October 6, 2012. Today is the official culmination of my project: one year in the life of a survivor. One year in the course of a life. I decided I would look back at my first post from a year ago. https://thecourseofalife.wordpress.com/2011/10/06/hello-world/ I wanted to see if what I said then still rang true for me today. And, in all honesty, it still does.
Life doesn’t always go according to plan, but somehow things end up falling into place. Sometimes the big picture is just too big. Other times we focus on tiny details that are just too small. Life is what happens when we are living it, and we never know which moments will have an impact in the course of a life. I thought about my year. There were moments that happened that I never could have imagined; heart breaks that I couldn’t have predicted if I tried; sad moments that tore me to pieces and made me wonder what the big picture could possibly look like. But, the thing about life is it keeps moving forward. It is funny the way that happens. We have to keep moving. Does this movement make the sad moments any less sad — no. However, this momentum allows us to continue on the journey, and hope that one day the big picture will be more clear. I am hopeful that it will.
Being a survivor is an experience filled with a variety of daunting emotions. I have been known to worry a bit more than the average person (yes, I see you nodding again). My worries can sometimes have a mind of their own. I can dwell on the what ifs and get caught up on their possible pathways and journeys. It can be a problem but it is part of who I am. I am working on it, and I will continue to do so. I have learned that I don’t know all of the answers, and it is okay. Life is a mystery and all of that jazz. I couldn’t control it if I tried, and, honestly, I don’t know if I would even want that responsibility if I had the opportunity. Life is unpredictable. Think of all of the amazing things that have happened in your own life — things that you didn’t plan or even predict, but that became a part of your own journey.
Although life as a survivor can be challenging, it can be amazing too. November will mark my eighth year of being cancer free. Eight years. I made it eight more years and counting. Eight! I feel so fortunate. I think of the experiences that I have lived in the past eight years. Eight more years with my little family. Eight more years of this beautiful life. I think cancer was my bitter that helped me appreciate the sweet. To the outsider, my life could seem simple or boring, but to me, it is rich and full in a million different ways. I am thankful all the time, and I look forward to the next adventures that will head my way.
This life is a journey. It is a road trip without a map. I know where I’d like it to end, but I have no idea where the final destination will be, or when I will reach it. I kind of love that. If you know me at all, you know I love a good road trip. Give me some good music and I am ready to hit the road. Life is a series of moments, and I feel lucky enough to know that I need to appreciate the ones that I have. And that idea, that most days of the year are unremarkable. They begin and end with no lasting memories made in between. Most days have no impact in the course of a life* — well, again, I’d disagree. We don’t know which moments will be our big moments, and which moments will have an impact in the course of our lives.
People have asked me if I will keep writing once the year is up. I think I will. It is fitting that my project didn’t go exactly how it planned. Which things in life really do? And, regardless of whether or not things according to plan, I will keep on moving forward. Like I said in my first post, I choose to dig in and find the positive. I am always looking for that sunshine. And, on days where things are looking pretty gloomy, I still keep searching. I will always look for that sunshine. I still aim to pay it forward. Thank you for being a part of this project. Best wishes.
*quote from (500) Days of Summer.