Sometimes I feel like a sheep being pushed and guided toward this mysterious light that gives a false sense of security. I look around and see everyone else walking in that direction, so I cautiously move forward. In the back of my head the lioness in me starts to roar, I stop… the masses behind me keep moving forward almost pushing me forward too. I move myself out of the herd, I stand on the outside watching this huge crowd in tunnel vision, just trusting what is ahead. My mind has too many questions, I don’t want to follow the crowd, I don’t want to feel forced in a direction that doesn’t give me hope and truth. I want something different.
This is how I feel and I don’t think I am alone. I think as each of us become our own, start our own family, and become true citizens of this country we have a lot of choices to make. Many question why things are done as they have always been done and why we don’t try something different? Do we have to color in the lines? Do we have to live this way? As I age, and as I move forward from this cancer-awakening, I want more. I want to push the limits, I want to live differently. I want to challenge what the “American Dream” is all about. I want to raise my kids with different ideas, I want out of the bubble.
I am finding re-establishing myself with life is very difficult. I can only think of slightly comparing myself to a soldier who went away to war… saw things that were unimaginable, felt things that were indescribable, experienced something that leaves them speechless. I am struck randomly with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder that takes my breath and my peace away. There are times I feel alone, twisting in the wind as the crowds move past me. Stricken with fear and having no idea how to move forward. I see people day in and day out that are busy with their jobs, to-do lists, families of their own, routines, work, their tried and true usual schedule, their purpose…And yet I feel like I am just blowing about as the gusts of wind toss me around. I keep thinking, this must be how veterans feel.
I know I can’t be the only breast cancer survivor in this feeling this way.
Here I am… at 33 years old still being treated for invasive ductal carcinoma… my body is still fighting, but I feel like I am ready to re-enter the working world in a bigger sense. I quit my in-home daycare to focus on my health, we soon learned how imperative that was since I spent the first month on IV-chemo on the couch asleep and nauseas. My immune system would have been too weak to keep up that job.
Now I am ready, I am ready to share my story with the world. I am ready to give back. I am ready to be a part of something bigger. I am ready to contribute back to my family who is working so hard to keep our family afloat. I am ready to create awareness, I am ready to empower. But how do I do that?
Use my gifts… this is what I am told. It can be hard to think of what your gifts are. Do you know what your gifts are?
After much thought and observation, my gifts are: my writing, my growing knowledge of wellness, my positive attitude, and connecting with people. How do I use these gifts to create a career? How do I use my story to create the biggest impact that I can? How do I find others like myself who are asking themselves the same question?
How do breast cancer survivors find jobs after this war we've been through?
If there is anyone out there who resonates with my pleading passion for more, please reach out to me. I have so many ideas…my entrepreneurial brain is exploding. I have a dream and I know I can make it happen. As my mom and dad always told me growing up, "If you believe in yourself then you can do anything."