Because here is the thing. If you were given the choice, would you take the past three years and change them? If you could, would you erase all the events and whatever may have happened these last 36 months? I would not. I would not change anything that has happened. Perhaps, in retrospect, I am a bit disappointed with how I may have reacted to some things, but every single event stemming from exactly three years ago tomorrow has shaped me into the person I am so proud to be today.
I was at the Imerman Angels holiday party this past Thursday, and one of the speakers said that cancer is "highs and lows." It isn't always the deep darkness; there are moments of happiness and joy and hope interspersed throughout the whole thing. The lows help us to appreciate the highs that much more, and having gotten through the dark times, I am so, So thankful to be here. I was sitting in Caribou Coffee earlier (don't judge me.), and I realized that in spite of everything, I am freaking glad to be alive right now. Haha, I love me so much, and I love life and my family and my friends and laughing and writing and music and running and just being able to sit at a corner table in a coffee shop watching clouds shift and fly on an almost winter day. How can you not love those things, really?
Having cancer forced me to take a good, solid and long look at myself and figure out who I was and who I wanted to be. Some of the realities that I confronted scared me, and some things I was okay with. Either way, I did a good amount of serious self-examining, which I probably wouldn't have done for years. Now I get to live my life without having to figure out who I am, which is different from trying to figure out what I want to do - also a difficult question, but not nearly as important. Whatever I end up doing with myself, I will do it with confidence and (hopefully) a smile.
Finally, I met an author a few weeks ago at a book reading. He had written a memoir, and I screwed up my courage and went to his reading in some random person's living room in Naperville. The reading itself was relatively uneventful. But I asked Stephen about being honest in a memoir. Basically, he told me that life never ends up neatly and tidily. In reality, the hero doesn't conquer all the demons and ride off into the sunset with no worries, and a memoirist who ends with that theme is lying to the reader. So, as this is something of a memoir, I would like to be honest in that it has been three basically crappy years. My "college years" were wrecked, and now I'm stuck trying to figure it all out, and it is not easy. But, like I said, I wouldn't change it. Life is going to continue to be messy and sticky and probably often unpleasant, but it is All Mine.
So tomorrow, as the saying goes, a very merry UnBirthday to me. It kind of is a birthday, of sorts. Definitely an unbirthday. Haha, feel free to celebrate your unbirthday tomorrow, as well. Why not? You're still here, kicking and screaming and pushing through to the good times, and that is worth some tea and cake, at the very least. Aight, I'm out. Peas.