Reclaiming My Life!

Our newest member of the family - sweet lil' Aura.

Our newest member of the family – sweet lil’ Aura.

The time has come!  I am reclaiming my life!  Somewhere along the way over the last five years I seemed to have lost myself.  Forgotten who I was.  What I believed in.  What I’m passionate about.

An old friend was visiting last week and commented on how different I was from other small town suburban moms near her who had no idea what was going on in rest of the world, never followed current events, and couldn’t hold down an intelligent conversation.  I said nothing but realized I was no longer the person she remembered me as.  I had become one of “those moms”…  And I asked myself – What happened to the person who used read the NY Times each morning?  The one who used to attend political rallies and protests?  The one who dreamed of joining the peace corps?  Who traveled the world?  Where did she go???

So I am on a quest to find myself and reclaim my life.

And I took a major step towards this goal last week…  I went and bought myself a round-trip ticket to Europe to go on a spiritual healing pilgrimage.  Hell yeah!!  I am SO EXCITED!!!!

In less than two months I’ll be heading to Portugal, France, and Italy for an 8 day solo journey to three different healing sites; Fatima, Lourdes, and San Giovanni Rotondo (to get me some more Padre Pio healing oil).  And I’m taking a few days in Venice too.  I’m going in with no expectations, no attachments…  Just wonder and joy and curiosity.

Booking these tickets was such a huge step for me.  Being away from my precious 4 year old…  Stepping away from my role as mom, wife, daughter, household manager, and cancer patient…   Until last week taking an international trip by myself seemed like an impossible dream.  My “roles” in life have come to define me and take on some weird supernatural importance.  I questioned how everyone would survive without me.  And then I realized my role as mom, wife, daughter, and cancer patient had become more important than my own life, my interests, my passions, my dreams.  How did that happen?  When did this happen??

It seems I just kept putting everything and everyone else before myself until one day I looked up and realized I didn’t know who I was anymore.  And I know I’m not alone in this.  Us cancer patients seem to show a propensity for these behaviors.  They call it the ‘Type C Personality’ and I’ve written about it before on the blog here.

But I realize things have to change.  My life has to change.  This last five year chapter has been tremendously tough and yet I can’t seem to move forward.  I feel stuck.  Trapped.  Overwhelmed.  And at the same time excited because I know I’m on the brink of something utterly fabulous.  I just need to keep putting one foot in front of the other until I get there.

So I will.

I will travel.  I will dance.  I will read.  I will write.  I will laugh.  I will spend more time with my favorite people just like I did last weekend at our housewarming party (thanks to everyone who came out!  It was great to see you!).  I will live for myself and not just for others.  I will try new things.  I will indulge in a glass of wine and an extra piece of chocolate.  I will have more fun!

I’m in the midst of reading Anita Moorjani‘s book Dying To Be Me where she recounts her near death experience from cancer and how the experience brought her back to life and ultimately healed her.  It’s an amazing and thought provoking book.  Her reminders about unconditional love, seeing the world through fresh eyes, and living your truth reinforce my own beliefs and reconnect me to the some of the fundamental tenants of living fully and without fear.  The book also reminds me of the power of the mind, the possibility of miracles, and the importance of connecting with spirit.  I’m sure it’s no coincidence that I am reading this now as I struggle to reclaim my life and embark on my own spiritual journey.

And I think i’ve decided I need the help of a life coach to round-out my healing team.  I spend so much time in my head, intellectualizing & philosophizing and I think I need someone who can pull me out of my head and root me in the present and push me to take action.  So if you know of any fabulously brilliant and effective life coaches please email me at:  gracefulwomanwarrior@gmail.com and let me know.

Also fee free to tell me about any spots in Europe that I simply cannot miss out on.  (I’ll be going to Lisbon, southwest France, Rome, Venice, and Milan.)

In the meantime I’ll just keep putting one foot in front of the other and trust that eventually I’ll reach that utterly fabulous place that I know is just around the corner.

Or could it be that I’ve already reached it???

Peace.  – T

Hubby & I at our housewarming party!

Hubby & I at our housewarming party!

Family nature walk

Family nature walk

16 Responses

  1. Good for you! I’ve been to Lourdes & it truly is the most magical and spiritual place. I’m sure you’ll really enjoy your visit and will definitely take something away from you experience.

  2. What a great blog post! Good for you!!! I hope you get to see Fuseta, in the Algarve, where your Mom’s Portuguese family came from. And also wet your feet in the Rubicon, where her Italian family came from.

  3. You are fabulous right now! And you really look beautiful. I think it’s time to update the scarf-covered cancer pic. It’s not who you seem like anymore. Can I say I am sooo jealous! I think I should go with you to chaperone:)

    Honestly, I could have written this post about losing yourself and your dreams. In my case, I think I was never really able to pinpoint exactly what I wanted out of life, so I kind of settled for what came along. And it isn’t nearly enough!

    You inspire me. I’ve never been to Europe, and I’m dying to go to Italy. I’ve also been on a renewed spiritual path in the past year, trying to figure out what that means for me.

    Here’s to us feeling the fear and doing it anyway! So proud of you.

    • Thanks for the compliments. I guess you’re right, it may be time to update the picture. I’ll take care of that when I get around to finalizing my new site… one of these days… And I bet there are so many others out there (especially moms) who can relate about losing themselves. As women we need to start putting ourselves first more! And I wanted to say thank you for your blog too. I’ve been meaning to comment so many times (that post you wrote about the redneck county fair had me laughing out loud!) and I can relate with so much of what you say too. So thank you. Cheers to us! xoxo

  4. You have SO already reached it! And I truly believe you’ve also reached one of the developmental “aha moments” that beckons to us in our eternal search for self. I labelled my 30’s as- “The Journey to Hell and Back” in my memoir! And I know I’ve told you numerous times, I truly believe Erikson totally missed this monumental phase of life in his stages of psychosocial development- those painful 30’s-when we are so wrapped up in all the roles we play that we we are lost. Until we are found…

    Whether it’s cancer, death of a loved one, substance abuse, the birth of a “special” child… It’s all about finding our voice again- and you have so found it…

    Thank you for sharing your voice. And know that it is inspiring, comforting and revolutionizing the rest of us who are lucky enough to be along for the ride.

  5. Great idea! Just for *you.* I know you’ll miss Marisa and Heron, and they’ll miss you, but you’ll return to them more fully. I miss travelling; for all the sights and experiences, it is the people I fell into conversation with that I remember most vividly. I don’t think you really “forgot” yourself; Your last five years have been immense value, not only to those others you’ve helped (me included), but as your own growth attests. Go! Have fun! Explore! And then come … home. :-)

    • That’s what i keep telling myself Elizabeth… I know I need to recharge and live more fully to be the best mom and wife I can be. This trip will be good for all of us! And I’m psyched for the random conversations and new people I’ll meet while on this trip. Just gotta learn a bit of Italian first :-) Big hugs. – T

  6. Can you call me please Jodi Edelstein 203 313 8824 Stage 4 breast cancer and rockin with a little 11 yr old girl. Want to chat with you. We are going to rock this!!

    Sent from my iPhone

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  7. Hi Terry!

    I read your blog and empathize with you for all you’ve been through. You are a very strong woman!

    My next door neighbor is a life coach……I don’t know much about her credentials or if she specializes in a certain area, but I can get her email address if you’d like it.

    I hope Melissa is happy in her new home, neighborhood, and school. Mary is in Mrs. Briggs’ class at Overfield this year, and she loves school! She goes three days a week.

    Terry, I wish you good health and contentment in your search for what makes you happy in life. You have been through so much at your young age, and I wish only the best for you.

    Enjoy your trip to Europe! One of the most exciting things we did in Rome was the Scavi Tour. We went underground at The Vatican and saw the place where St. Peter is said to have been buried. The tour consisted of six people and a guide…..It was fabulous, we thought! You can probably find info on it online.

    Good luck to you and your family!

    Sally Waibel (Gigi)

    Sent from my iPad

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    • Hi Gigi! Thanks for the Rome travel tip. And thanks for your encouragement and support throughout these last few years. So glad to hear little Mary is doing well! I keep saying that I don’t miss Ohio but I do miss all the fabulous people I met while we were there. Much love. – T

  8. Everywhere you go, cherish the details — the almost patterns of the random bubbles in the glazes on an azulejo in Lisbon, say, where they seem to float between the tiles and the pictures on them and the damp early morning air. Cherish the chance encounters with strangers, too. As always, much love to you and yours — John

  9. Good for you! I always find what you write so true and uplifting. YOU GO GIRL …and have a fabulous time. My best to you:)

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