By Jennifer MacKenzie
It took me a very long time to be comfortable with the new me after breast cancer, double mastectomy, and chemo. I took the time to learn to love myself again. I wasn’t sure who was going to love me when I didn’t love myself. After learning to love the new me through therapy and talking with other young adults, I decided to enter the dating world with confidence. I knew I needed to love myself before I could let anyone else. I was confident. I was ready.
It isn’t easy to be vulnerable and open in normal situations, especially after your young life has been flip-flopped upside down. There’s uncertainty of your future — never mind dragging someone else into it — but I did want it, so I went for it. I’m still trying, but always learning.
Some things I have learned:
- It is not easy
- People lie
- People are scared
- Some things are only meant to last a week or a few months; enjoy the time, smiles, and memories
- Most situations are worth it
- I am stronger then I ever knew
- Be open and honest
- Know you may have some faults, but know when to see others’ as well
- Communication is key
- Love is worth that feeling for however short or long it lasts
- Love or relationships do not define us or how loveable we are; single doesn’t mean we aren’t loved
- Never stop meeting or finding new people; let people in as friends or love interests
- Judge for yourself and keep opinions in your mind
- Failure is an option
- Be kind to yourself and others
- Live in the moment
- Heartbreak is real, but it happens to everyone, cancer or not…
- …but be happy! Life is short the most important relationship we have is with ourselves
- Last but not least: Take breaks, but if love is what you are looking for, do not give up!