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Source: Emily Helck, The Real Tumors Of New Jersey
This is the farthest I’ve ever felt from my cancer experience. Someone might think that’s obvious and stupid, akin to “this is the oldest I’ve ever been.” But post-traumatic time is not linear.
I think the distance finally rushed in when I realized, down to my marrow, that there would be no fixing me. That I will never go back to who I was, but that I could move forward all the same.
Because events don’t do that. People do that. People choose the meaning of the events of their lives, and then enact that meaning (or not).
I don’t look for the silver lining, because that seems like a denial of my actual experience. A coping mechanism, but not one I really find useful. This event was extremely difficult. Through it, I learned a lot about myself. Lessons I probably would have learned anyway, with time, but I have learned them early.
Don’t let your life be small. Don’t wait for things to be perfect to begin. Don’t let expectations guide you.
Don’t be afraid of what you want. Don’t forestall joy. Take it when you find it. Don’t be stupid and assume it will always be there, waiting. Because you will die, and I will die, and we all will die, and none of us knows when.
Don’t put off kindness; this brings joy sweeter than any other.
But here’s the lesson I learned that I want to share with you now, today: Don’t delay. “There will be time, there will be time.” No.
My birthday is March 4th. Or, as a writing teacher once pointed out to me, “the only day that’s also a command.”