So, here I am a few days after v-day... nursing a headache because I've spent the past two days gobbling down so much chocolate that I think I may have sent my body into some sort of shock. Its been wonderful. I received some fantastic gifts from people who love me and think I'm great. One of those gifts came from myself. Yep.
I chose to love on me this valentine's day and I have to tell you that I am so thrilled with myself.
I am single. I'm not actively dating any one person in particular though I do date a bit. I go out when invited and have fun. I also go out alone quite a bit and enjoy the company of myself too. (Do you feel a theme here?)
A few days before valentine's day, I read a blog post from another breast cancer survivor and it really helped to solidify the way that I decided to approach this year's love holiday. My pink ribbon sister is dealing with metastatic breast cancer. That means that her cancer returned and now it has advanced to her bones and other organs and basically... there isn't much hope for a cure at this point, they are simply trying to manage her pain and help her deal with the inevitable. She will likely die from this disease. As I read her post and empathized with her anger, I realized that my choice to love the LOVE holiday was a good one.
I have to do things for me that make me happy... no matter what
Back when I last had a boyfriend -- which was during the beginning of my cancer treatment -- valentine's day came along and I was so excited at the notion that in the midst of all the craziness of my life with breast cancer, I would have an opportunity to ignore the madness and fully focus my attention on showing my guy that I really loved and appreciated him. And then I was hit with a brick wall.
My guy didn't like valentine's day. Refused to celebrate it. And even better, he was going out of town that weekend to spend time with friends. To say that I was severely disappointed would be an understatement. To say that I'm still angry about it would be really true.
Here's the thing... I understood that he was "unhappy" and felt that I had not been paying enough attention to him. Personally, I thought it was some crap but his feelings were his and just because I didn't agree didn't mean that they weren't valid. But considering that valentine's day came about a month after I had lost my breast and about 6 weeks after I ended my chemo... a nice time with my guy was something I looked forward to. And yes, my heart was broken that he decided that I wasn't worth his energy.
So... two years later I'm still a little pissy about that sorry valentine's day. But I'm not sad about it. I'm angry that I wasted my precious energy being sad back then.
I can't (and don't plan to) change anyone's mind about valentine's day. I love it. I don't plan on stopping. I still have the valentine's day card that my high school boyfriend gave me. I haven't looked at it in years, but I know that its in the box on the shelf in my closet. I'm that kind of girl, you know?
When someone shares a piece of themselves with me... I treasure it. I keep it and I think about it. Because it is a true gift and you can't underestimate its worth. And when someone shows you that they don't look at life the same way that I do... I file it away so that I don't disturb them in the future with the things that bother them if I can help it. When my then-boyfriend told me (yet again) that he didn't like or appreciate my fondness for certain holidays, I filed it under... "crazy things about this dude that I love"... and kept it moving.
I have so much to be grateful for... disappointments can't stop me
Fast forward two years... I'm single. I'm cancer free. I'm slowly getting my sexy swag turned all the way up. I'm dating -- as much as my little heart and always crowded calendar will allow. I have hair and it's cute hair. Very curly, quite stylish. I'm feeling peaceful about a lot of things.
But those few days before valentine's day when I was feeling "some kind of way" and I couldn't put my finger on it... I was once again mad with myself. For all of the things I could complain about in my life (like everybody else) I knew that I really just needed to focus on all the ways that I am super-duper blessed and keep it moving.
Tired of being mad. Tired of being sad. Tired of all the negativity around me.
Look, I'm tired of being mad. I'm tired of being sad. I'm tired of being aggravated by other people, stupid situations and really unfortunate circumstances that life brings to my doorstep. No, I wouldn't wish breast cancer on my worst enemy. Hell, if I could go back in time and keep myself from getting it, I surely would climb into my Delorean from Back to the Future and stop this mad train from running me over. But I can't. And since there isn't a cure yet... I can't keep anyone else from getting it.
|If you're too young to remember Back To The Future... get to Amazon RIGHT NOW!|
What I can do... is try to help other people be more comfortable with the idea that IF it happens to them (or someone they love) they can get through it -- no matter how it shows up. Whether it shows up and just is a huge and expensive inconvenience or it is a large and looming deadly event... you can still be YOU and function in this world.
So, this year, I decided that in the midst of all the madness that I'm going through and all the wonderful blessings that are heading my way... I decided that I wanted something nice just for me. And that gift to myself brought me more joy that you can really imagine. The icing on the cake was receiving gifts of love from some of my favorite little people in the world and receiving all kinds of happy text messages and smiles the entire day. It was a good valentine's day for me. I hope that it was a good one for you too.
Next year... maybe I'll take myself on a trip someplace tropical and warm.