I spend a lot of time struggling to find a way to gather all of these feelings constantly running through my mind.
I spill them like hot tea over the pages of my journals.
I spend a lot of up and down time with my moods and the way I look at the series of events that have lead me to this corner of my couch in the home I share with my now Hubsband. Yes I am aware that that is not a real word, no I do not care.
I either whimper or weep uncontrollably in his arms when this post-cancer life feels overwhelming.
I spend a lot of time in a tug-of-war with my thoughts and writing; just trying to navigate through their parts and trying to figure out what parts of my life I want to keep sacred and close to my heart, and what parts I want to share with the world.
I walk through stories in the halls of my mind, wondering which adjectives will give my audience the best description of the smell of the bleached linens in my hospital rooms.
I spend the remainder of my time thinking about and planning my writing.
I schedule the time I want to spend writing and set it in ink in my planners, ashamedly scratching out said blocks when I’ve failed to achieve even the tiniest goal of writing for 10 minutes some days.
And by the time I’ve gone through all of these motions — on a regular, almost daily basis — it seems that there is no time or brain power to actually do the damn thing and write the damn book.
I drink pots of coffee hoping that a jolt of caffeine will spark the creativity in me, but all it seems to do is yellow my teeth. It contributes to the quivering of my hands, along with the cold I’m constantly struggling to combat. Even now as spring has sprung, I sit in my house with socks, pants, a hat, and long sleeves on, fighting the urge to tuck myself under the massive Hello Kitty blanket that keeps me feeling just as safe as it does warm.
Seasons changed and so did I
Autumn and winter passed — during which we celebrated anniversaries of the worst and most harrowing memories of my life until now. My mind, body, and soul were reminded of what we went through in the months following my diagnosis.
Some days were hard — I wanted to scream, I wanted to throw things out the window, I wanted to wake up from the nightmare of a cancer diagnosis and just be a normal 20-something. I wanted to go to Canada for Christmas but my body and my doctors wouldn’t allow me to.
Some days were magical — I felt grateful for the beautiful days, smiles, and time spent with family and friends just a year prior. I started doing things, meeting friends, getting serious about my writing. I EVEN PLANNED A DAMN WEDDING!
Winter ended with my parents in town, and spring began with a bang. I married him. I married the love of my life, the only constant in my every day. I dedicated myself to a long, healthy life with the only person who has really seen me at my lowest of lows and highest of highs.
In July 2015 when he proposed, we decided on our wedding date. And despite every obstacle that presented themselves since that day, we held onto it tight and made it happen.
You’re probably wondering what these have to do with each other: my writing and my soulmate?!
Day in day out, I talk about writing. I dream about writing. I make plans. I journal. I read about writing. I write about writing.
And day in day out, my husband encourages me and supports me to chase those dreams and do the damn thing and write the damn book.
I could write a thousand stories about the ways in which he makes sure that I’m doing what I want to do.
Like the time he came home with a wrapped gift for me after spending some time with my sister in the city centre. They had been to Waterstones and he got me a little notebook with donuts on the cover with the words “donuts make everything better” because, well, that is one of my many life mottos.
Or the time he came home from a shopping adventure with his mom with a little desk that fits perfectly in our walk-in closet to make my dream of a little home office come true.
Or the time we went on a week long adventure to a tiny cabin in the Belgian woods because I needed an escape from the city to be with myself, my books, and my journals for a few days.
So what am I trying to say here…
Until now, maybe this was a post about my writing, or maybe it was an appreciation post about my husband.
Either way, writing it has reminded me of the most important things I’ve learned in the last few years:
To love, support, and cherish those who love, support, and cherish you.
My husband wrote his Masters thesis while being my primary caregiver in and out of the hospital.
To accept and hold sacred the fact that the people who are in your life and who hold you up when you feel like the earth is crumbling beneath you are often there because they want to be.
I often wondered through treatment why my husband stuck by my side, or why my sister moved to Amsterdam to be with me. They both assured me it was because they love me and that they wanted to be there with and for me.
To never take for granted the little things your mom or bestie or sibling or partner does for you.
I learned the importance of gratitude and out-loud-appreciation in hospital and later home in recovery when I saw all that my loved ones did for me. Like being there when you are at your weakest just to share the space with you while you rest, or bringing you Fanta and Sour Cream and Onion Pringles when you’re not allowed to leave your hospital room. Or staying in bed 5 extra minutes with you so you can finish reading a chapter of your #currentlyreading before you start your day, and giving you the space to be your own person regardless of how much they want to coddle and protect you.
And last, not least, and most simply:
To always remind your loved ones how much they mean to you.
Now it’s time for me to take a breath, make a cup of tea, and do the damn thing and write (some of) the damn book!