December 31, 2017
It is the eve of 2018, and the passing of the year feels like a most sacred holiday. I am thinking of my grandmother; my heart rends and repairs without warning. Love is the source. It is these tender wounds that help me awaken to peace, instinct, love. The sands of the hourglass and mindful movement. The courage to just keep going. Harm none, live free.
March 19, 2018
My mom completed her stomach procedure and her scan shows “No cancer.” She doesn’t even have to finish up this round of chemo. Reoccurrence is almost guaranteed, eventually, but for now she is okay. It is scary to even say it.
April 23, 2018
Mom is waiting for surgery. Another attempt at fixing the stomach issue, or at least identifying it. It is a multi-day recovery; we don’t know much of what to expect. As I write, she is in a hospital gown, IVs in, waiting for the anesthesiologist and on a call with a client. We work ourselves to death.
Mom’s cancer was re-discovered, diagnosed, and identified. Stage 4; we are told will have her to Christmas if we are lucky.
May 22, 2018
Pen to paper. Just let it flow. Don’t be afraid. Afraid of the torrent of thoughts and feelings. Afraid of sinking, of losing my mother. Of drowning in it all, disappointing those who love me.
Fear, my little love, my fierce protector. How do I learn to work with you and your infinite cleverness? Can I convince you? Instead of questioning joy, confusing anger, feeding shame and shaming sadness, perhaps we could be allies. Fear, won’t you be my friend? You show me what I care about, teach me what matters. You are so strong - you make me vomit whe you disagree with me! You dive rifts where connections are strong in search of safety.
We will learn to love each other, Fear. I will learn to listen, to respect your needs. You are a part of me, my shadow, and with you I am whole.
June 7, 2018
Visiting mom today. She’s in the hospital again; they think there’s a kink in her large intestine. Hopefully it is something so benign.
June 15, 2018
Mom’s health is very bad. I know I am going to lose her far sooner than I am ready for, but when it happens.... how will I keep it together? My dad needs me. My Mom needs me. I’m so tired and scared I can hardly move, think, exist.
June 16, 2018
Mom had another surgery yesterday, which is hopefully good. They took some colon, her ovaries, and some small intestine. She jokes she can’t have much left to take. She is so frail. I am so afraid.
June 17, 2018
I feel better when I write, or I write and feel better. If I can convince myself to write when I feel miserable, can I actually make myself feel better? I hope my friends are okay. I hope they care about me, too.
July 8, 2018
Had a migraine yesterday after stream, but I’m going to try again today. I miss my friends. I made an appointment with a biofeedback specialist, which is another “Worth a try” treatment. Also going to elimination diet for a bit - even though I’ve tried it before, it is probably impossible to eat from a college cafeteria with any ambition of health. Perhaps I will learn something new.
July 15, 2018
I’ve spent the last few days consumed with making. Carving, watercolors, clay sculpting, making books. Whether it is for sale or gift or simply the byproduct of mental exercise, it keeps me calm. I need to create.
July 26, 2018
Worried about Mom. Worried about money. Worried about friends. Social media makes me miserable, but without it I feel desperately disconnected. I can find the balance. I do not need to find my self; I am already here.
August 3, 2018
How has this year flown by so fast? It feels like two years has been a decade. Do not see it as wasted time, every moment was a stepping stone to Now. I will continue to grow. I will deepen my well of compassion for myself and others. I will struggle; life is not an easy journey. But I am blessed with incredible companions, kind wisdom, and a growing sense of self. I am proud.
August 16, 2018
How could we possibly expect our sprawling, imperfect selves and the experience of uncountable moments to ever fit into a portrait, a hashtag, a tweet. A book could not contain me - all of the individual particles that have come together through fate and luck and will. Can you know me if you do not know my flaws and fears? Surely not - but we wrap ourselves up, turn our selves inside out, all to avoid being seen as imperfect.
August 30, 2018
A fresh journal. It is a sacred thing, made moreso by the long and useful life of its predecessor. A life in chaos, but here I am through it all, writing words on the page as my happiest and most authentic self ever. More pain and joy are sure to come. The peace, though - the authentic self. That never need waver again.
November 12, 2018
A tug-of-war in my brain this morning. My not-good-enough demon keeps chiming in while my productivity demon rattles off lists of what I “should” be doing. The only way to be less behind is to keep going. Giving up certainly won’t make things easier or better. Working myself stressed and sick certainly won’t help, either. Thank you for your time, sweet demons, I know it is scary and vulnerable right now, but I also know you are trying your best.
November 24, 2018
Writing daily is a miracle. I feel like my life is longer. My days are clearer. The fog lifts; writing is the wind. We know so little of our selves and world, and yet we so easily find them mundane. The sun rises and sets: there’s a ball of immense energy that sustains life bursting over the horizon and heralding a new day. And we hardly notice at all.
December 12, 2018
Had a migraine yesterday. It was rigidly cyclical; vomiting every 2.5 hours, pain at temples, occipital nerve, down into shoulders. Pain stayed closer to a 6-7, whereas recently they’v all been 9-10s. I was miserable, but I did not want to die. That is so much progress. This journey has been so long. How much has it molded me? My trajectory would be so different without these unsolvable episodes. Is it the price of learning self love? Wisdom? For strength? Could I find even an ounce of this strength without first suffering?
I am afraid for my mom. Her first chemo this time around was extremely strong, and she hasn’t been able to continue treatment. I want her to be safe. I want her to be healthy What I want is not often relevant to the whims of fate, but I can fill the universe with request and intention and hope, and show her all the love I can.
December 19, 2018
Migraine last Monday night, migraine this Monday night. At least it’s consistent, and less painful overall! The bad news is the new migraine injection prescription is $700 a shot - and that’s after insurance. The US healthcare system is a nightmare. Those who need, and aren’t receiving, cannot advocate for themselves. They are too busy trying to survive. The silent suffering, purely for Profit. I am glad at least my daily meds are covered - nothing has really changed except for the hope that I could relieve some of my pain.
December 26, 2018
Christmas with the family was good - it didn’t feel particularly festive, but fresh holiday cinnamon rolls baked by my Momma was perhaps the greatest gift I’ve ever received. She is feeling much stronger - she’s in a round of chemo, but they’ve told her they really have no ‘diagnosis’ at this point - no Stage 1 or Stage 4, no “x months to live.” Just fighting and living.
January 1, 2019
Especially on days like today, I am grateful for this routine. Wake up, make coffee and toast, meditate, journal, center. No need to expect the world of yourself or anyone else - you don’t have to start on some fresh and perfect because the calendar is flipped. There is no forthcoming report card. You don’t have to write a four to six page essay on the benefit of fiction reading for anticipatory grieving. You do not have to prove your illness, nor justify your time. You do not need to proofread your journals or create a new content calendar. Today, like yesterday and like tomorrow, the true priority is to live an authentic, healthy life. Try best, yeah?