Silence Is Not The Answer
I was sitting with a dear friend the other day who has 100% supported and encouraged me on my cancer journey, as well as with what I set out to do with this blog. In case you were curious, my bottom line is to one hundred percent bring to life the hidden blessings and also the hard truths I've had to face as someone inflicted with cancer and provide a healing, supportive and hopefully uplifting space that we can all learn, grow and support one another. By sharing my story and my experiences, my dreams and my fears, I hope to create a community of people wanting to support, empower, challenge and ultimately value one another. As my friend and I were talking about all of the heavy stuff going on in the world and more specifically in our community right now with everything COVID related, I told her I just couldn't figure out what words to be sharing right now. It had recently gotten back to me that someone I know had publicly been quite critical of my opinions and stance on what I feel is the lackadaisical pandemic approach that is happening in our community and state. Normally, I don't really care if my opinion is different than other people's because I believe in my heart that we can disagree in a respectful way and perhaps learn from others with different views than ours. Conversations are meant to expand our perceptions and minds or help us draw conclusions as to what we truly stand for. This is both powerful and necessary! What I didn't like, was how this human had approached or attacked my experiences and views which left me feeling misunderstood, insignificant and questioning why I stated my views to begin with. Ouch. I also found myself growing silent, sad and tired. Lately I have felt like everything is such a battle. Respect has been all but eliminated and replaced with a giant side of judgement. I'm still healing and I'm working on every facet of my life...the physical, social, spiritual.....everything. I don't feel like I'm out to get anyone, if anything I'm trying hard to use my experiences in order to create a sense of purpose that will hold me together when all I want to do is fall apart. Lord knows I have enough emotional baggage that I could unpack someplace unhealthy, but I'm trying to use it for good, not for destruction. To have someone dismiss and disrespect my views and my character just left me feeling useless. In this low, I found myself longing for a time in my life that brought me so much pain, but it was a peaceful pain, suffering alone, in a peaceful silence where the rest of the world didn't even exist. It was hard, but it was also, well, simple . I wanted to revert back to the ICU bed where I was alone with only the angels present contemplating my fate. I realize that this is a completely irrational emotional state to be in and clearly I don't want to be that sick again, but I think deep down it was that peace that I eventually succumbed to in those ICU moments where the rest of the world faded away....that is what was calling to me again. As I rationalized these feelings and began to understand that I know I have plenty of friends and people who support me and that I can count on to quickly help me climb out of this funk, I also realized that the work I need to do right now is with me. The answer is me. I need to rediscover who I am and how I want to navigate this second chance life I'm living. My healing from cancer and treatment has been interrupted in a profound way by COVID. I know it's messed up so many people's lives, so that doesn't make my situation unique. What does make my situation a little unusual is that I finally finished treatment during this pandemic. I'm trying to move forward with my life and my journey while not only dodging recurrence, but also a virus that for me could potentially be deadly. Furthermore, I don't want to lose anyone. Two and a half years of my life has centered around my health, I want that lost time back with the people I care about! I don't want them to go anywhere either. I'm not living in fear, but I'm living with caution. That caution is completely exhausting, complicated and not very popular around here, to say the least. Understanding my feelings, dealing with my trauma, as well as, finding my voice and being confident enough to use it is in part what I'm trying to discover during this phase of my life and my healing. I'm having to recreate a life that I fought hard to be here for. Trying to live the way I was pre cancer feels completely inauthentic, so I'm going down paths that are foreign trying to determine what is and what isn't for me. That sounds weird, but I feel like if you've been in my shoes or if you've ever felt like your life has been turned upside down without your consent, you get it.
So what have I done to get over this fear of feeling free to be the authentic, unapologetic version of me? I've walked... a lot. Many miles I've logged at sunset after a long, exhausting day of work and virtual learning with my kids, I'm consistently showing up for me. Not to workout or for anything strenuous, but for my own inner peace. My walks are just me, my thoughts and my "Mia's Meditation" playlist. I've opened myself up to receiving the messages that the universe has been trying to tell me and that I've been too consumed with so many unnecessary distractions to notice. I know this sounds a little goofy, but I believe in this one hundred percent. I've cried. Tears are so healing. I've been reading, rediscovering my love of poetry and also working at opening my heart and my eyes to other perspectives and what they can teach me. I'm being patient, With myself, with the people I encounter and just the world in general. I'm learning. I'm figuring out what feels right and what doesn't. Most importantly, I'm writing. I'm choosing to not stay silent and to share my insecurities, opinions and experiences with YOU in hopes to ignite something magical in us all.
To the human that says my opinions are too much...don't tell me that my voice is too loud....maybe your ears are hearing but not listening. I am trying hard to bring passion and purpose to everything I do and pursue. If you don't understand that about me, then in the words of. one of my favorite authors Glennon Doyle, "We must do what we need to do. Those who disapprove will either come around or stop coming around. Either way, Lovely".
In closing this really deep post,( sorry peeps, feeling a little vulnerable with this one) I received such a great surprise from another dear friend this week. We haven't really had the opportunity to get together due to COVID (I'm legit so sick of that word coming up all the damn time) so she dropped off a gift on my front doorstep to celebrate my "end of treatment/cancer free" life I'm finally living. For the longest time I had been wanting to buy a new hat .... you know, the kind that are all the rage and that she and I had oo'd and ahhh'd over on our last vacation together nine months ago. At that time I was still wearing my wig and hats like these just didn't fit all that well. I remember telling her, "when I have my hair back, we need to go hat shopping!" That was my goal. Well, my hair is back, no wig, but shopping obviously hasn't happened. So much time has gone by since that conversation and my dear friend remembered. I opened up the gift bag to find my new hat..... oh how I cried. She heard me. She supports me and she gets me. I'd like to thank ALL of my beautiful friends and family who stand by me, hell WITH me. You seriously help me to feel confident enough to fly, despite my wings having been broken for so long. You accept me, you mold me and you challenge me. We don't all always agree, but we listen and hear one another. I'm grateful for having you all in my life and I hope my love and support adds to the value of yours.
I'm going to leave this last little bit in the words of a beautiful author I've discovered, Cleo Wade. Her words have also helped me find the confidence I was losing. Love to you all....enjoy! -M
it will get messy (your life)
it will break (your heart)
oh, the joy
of all you learn
and the power
when you figure out
how to clean it up
and make your
& again & again