Today is a gift. That’s why they call it “the present”.. right? I’m having trouble finding “today”..
The past week has been a change of pace from the work/sleep/work/sleep life. Over the weekend I had a big party to celebrate being done with chemo, my first surgery, and radiation. My family and friends all gathered together. It was a lot of fun and full of some special moments. One of my best friends Brittany came in from New York for the occasion. There were some epic karaoke performances. Timmy just appeared at the bar to surprise me! And I had a chance to thank some of the people I needed to and laughed and let loose with some I haven’t been carefree with in awhile. It was nice to see people again and be social. You don’t realize how much of a treat grabbing a drink with friends is until you can’t do it.
This week I went to LA to represent FLOWER Beauty (Drew Barrymore’s cosmetic line). I got to meet with the company, see WB studios, get all dolled up by the pros, walk the red carpet at the “Blended” movie premiere, and do a little bit of the after party scene. It was fun to live like someone else for a few days. Andrea came out with me which was a treat because I don’t get to see her often. The sun was shining and perfect every day. My little sisters came to visit me and got to watch me walk the carpet and stay in Hollywood with me. And we all got to enjoy a day of sun, tacos, and just finally being together again. Family is the real gift. And I love mine so much. I spent the day with them and Tim. Needless to say it was an emotional departure. I hate leaving California. A switch in me gets flipped every time I’m there. I gotta stop leaving where my heart is.
One of the biggest things I’m struggling with this stage of treatment is being present. I don’t think I even enjoyed my last hour in Cali because I knew that tomorrow I would’t be there. And all I could think about was how long until I can go back and how long till I’ll see my sisters again. It’s unfortunate when we get wrapped into the future and the past and we can’t focus on the now. The past year has been a year of living in the present. First it was living for mid July when my first round of chemo was done. Then it was living for October 10 when I finished chemo. Then it became November 15 for my surgery. Then December 12th for when I was going to Cali. Then February for when I was starting chemo. Then to April 6th, when I finished radiation and went back to Cali… You get the idea. I was always so goal oriented and focused on getting to the date in front of me. I spent no time in the present, because the present was painful and there were better days ahead. While I credit much of this mentality to why I am alive and why I smiled my way through everything, it created a bad habit. I am constantly catching myself making countdowns in my head till whatever I have coming up in my life. I am muscling through the days to get to the ones ahead. They are my motivation to keep going, but they are also what take me from the moments I am missing. And I am definitely missing some. I try so hard to do 900 things at once so I can keep moving and not sit in whatever is happening. I notice this the most when I don’t do that. When I am with some people I am fully with them. When I am in Cali I am fully with it. And these are the moments where I feel safe and am thankful. I have been using the word “safe” a lot with certain people, feeling a sense of peace and safety when I’m with them. I was having a hard time figuring out why or what causes that, because sometimes it isn’t people I would usually think it would be. Writing this makes me realize so much of the “safety” I feel with a person comes from the ability to be present when I’m with them. It’s a lot to give attention to anything more than what’s happening right in front of you. I am lucky to have people I can “live in the moment” with. It isn’t many but the security they offer is a lot. My mind is calm, my heart is happy, and I feel peace. I cling to these safe moments.
So that’s where I’m at. Trying to be here. All I can think about is what’s in front of me and getting ready for that. I feel things going around me slipping away and I don’t want to look back and some point wishing I had been aware of what was happening. My time here with some of you is short and I want to make it count. So if you catch me with my head in the clouds, feel free to smack me back down.