In my journey of becoming a writer, not every lesson learned was pleasant or easy. I’ve met some amazing writers and authors. I’ve met some equally difficult people, some published, some not, who do what they can to cause people to doubt their own abilities, or steer them away from their goals. These people are toxic. They can infect your mind and sicken your spirit if you allow them to get too close.
Unfortunately there is nothing that announces these individuals, such as a flashing light, a warning bell or terrible smell. So you proceed with caution and quickly develop methods to keep yourself and your work safe, while navigating choppy waters.
I’ve never sailed a boat, other than a kayak and row boat. Yet it has been a desire of mine to travel on the water up and down the coasts looking at lighthouses. To understand the tides, read the currents and steer your craft safely brings up all the romance of the sea, along with all the dangers. You may have blue skies and a strong wind quickly change into a frightful storm, your skill the only thing you can rely on.
Whatever skills I am honing, didn’t prepare me for this month. June took the wind from my sails, it tossed me on the waves and pounded me into the sands. My writing silenced as my body suffered. This was a month of painful tests, biopsies and the first time I said the word cancer out loud. For the past year I have fought a private battle working with a remarkable team of doctors to figure out what was going on inside me. MRI’s, multiple blood work ups and painful tests and waiting for lab results changed me. I looked at this life very differently – simply things would make me weep – because maybe, just maybe if the tests showed malignancies, I may not be able to do those simple things again.
Surgery was scheduled and several weeks of recovery followed. I was black and blue and green from clamps, bandaged holes from needles and wire placements, and finally stitches, still healing under liquid dressings. But no cancer. I was in terrible pain and endured tests I never knew existed. But no cancer. It still hurt. It still changed me – but as I finish this blog for the month of June – I find myself reaffirming what I’ve been working on for years now. I find myself in a better place then when I started and I can see a little clearer the simple things I love, too numerous to list, they give me joy and I look forward to doing them each day.
If you’ve ever slept through the night and awoken on your own – comfortable – in peace and you stretch and can’t help but smile. If you’ve ever worked hard, so hard your labor has drenched you with sweat and someone gives you a cool drink, it is the best tasting, satisfying and refreshing beverage you could ask for. If you’ve looked at a sunrise or sunset and felt you were actually, some how a part of it, connected to it, well then, you know how I’m feeling.
It still hurt – but I am feeling so much better, and living a much richer life than I was before, because I appreciate it now more than ever, because I choose to and I encourage all of you to choose good health, peace of mind and the simple joys you CAN find in each and every day. Now…write!