Shoes! New shoes, to be exact. They are green and white and suede, and they make me a bit more happy. Plus, they were satisfyingly cheap. What more could one want on a cold and grey Thursday?
So, enough twaddle. (look it up. great word.) Yesterday I went to my young-adult group downtown. An issue was raised that gave me cause to think. I wanted to write about it, but I needed some time to try and articulate what I understood emotionally. Basically, for the three of us present, we determined that having cancer led to important pretty important changes for our lives and futures. I have decided not to double major with English; I want to put my energies towards photojournalism. Another person wants to change his major from poli-sci to philosophy. And the other person decided to finally leave her job for a better one. None of us would have reached these decisions if we hadn't had to reevaluate our lives with the eyes of cancer survivors. Our group leader brought up the question of why do most people become so complacent in life, and what is different about having cancer that it causes people to change (sometimes) how they view life? Here's the conclusion I have come to: (Please note, my conclusion is based on being 20 and not having to take care of a family. I'm sure a forty-year old woman with three children might have a different view.) Having cancer causes a major shift in priorities. Your priority becomes yourself and your health. It isn't that you become self-centered. It's more that you become more attuned to what you need or want. Your health depends on your ability to listen to what your body and instincts are telling you. For me, and probably for many people, I think I used to have an attitude similar to, "Okay, this current life isn't pleasant, but I can deal with it. Something will eventually change." I never honestly tried to figure out how to make my life better. I think I just figured it would automatically become so. But now, I have been forced to evaluate my life and myself, and I realized that I need to stand up for myself, to myself. I wouldn't say I'm a totally new person, but I am certainly stronger. And the strength I've found to help me get through this has transfered to all facets of my life, including the strength to accept what I want to do. It sounds silly, but most of us can't or won't admit to ourselves what we really want, and even fewer go out and try for it. Deciding not to double major in English sounds like a minor thing, but the amount of time and energy I'll be able to focus on photography is huge. I'm going to minor in English; I'll never ever let my love of it go. But I really want to pursue photojournalism. And now I freely accept that. Anyway, before you go blind reading from a screen, let me finish this all up. I know it's difficult to take someone else's experiences and apply them towards your own life. I know that many people can't quite visualize having cancer. But I also know that I am trying really hard to illustrate to whomever might be reading this that the conclusions I reach about life are applicable to probably anyone. You don't need a terminal illness to hit you over the head before you say, oh wait, maybe that's not how my life should be. Haha, think of it like I got sick so you don't have to. Maybe. Or maybe I am actually just rambling somewhat incoherently. Either way, I'm not too worried about it. But good luck nonetheless. Pax.