In a week it will be the year anniversary of my father’s death. And somehow that was not the darkest day of 2017. In the 4 months that followed his death I was in a serious car accident, diagnosed with cancer, had surgery and was broken up with… All in what became Trump’s America.
Only a handful of people knew because when you’ve been sick since you were a child the one thing you don’t want to be seen as is sick. But sickness doesn’t define me it makes me stronger. Here’s what I’ve learned: it gets worse before it gets better. Cherish the worse, really feel it so that you’ve taken all you can from this gift and won’t need to receive it again. Learn from it. And remember it does get better. It will get better. And when it does you’ll be surrounded by the people who stuck around and loved you while you cried in pain, and were broke with medical bills and scared and unable to work and did I mention crying?
Two months ago I got my 6 months clean of cancer and I couldn’t process it. I was afraid to be vulnerable and really give love to anyone because I thought I’d be sick and then they’d leave like in the past… But, so what if they do? Giving love feels good. I think it’s hard to see the light when you get used to darkness. But in that darkness there was so much light: friends who carried my groceries, folded my laundry, bought me lunches and dinners and drinks. Performing with more freedom than I have in years, reading, writing, more time with my dog, meditating, bingeing more shows than you’d think is possible for one human.
We are stressed by this chaotic world right now and sometimes we forget that people have their own personal struggles. Forgive the driver for driving slow in the fast lane because maybe they're still nervous from a recent car accident. Maybe the person taking their time in line at the grocery store is worried about their sick child, and the barista may be concerned about paying their bills. Don’t take it personally and give them a moment of light. Imagine that the tiny moment of compassion you show them might be the only positive moment in their day.
The talented @ereid3 took this pic of me last week and it looks like how I feel: bright.