As evidence, this blog post declares that I have survived yet another Christmas. It’s now New Years Eve, one of my favorite holidays for many reasons; the promise of a clean slate, a perfectly wrapped excuse to wear head to toe sequins and an anticipation that 2015 will be our tomorrow, a new start, new pattern of thoughts, new wave of emotions and a new connection to our world. Typically, a new year offers up many things that we look forward to and we are quick to put the year that we were once too, so excited about, now neatly on the shelf along with the years before it. Lately I have been having fragments of memories and thinking about what 2014 meant to me; perhaps things I can take away like small victories and lessons learned.
Reflecting upon my year seems like one big fog. It’s pretty apt to say that I’ve spent most of the year in a king size bed and on chemo. That paired with taking advantage of my medical marijuana, watching indie flicks and appearing as if I am in a time warp of the nineteen-eighties; as my ensemble of sweat pants, side ponytail and questionable socks would give me away. Looking back on 2014, things went as fast as we could think about them and is fair to say that this has been the fastest of my life and certainly the cloudiest and clearly something that I have never experienced prior to. Moments of 2014 in my cloudy memory appear to be on old film, with just flickers of proof that certain things happened at all. In years past I have thought certain years to be long, but 2014 was something else. A lot happened, yet nothing at all.
For starters, I discovered that sporting hats with short hair is weird. But then I said fuck it, who cares if it looks weird, I like hats and that’s that. So forth, I continued to wear hats of all kinds throughout the year and the real lesson learned was if you are fond of something, even if it might not be “the thing to do”, DO IT ANYWAY and to hell with what others may think.
On a more serious note, I also realized that happiness was not going to hit me like a train, as Florence Welch once declared in her clever lyrics. Happiness is a state of mind that I’ve had to work extremely hard to achieve this year and by doing so I have been in therapy and I am learning how to be happy again after I suffered severe depression because of my disease for the majority of the year. Yet, therapy has allowed me not to feel trapped by my depression and disease and appreciate moments with everything I have on this earth. Create a world of your own happiness, live in that bubble, pay no mind to the people that wish not to be a part of your world and allow yourself to feel free of anything that doesn’t belong in your own shadow of happiness.
Say no. Say yes. Over the course of the year I noticed that when I was more honest about things and feelings and all of that human b.s. that makes us feel alive, I felt healthier inside. I’ve learned to say ‘no’ to the things I am not interested in or don’t have energy for and I’ve recognized that it’s nothing personal to those I have said no to in the last year, but more about satisfying my own needs. It sounds so selfish and despicable, but it’s the truth. Nature your own wants and needs and you’ll become a much happier and organic person, so that when you do say ‘YES!”, you know you’ll make it worth their while.
Moving on…when they aren’t forced on you, rituals are awesome. I’ve attended many events in 2k14; weddings, funerals, significant birthdays, births, marathons and so on. All of the said listed are merely celebrations of life and celebrations that matter. We are living; breathing miracles and we have been given this great adventure called life, so my experience over the last year has taught me that rituals are simply celebrations and to treat everything, every moment as it were the celebration of your existence.
Lastly, I have become aware that prudent patience is worth the wait. Yes, even that eye twitching, lip biting, heart racing kind of patience. I’m thrilled to share that with my persistence with treatment and patience with my journey, it has allowed my disease to be considered as stable (not to be confused with remission), but I now have the ablility to say that I am at a place where I can call the shots on my chemo, take small breaks, do maintenance chemotherapy and call myself happy and almost healthy. It took a ton of poison to allow me to get to this place and with that came many adversities. However, I will now have a chance to catch a break, revisit the life I had prior to cancer, or as closely to it as possible. I’ve been cleared to travel and explore the world as I wish to do. But, most importantly it means that I have gained back some control over my journey and can free myself from having to be battle hard as I did so tirelessly in 2014. That said, goodnight 2014 and hello, 2015….
‘HAPPY New Dreams
HAPPY New Days
HAPPY New Desires
HAPPY New Ways
HAPPY New Year
HAPPY New You.’