This is My Why-Happy 2 years Killing It Friday!
I almost missed it! I've been so busy being present in the moment (gotta love New Year self promises) that I almost missed a milestone that I hold so close and dear to my heart. Today marks two years since I started this blog. Two years ago today, I was sitting in one of my favorite coffee shops in Sioux Falls as I was waiting on the results of another scan. Just like that, I decided I was going to this thing. It's been pouring out of me ever since. I can't believe how much my website has grown, hell, how much I have grown in just two years time. From the bottom of my heart and depths of my soul, thank you to my Killing It Friday Community for being along for the ride. I think initially it was my dad and a few friends checking it out, so I"m amazed by how many peeps have subscribed and have allowed me to be included in your very special life journeys. The bond that keeps bringing us all back together here is that we are intent on living life on purpose and learning from the mess and curveballs that life often throws at us. I initially started this blog as something to leave for my children should I be taken from this world too soon. I hate that this was, is and has been my mindset, but cancer has been in the driver's seat for awhile despite every effort I've put forth into being the one steering the wheel. The whirlwind of experiences I've had in cancer's wake have left me thinking a lot about my legacy. My first thought when I received my diagnosis was how could my kids go through life without their mom......that scary realization prompted me to start journaling my experiences, struggles, triumphs and thoughts so that they, one day, would know that I didn't go down without a fight. Even today, as things are seemingly ok, there is still struggle and the legit aftermath of my cancer that weighs heavy on my heart, soul, body and mind constantly. I am determined to heal from the inside out and show my kids that this effort and these lessons that I"m so intent on trying to learn are to make me better and to truly allow me to be the one in control of this damn thing called cancer. While I may not be able to control what my body is doing at the cellular level, I can control how I react to the big and little things I encounter throughout my experience. That, in fact, is where my control and perhaps my power lies.
This blog was also a way for me to heal or keep healing. Plain and simple, I found that reflecting on what I have gone through and continue to go through is quite profound. Not in a "I"m better than you" or "look at me" way, but rather a "holy crap I experienced that and it taught me so much about life at a young age" kind of way. It has been my experience that in being the one who is assigning meaning to what has happened to me, it takes away the tight grasp cancer has had on me. I feel a little less traumatized and little more powerful and even alive to be honest. That doesn't mean that I don't often cry as I pour my heart out to you all, but it is a healing kind of cry. An "I"m still here...." kind of cry. The tears bring with them extreme gratitude for life, love and the experiences that are so beautifully and uniquely mine. Sharing them gives them meaning and gives me hope that it wasn't all for nothing.
Finally, my last, but perhaps one of the most important reasons for bringing "Killing It" to life was, well, you. I can't tell you how many times both in the past and in the present, where I have felt so incredibly alone on this journey. That sounds kind of like a sob story, but the reality is that even with the greatest support system, when I was sitting in that chemo chair, I was the one sitting there scared out of my mind and wondering if I would still be here in a year. As surgery changes the landscape of my life, I constantly wonder if I will ever feel complete again and not so broken. Each month when I go in for my injection, I wonder how long I can keep this up without becoming enraged that this is my reality. I have navigated this thing called parenthood in the middle of the storm called cancer to the best of my ability, but was it enough? Are my children forever altered in a negative way? How should I have lived life fuller, happier with less stress and more love? These thoughts, these questions, these emotions make me feel so alone and it's hard to bring them up to just anyone. Most of the people in my daily life just can't relate, thank goodness! That said, it's so hard to be your own "go to" all the damn time. I wanted others to know that these experiences, thoughts and fears are ok. It's normal to feel like the weight of the world is on your shoulders, because honestly, it is....BUT...you are not alone! There are others that are walking in shoes similar to yours that can't necessarily make it all go away, but we can listen, we can support and we can raise you up when your wings are feeling too heavy to fly. To all of you who I have met through this blog and to all of you who I might have previously known, but through this we have found this new, deeper connection....I see you, I honor you and I express my deepest, most sincere gratitude and respect for what you are going through and how you are so incredibly capable of turning your tragedy into triumph. I love the emails and texts and comments that I have received from so many of you because I too, feel stronger because I know you are there for me. Thank you for trusting me with your insecurities and for letting me learn from you. I am better because you are all in my life. No one...and I mean no one...fights alone. Not on my watch, anyway.
As I reflect on all of the reasons why I started this, the feeling I had when I designed the front page and even how I felt after I wrote my first sentence on this site, it was this overwhelming sense like anything was possible. There have been so many ups and downs since then, but I'm taking that feeling with me into this new year and I challenge you to set your sights on what "could be"! The sky isn't even the limit when you believe in what you are doing and are brave enough to authentically share your passions with the world. The connections we make with other humans far outweigh any material possessions we could acquire. Let's focus on building each other up, but also be willing to sit in the dark with one another so we can feel a presence when we really need one. Happy Two Years Killing It Friday Angels....My wings are your wings, always. Keep On Killing It.....Much Love-M
Thoughts, rest your wings.
Here is a hollow of silence,
a nest of stillness,
in which to hatch your dreams.
-Joan Walsh Anglund
To Isabella, Gabriel and Nolan...you will forever be my strength, my why and I will always seek refuge in your hearts...I"m always with you, no matter what. XOXO