So now what? I find myself asking that question a lot lately.
I’m feeling better – so now what? I’ve gotten rid of the cancer – so now what? All major crises are temporarily diverted – so now what?
Even though I’m in the midst of figuring out logistics for my next surgery (now set for April 10th) and my treatment is technically not complete yet, I feel different. Like I’m ready to step into my new life. Start the next chapter.
Finding out that my cancer is gone is of course a major catalyst in my new zest for life. For the last year I refused to commit… To people. To plans. To projects. My vigilant focus on remaining in the moment kept me sane. It helped me stay away from dwelling on the uncertainty of my future or the possibility of my own death. It helped me conserve energy for the fight. But it also stopped me from living a life outside of cancer.
Now I feel free to consider life beyond the moment. To make plans for my future. To make commitments to causes and projects I once believed in. To take steps towards creating an inspired life. A life worth living for.
I recently joined forces with some local social workers – to offer my own social work experience and knowledge and help them birth a promising new non-profit… I signed up for Marie Forleo‘s B-School with the hopes of gaining some clarity about my own career… I’m entertaining the thought of writing professionally… I’m using therapy sessions to explore my passions… I’m starting to believe that it is possible to make a living doing something you totally love.
The whole process is fascinating now because I feel like a different person. Having breast cancer and facing death changed me. Better yet, I chose to change. I refused to allow this horrific experience to break me. Instead, it infused me with a new drive to live. It awakened me to the infinite possibilities contained in living. It is driving me to live the best life possible. Reconnecting me with my authentic self. And arming with new-found strength, inspiration, and self-awareness that I know will enable me to give back to the world in a way I wasn’t capable of doing before. It’s all so exciting!
I have found that there are many ways to respond to life’s horrors. And I have tried quite a few over the years… From deep denial and numbing myself with drugs after being raped at age 21… To pushing down my feelings and running on pure fumes after my mom died in 2010… But this time, I decided to try something new. I elected to face the horror head on. To feel the terror and still go on with life. To take the difficult steps necessary to transform myself from within. And actively try each day to use the horror as a lesson on living.
For all of you out there facing your own personal horrors… You can make it through.
Ask for help… Search within… Love yourself… Face your demons… Make peace with the struggle… Seek to discover why the horror has come to you… Ask “So what now?”… Then use the journey as a starting point for a new way of living.
Peace. – T