I watched a swan land on the water tonight. It was beautiful, so graceful; her wings outstretched feeling the wind beneath them, letting the air guide the way to her destination with ease, precision and power. She knew just how much force was needed to land so she could stay above water; gracefully going from flying to swimming. The transition was remarkable… it was perfect. Unlike the swan, my landing into this new phase of my life hasn’t been so graceful. My wings have flapped around wildly, I hovered above the water before my final descent and when I landed I skipped like a rock off choppy waters. Now, I’m swimming forward but there’s a tough undertow that I can feel pulling beneath me.
Sometimes during my journey I don’t think I was processing exactly what was happening. I was in flight, sights set on my destination and nothing else. Now that I’ve landed, I’m recounting the journey and it makes me realize just how hard I hit the bumps. It was like flying through a lightening storm. When I was able, I avoided the strikes but I couldn’t avoid them all…there was too much wind and noise and chaos going on around me to dodge everything that came my way. The bolts hurt both physically and emotionally but in their own way, they were beautiful and brought light to my life.
Finally, it’s time to slow down and tread water for a little bit. Time to just be a 27 year old. Time to let the current peacefully pull me along. Time to be one with my surroundings and the blessings that I have experienced in this life.
I’ll never be as graceful as the swan but I can try to emulate her and some of her beautiful qualities: like stretching her wings to show her power, like her ability to swim forward gently, like how she seems to be satisfied staying in one place, like how she lets her presence been seen and felt and like her ability to be bring others joy just by doing what she was meant to do.
Lots of love & light,
I think we’re all guilty of taking little things in life for granted. And having our senses is one of them. The gift of sound is so magical and so important in this life. It gives you a means to communicate, to be connected with what’s around you but may not be able to see. It gives you music which (in my mind) can give you so much- songs can help put you in a better mood, get a good cry out, dance around and be silly, or give you strength when you’re feeling down.
I’ve watched multiple people in my family deal with hearing losses and it’s so unfair and difficult. I hope that as technology continues to pave the way for the future that this type of device can be made available for all individuals who struggle with hearing abnormalities.
I hope this video puts a smile on your face and reminds you to be grateful for the little things. Be grateful for all you’ve been given.
Happy Saturday everyone and an even bigger happy 21st birthday to my baby brother JJ. It kills me that I can’t throw em back with you tonight but I know that day will come! So tonight I’ll be the big sister supervisor instead. I’m so proud of the little man you’ve become– now go out and have some fun, LEGALLY! I love you!
Lots of love & light,
I’m stealing this line from the founder of the Not Impossible Labs (the speaker I wrote about a few days ago that was at the conference I attended last week). He said this line so passionately and at first I hated it. Why would I surround myself with people that make me feel stupid? That’s horrible advice, I thought. But then I quickly realized that surrounding yourself with people that make you feel stupid doesn’t mean surrounding yourself with people that make you feel inadequate or that belittle you– but rather the opposite. It means to surround yourself with people that know more than you, that you can gain insight from, perspective from, people that you can GROW from. Once you realize you may be the “stupid-est” person in the room, don’t be ashamed, be grateful– take it as a blessing– there is SO MUCH to LEARN!!! In the past year and a half, I’ve been surrounded by some of the most brilliant men and women I’ve ever had the pleasure of knowing, and although sometimes it can be intimidating, more often than not, it’s empowering… it makes me want to open my eyes to what else is out there and the ways my mind can continue to expand.
Life is all about growing and by taking the time to surround yourself with those that you can grow from– you’re hedging your bet right.
Lots of love & light,
I’m taking this line from the founder of Not Impossible labs
Yesterday my best friend Brittany’s Meme passed away. Yesterday I was reminded, yet again, of the importance of remembering that each day with those we love is a gift. Yesterday I was reminded of how beautiful and important friendships can be.
Brittany is more than a best friend, she’s a sister. I met Brittany when we were 5 years old in kindergarten and she asked me for my fruit roll-up. A rarity in my household, I swiftly denied trading for whatever snack she had. Since that moment, we’ve been by each other’s side. Throughout my childhood, The Piet’s, were my second family. I had a trundle bed in Britt’s room as I slept there so often. I went on almost every family camping trip and even a family trip to Disney when we were 16. I was at holiday’s and parties. Sometimes, to Mr. & Mrs. Piet, it probably felt like I was there more than I was my own home!! They already have four girls, but they opened their home to me and made me their 5th daughter. And that love was not just with her immediate family, but with her extended family as well. I gained aunts, uncles, cousins and two amazing grandmothers. How lucky I was to have this extended family in my life. My own family and grandparents are incredible enough, then I got blessed with this second set of family as well!
Meme was kind, gentle and full of love. Her smile was one that would wrap around you like a bear hug (that is, if she wasn’t giving you an actual bear hug!) She was truly a beautiful soul here on this earth and I know she will continue to be one eternally. Most of all, her family was her everything and I am so grateful that I was able to be an honorary member of that family.
I will forever remember her sweet eyes, lively laugh, caring nature and sweet demeanor.
To my Piet family, I can’t thank you enough for making me part of your family and allowing me to have known this remarkable woman. I am here for you and I love you all from the bottom of my heart.
All my love,
I love this quote. So often we look at things with a “you win, you lose” attitude. One or the other. Black and white. But this puts the perfect positive spin on it— “losing” isn’t fun but life isn’t about winning every race. So when you don’t come out on top, sometimes that’s when the beauty comes out and you learn an incredible amount. Always having things go the way you want doesn’t always allow for true growth to happen. Hey, I never would’ve considered being diagnosed with leukemia as a “win” but I’ve learned and learned and learned so how can I look at it as a total loss? I can’t.
So seize the day— relish in your little wins and learn from those bumps along the way. It’ll be worth it in the end!
Happy Monday— go crush this day like the warrior you are!
Lots of love and light,
As 2014 was quite the unexpected year for me, throughout the year, I decided to take videos and pictures of myself while home alone to document what my thoughts and feelings were on a day-to-day basis. I’ve made a compilation video of some of these images and clips of the videos to share with all of you who have so kindly followed my story all year.
Thanks to each and everyone of you for your support, kind words of encouragement and love throughout 2014. It has made all the difference in the world.
It’s been over 8 months since I lost my hair and since then, I’ve said that I wanted to go out in public without a wig, without a headwrap, without a hat. But I hadn’t done it….I couldn’t get myself to go out in public without covering up. It felt scary and overwhelming; I didn’t want the extra attention or to feel like I’m getting stared at. I’ve taken my hat off a few times in public but never fully left the house without something to cover up!But my hair is actually starting to slowly grow back (wahooo) so today I thought, “today’s my day.” This was something I wanted to do to feel what it’s like to be “different” and to my happiness, I may only have a few weeks left to complete this goal. I’ve always been lucky that I don’t have anything that makes me feel uncomfortable or self conscious in public so I wanted to experience what that feeling feels like. And today I did. I went to Dana Farber wearing nothing and it felt fabulous. I felt free and empowered. I’m bald and a girl and I can’t wait until my hair grows back but until then, I’m going to try to go out in public bald and beautiful! Looks do matter but today taught me that if you feel confident within yourself, it doesn’t matter so much if you get a few extra stares.
Cheers to being different and embracing it!!
Last night Mike and I slowed danced in the living room. It’s something we’ve always liked to do but I look forward to it even more lately as it’s a special few moments just between the two of us. Right as one 1950’s song ended and we were about to clean up from supper, Louis Armstrong’s “What a Wonderful World”
came on. We continued to dance.
As we continued on in our little romantic comedy and I listened to the lyrics, I thought about just how meaningful this song really is to me. It’s a song that when I was about 5, my sister and I sung to our Nanny and Bumpa at their 40th wedding anniversary and whenever I hear it brings me back to my childhood and fills my heart with so much warmth and happiness. It played on a day that for the first time in over two weeks I felt good. I felt like myself. I felt silly and happy and energetic. As it played and Loius sung about red roses blooming, I couldn’t believe that on the same day I had seen the first set of tulips pop their beautiful blossoms through the dirt. Spring officially sprung for me yesterday.
Spring brings such a magical feeling here in New England. It’s the end of short, cold days. The end of a dreary, dull winter. And the beginning of long, warm days. The beginning of a season full of sunshine and color. Spring truly does create a sense of hope. Hope that the days ahead will be better and brighter than those of the past. This year, that sense of hope is so empowering and invigorating for me. I needed spring (I think we all did). I needed to see those tulips pop through. It signified the start of something new. Something that is beautiful and brilliant. Susan Bissonette said, “An optimist is the human personification of spring.” And so this year (and hopefully every year going forward), I will strive to be just like spring.
Today I get to write this sitting on my back porch, breathing in crisp beautiful fresh air. It’s a bit nippy and while I would typically complain, this year I don’t mind being a little chilly. I don’t mind because as I feel the wind whip on my face, I feel so alive and it reminds me of the days I sat in that hospital room looking out the window wishing I could feel this wind and hear those birds chirp. And because of that, I think to myself…what a wonderful world it truly is.