Past the ‘dads little princess’ phase, the fighting my brothers with fists, screaming cruel words at my mum, the underage parties, the booze, the band, the red hair, the brown hair, the blonde hair, the found Jesus, the lost him, the who the fuck am I, the who the fuck are you, the move overseas and now here we are. Somewhere between maturing, and trying desperately to maintain my youth.
Past so many experiences, feelings, friends, some foes, and a bit of a career. And despite all this, still 100% clammy. I put it down to the fact that there are just too many feelings to feel, and most often there is no middle ground. There’s just way up, and way down.
Right now I am three days away from leaving a job I’ve done for almost two and a half years. It was my first ‘real’ job, whatever that means. And it opened me up to more new feelings and experiences than I could ever have imagined.
At 22 years old, stunned that I actually got a job, wondering what the hell people wear to ‘real’ jobs, I somehow found myself supporting people with cancer. It actually turned out they were supporting me, but that’s another story.
Picture me sitting at my new desk trying to pull thoughts from God knows where in the hopes I can somehow relate to the 55 year old woman on the end of the phone whose lost her husband to brain cancer and is about to start chemo for breast cancer. I’m gasping, for something that just isn’t there – a thing called wisdom.
I’ve had women share with me their shock, pain, excitement, hurdles and successes. I’ve grown up fast and learned more about cancer than anyone should know at 24. I’ve learned that people just want you to listen, relate, and be honest. I’ve learned that there’s almost nothing that you’re feeling that someone else isn’t also feeling, and that it’s better out than in – in more sense than one.
Most importantly, I’ve learned that growing up sometimes means acting young – because life is way too short to take yourself too seriously.
And as I wind down my final days I can’t help but feel a whole lot more than just relief – excitement, gratitude, fear, panic and sadness have become a whole lot more apparent than I would like to admit.
I’ve been surrounded by people who are facing mortality head on. Some have survived, others haven’t. I’ve said things like ‘I am so sorry you’re facing a terminal cancer diagnosis. I could never imagine what you’re feeling but I am here for you’. And I’ve heard women with only months to live say to me, ‘we’re here for a good time, not a long time – so enjoy!’
I like to think I take these learning’s on board, like they mean something. But as of yet I have nothing concrete to show for that. So this is my first step in taking those insights and making them reality.
This is a record of my current dispositions, on all the things that make me clammy, a little sticky, or maybe just downright overwhelmed.
Whatever this turns into I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.