Heather’s blog: Writer’s blockNovember 24, 2015
“You do not sit down and write every day to force the Muse to show up. You get into the habit of writing every day so that when she shows up, you have the maximum chance of catching her, bashing her on the head, and squeezing every last drop out of that bitch.” ― Lili St. Crow
I had trouble thinking of something to write about in my blog this month. That’s not completely true; I had trouble coming up with something I am ready to talk about in my blog this month. I am someone who wears my heart and my story on my sleeve, but on occasion even I come across something in my bank of thoughts and emotions that I have to build up to, meditate upon, and try to understand before I unleash it.
So where and how do you start writing when you are not quite sure what you want to write about? At Survivor Conference 2015, YACC offered a journal writing workshop that taught us exactly what to do under these circumstances: put grammar, punctuation, and thought aside, and just write what you know (Angie will fix my grammatical errors for me anyway *insert winking emoji* [EDITOR’S NOTE: Heather’s posts are always a pleasure to work with.]).
What I know is that my life is in a really good place right now. I am loving my new job, the craziness of summer and the lead into fall seems to have slowed to an almost normal pace, and a few days ago, I passed my seven-year marker since I had my first biopsy, which was exactly one month before I was given the news that I had cancer.
In the past, the month leading up to my “cancerversary” has loomed over me like a heavy, dark cloud, and I always found December especially difficult. I felt myself anticipating December 19 weeks before it came, and wondering to myself, “Am I going to get through it again this year?” The holiday season — and the Christmas spirit I used to be known for — had disappeared and been replaced by the anticipation of the agonizing arrival of the anniversary of the worst day of my life.
None of us ever want to celebrate the day we were told we had cancer, but this day is often one that comes with a lot of confusion about exactly what we are supposed to do with it.
For the first five years after my diagnosis, I often found myself submerged in a feeling of sadness, and the reminder of everything this disease had changed about my life. I can’t say I feel guilty about that though; I found a lot of merit, healing, and strength that came as a result of me giving into my tears and just allowing myself to feel the misery that overwhelmed me for however long I thought it was necessary. It allowed me to eventually flip the coin and see the other side of what I could do with this day instead.
For me, the other side of the coin was to use this day to reflect on being alive, and to take the time to celebrate the things in my life that make me feel that way:
- My daughter
- My husband
- Family and friends
Love. Connection. Life.
These are the things that drive me, ignite my spirit, and make me feel — and love — being alive. This is how I now choose to “celebrate” December 19.
I want to know, cancer or no cancer, what are things in your life that spark your fire, light you up, and help you to love life in the moment?
I guess I found my Muse after all. Hello, you Wicked Bitch (*insert winking emoji with tongue out*)!
Live life on purpose.