Monday, June 21, 2010

My Old Life or The Gold at the End of July

I have been missing being myself a lot lately; I miss feeling normal. I guess I can ask what really is normal? I think I simply miss not being sick and not feeling awful. I miss not having cancer. I want this to be over; I want the chemo to end and to get my surgery and 2010 to go away so I can have my life back. But I’m starting to see that no matter how far away I get from this year I will never return to the life that I had before cancer. It makes me look at that life differently. I mean I got cancer just as my life was getting better. I was going through a transition into living in New York City and striving to become the actor I’ve always wanted to be and then, BAM, I got cancer! So how can I really miss my old life? I was rather miserable in California. What I think I really miss is the new life I was creating here in New York last fall. I was finding things and people that made me happier than I’ve ever been and I was accepting that I could be whomever I chose to be. I was comfortable in my own skin and confident that I had the talent to succeed in theatre. So now I wonder if I would have learned what I’ve learned since had I not gotten cancer. Had that lump not formed in my breast would I have excelled as much as I have? I mean, before I found it I was working harder than I ever had before. I put my all into acting and I never missed a class, but was I a better person? Was it school, acting or cancer that has made me see things differently; made me less judgmental and more understanding? Is it New York, the people I know here, acting or cancer that made me happier to be alive?

I can’t say that I am a better person now, although that is what I strive for. I mean I feel like I am learning from this cancer experience that I am worthy of being loved; something I have always feared. The friends I made during the first semester at my school, and even last summer, that have stood by me and been there for me during this are so young yet so amazing and I think it is from them that I am learning the most. It’s actually been the older people I know here that seem more reluctant to stand by me and be supportive. Not the teachers, but the people my age that maybe are more afraid because they see that my getting cancer means they might be at risk. I try to be patient and keep my distance with everyone I know; I try to ask only what I feel they are okay dealing with. Each friend seems to have different limits. I do miss seeing everyone daily. I so look forward to getting back to classes and the rush of being at school every night. But how different will it be for me now? I’ll be on Herceptin and Tamoxifen and who knows if they will cause more issues I have to deal with each day at school? I’ll be at school more since I’ll be working there and eventually I’ll need to get a regular job as well. Can I keep up energy wise or will I not get back the energy I had last fall? I do fear that and dread that I may be a different person than I was last fall as I was learning to trust and seeing things in new ways. What if I go back to being who was before? What if I revert to being depressed or moody and it sets me back? I feel like I have come so far since losing my mother that I want to keep progressing as a human rather than getting set back. I hate using chemo as an excuse for not being able to take out the trash or the reason why I can’t walk a lot or go out somewhere because I feel too weak or can’t breathe. What if I get to movement class and can’t push myself enough to try after surgery because the side effects of these medications make me feel bad or make me feel less motivated to succeed? What if I forget why I want to be an actor or the medications make me a bad actor?

I have to take Tamoxifen for five years! I’m not even sure where I’ll be in five years, or that my insurance will even continue after this year. I’m looking forward to moving to a new apartment but fear I will get stuck with a bad roommate again and I’m frankly just fucking sick of bad roommates. You don’t have to get me or understand me but at least have the decency to respect me! I could write a book about all the psychos I’ve lived with and how they really don’t get simple concepts--- like cleaning up hair in a bathroom. Come on, I mean it’s your hair not mine so clean it up! This goes specifically for the short and curlies. But I digress…

I think my point is that I want a normal and calm life. I want to be changed by this experience so that I can be calmer and stress free and really let go of any residual anger or fear I may have since getting my diagnosis. I want to truly live and find ways in which to experience life differently than I did before I had cancer. Because who knows how long any of us have? The only guarantee in life is death so why not find joy in every moment we are alive? I think what I dream for the most, besides a successful career in acting, is love. I never had that. Well, I did once but it was flawed and I was young and stupid. I want real love that lasts. I’m not sure how people get that or maintain it but I want it and I’m not thrilled that I’ve spent so long without it. It can’t be that I’m ugly because I’m really not. And if seriously hideous, fat people can find love than certainly so can I. Maybe I’m too sarcastic or maybe I come off as mistrusting but when people get to know me they see I’m not that bad; I’m pretty funny and I’ve definitely learned how to be more trustful this past year. I think I deserve to be loved and to find that special person who can compliment the good things in me. Like I said, who knows how long we have in life so I feel like I don’t want to waste it. But I guess “they” say when you stop looking it shows up, but I feel like as a Pisces and pathetic romantic, I never stop looking. Who are “they” anyhow? Fuck “them”! If I stop looking maybe that special person will too and we’ll never meet. I do feel like cancer will bring me closer to that person and closer to a real acting career. I can’t say how, but I knew last year would end with my discovery of something pretty horrible and death-like, so I feel like my visions are pretty on the ball. As they always have been. It’s just getting through July that I need to do in order to get to the gold at the end of the rainbow. I look forward to a nice large pot of it. I know my life is changed forever and things won’t be exactly what I’d imagined as a kid, but wherever life takes me I want to be having fun and I want to feel love all the time. I’m not sure what I need to do to get that but for now I’m simply riding the wave to my new life.

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