It was one year ago today that I got the news of my tumor. 365 days since the words “we found a mass,” drowned out all other noise in a busy emergency room. 52 weeks since everything – my body, mind, relationships, priorities – changed irrevocably. For most of that time I have been gently poking around my head and heart trying to fully understand what, other than the 6.5″ scar I now wear with pride, I am supposed to carry away from my experience.
I haven’t made any profound realizations nor done anything terribly drastic in the name of “needing to really live.” Nor have I tried to force myself to reach the kind of emotional clarity you read about in best selling memoirs. I have, however, made a very conscious effort to be present in my life – to make time for curiosity, to taste food fully, to tell my friends and family I love them, to observe the world around me, to put aside self-imposed stress in favor of indulging in silliness, to appreciate that one day last year I went to sleep with the very real chance that I wouldn’t wake up and to celebrate every day, that I did. I think the fact that my most innate reaction to what I went through is to simply go on living my life only with greater intention and purpose is a sign that I was doing an ok job before hand. While this does leave me with a comfortable sense of calm about the choices I have made and my ability to face difficulties in the future I am very much dedicated to marking the occasion as reason to slow down, spoil myself and really soak in the amazing people and places in my life.
So, now that I’ve given a year to fully recovering – with the absolutely incredible support, it should be said, of my friends, family and community – I am going to claim this next year as a year of adventure. From kitchen to concerts to starting a whole new chapter as a wife I am going to seek every opportunity afforded me because I survived, because I am lucky enough to have woken up.