Hope for a Happy New Year
On July 25th, 2019, everything stopped. It was like my world froze into place, and here we are now, and it feels in many ways like I am still frozen in time.
I spend 6 months of my life in hell. The worst pain of my life, wondering if I'd survive day to day and grasping for pieces of "normal" life. But at the end of those six months, things felt like maybe normal was possible.
I had precisely 3 months of normal. I went back to work. I went to shows, I was working out, and getting on with life post-diagnosis. Then came a pandemic, and everything came to a screeching halt... Again.
Dragging on and on
As someone with a terminal illness and a ravaged body, I had to take it seriously. And I was and am still terrified. So we stayed in for months. I went back to work, masked up, and reeking of hand sanitizer all day. No movies, no shows, no travel, nothing.
And it dragged on and on.
Wanting to live again
I followed the advice and got all the shots. But the pause in life continued to drag as disaster after disaster unfolded around the world. For 2 years, I've watched the world around me crumble, and all I want to scream is that I want to live again!
I bought a house and couldn't celebrate. I turned 30 and couldn't celebrate. I watched my cancer disappear, and I couldn’t celebrate. I've yet to experience life since July 25th, 2019, and I'm going mad. The plastic bubble has been closing in, and all I can do is thrash and kick for space.
Working with what we've got
It would be so easy to look at a brand new year laid out before me and think, "Next year is going to be better." But the cynic in me gazes around and wonders how. I also have to believe that things will get better, and at the very least, I have to make it better for me.
If cancer teaches us anything, it is that we are not guaranteed our next 24 hours. Every single day we are on this side of the dirt, it is bonus time, and we have to work with what we've got.
Next year IS going to be better
Although I've felt so stuck, I am hopeful that I will continue to keep reclaiming the things that bring me joy.
I will keep celebrating the small victories, I will find the silver linings, and I will make the most of the extra time I've been given. Our celebrations may look a little different these days, and it can be hard to see the other side sometimes. But I know cancer patients are resilient, and I know I'm a tough cookie.
If you have been feeling stuck like me, I hope you look to the new year as an opportunity to keep pushing forward and keep finding the things that make you feel unstuck.
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