baby myself? And how much should I jump and dance and plan all the trips and do crazy things because I survived cancer? Was I supposed to have had this spiritual awakening that would change everything from here on out? What should I do with my life, now? (You know, the little questions).

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Episode 17: Take a Hike

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.

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Episode 15: Truly known and deeply loved

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.

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Episode 11: The Hardest Part

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.

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Episode 4: Shame, shame, shame on you babe

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?”

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Episode 1: Paradoxical Fear

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.

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