Hello Lovely Friends.
I was mindlessly venturing around on Facebook when I stumbled upon a post that caught my eye. My friend shared a link and the caption is “‘I’m 27. I Don’t Want to Go. I Love My Life’ Heartbreaking Letter Written by Young Woman Dying of Cancer”.
It may catch your attention too knowing a lot of us share similar struggles. Here is Holly’s story. Below is mine.
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I will be 31 in four months. I haven’t been given a prognosis of certain death (recently); however, I do live with an autoimmune disorder that is in remission. Wegener’s Granulomatosis is rare. So rare, in fact, that in 2002 when I was diagnosed, very little was know about this condition. My probability of survival was less than 15% because it had progressed so much prior to diagnosis. I got “lucky” that all the chemotherapy and blood transfusions saved my life.
That may seem like a strange way to start a post like this but I promise I have a point! It’s exactly because my condition is in remission that I related so strongly to Holly. I know what it’s like to have a doctor look you in the eye when you ask him/her if you’ll be okay- and all you see is shear terror masked with silence and panic as they utter “we aren’t sure”. I know what it feels like to want to stop fighting for your life when all your hair falls out and you puke for hours each day from chemo. I know.
I often forget about this part of my past. And that shocks me as I reflect back because I take my health for granted. I subconsciously feel entitled to health. When really, nothing is guaranteed and nothing is promised. Hell. I was the star of the basketball team in high school and all of those dreams disappeared in just two months when the coughing up blood and collapsing of my lungs began. It can happen so sudden.
It makes me feel ass-ish. But also thankful that I found Holly’s story. I empathize for her and would show anyone in that position the utmost amount of compassion possible.
I was sitting in the nail salon tonight getting my per usual bi-weekly shellac nails as I read her story. I couldn’t decide on a color out of the hundreds of choices. And I felt ashamed in that moment when I realized -IN THIS MOMENT- that my biggest concern is a finger nail fucking color….
My job sucks. Money is tight. I miss my boyfriend. I struggle each day to not stuff my face with greasy food. I have acne…. WHO THE F* CARES!
I’m not saying people can’t have issues. But as Holly pointed out so eloquently, don’t dwell on them. In addition to that, I’ve learned that it is a powerful skill to identify when you are upset or your mood shifts suddenly, why it is occurring, and coping mechanisms to put it to rest. Put it to rest and stop dwelling because you can’t control what you can’t control.
Mistakes will happen. Except nothing is a mistake. Everything happens for a reason. Karma is real people. Live. Learn. Grow.
Speak up for yourself. You have a God given right to stand your ground. No one is better or worse than you and never feel inferior.
Be thankful you CAN speak. Or hear. Or walk, laugh, hold a pencil. Try not using your right arm for one day and see how difficult it proves to be. Would that bring appreciation to your awareness?
Never live up to someone else’s standards. If they judge you then it is only a reflection on their character, not yours. Smile in the face of adversity (I believe is the saying).
Stop being lazy for crying out loud. I, of all people, know what lazy is. And this is a kick in my own ass as I write this. Working, eating, vegging out, and sleeping isn’t living. If that is the life you truly feel down in your heart know you want, then that is great (no judgement from me)! But, if you are like me and constantly think “I need to do this… or that…” or “one day I will try something new… maybe that will be the day that I finally take that trip I’ve always wanted to take “. My personal favorite is “one day I will take dieting and exercise more serious “. Just do it. Or don’t. But you’ll never achieve anything if you live in fear of the unknown.
Accept change. No one will ever go through life without experiencing change. Embrace it. Life is unpredictable and sometimes really crappy things will happen. But guess what? Really amazing things will happen too. Embrace it.
Grab your dog / cat and smell her fur. Just smell, nothing else. What does it remind you of? For me, my cats fur literally will remind me of when she was a little kitten drinking warm milk and she had a faint-milky odor to her (she is 18yo now). My puppy’s feet smell like corn chips and I love it.
Stop getting anxious over what is next. It won’t help you and it will only take away from everything occurring around you, to you. All you will gain are insignificant memories of wasted time worrying.
Death of loved ones will occur. Grieve. Other traumatic events will occur. Grieve. Heal.
Love yourself. Respect yourself. Explore the connectivity of mind, body, and spirit and begin a life journey down a path where you realize the world is a LOT bigger than you could have ever imagined. You’ll open your eyes to things you never thought could be real. All those quotes you read about mindfulness and from Buddhism are derived from real experiences based on the science of the capabilities that our Self can attain.
Laugh. At nothing. At silliness. Laugh when no one else is laughing but you still find humor in the situation. Whether it’s true humor, nervousness, or fear causing the laughter… you can and should always express yourself.
Say “I love you” every chance you get.
Do kind hearted acts. For strangers, family, friends, others. You will live if you peel yourself off that couch for two hours to give. Your heart will feel warm afterwards. This is also science.
Material items are waste. Treat yourself to that pretty dress or new cologne. BUT don’t over indulge. You will live much happier when you lead a simple life. Before you know it you may fall in the trap of feeling the “need” to shop. The need to browse Amazon for forty-five minutes hoping you find something, anything, just to scratch the urge and fulfill the habit. What does it get you in the end? Connectivity to others? A memory you’ll cherish? A life experience? Perhaps in some scenarios but I’d like to be bold and say that that isn’t the case 90% of the time.
Be kind. We are all human. No one is perfect.
The last thing that comes to mind immediately is that I strongly encourage you to live like tomorrow is your last day. You will die someday. It’s the truth whether you want to hear it or not. And when you are on your death bed looking back on your life, what will it be like for you? For those you love? Did you take that trip? Dye your hair purple? Gauge your ears? Take risks? Scratch items off your bucket list? Sustain healthy relationships with family and friends? End the toxic relationships that affected your well-being? What did you do that you are proud of? Will you smile and/or have a happy tear when you reflect on those moments that were breathtaking?
Live, friends. Simply live. Embrace life, be kind, and be the you that you’ve always wanted to be.
With all my love,