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
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,
Last night, Mike and I got home from a VERY early dinner and found ourselves watching “You’ve Got Mail” with Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan. It’s such a good, truly romantic movie, and one that I had never seen until last year. I realized while watching it last night, as the snow came tumbling down outside, that it was a year ago that Mike was in New Orleans for a bachelor party and I was home by myself watching this movie having a glass of white wine. A year ago, I had no idea what was about to come my way. As I sat there on the couch, I remember feeling fully stressed at what was “happening” to me. I knew something was wrong, I was in agony about every other day with shooting pains down my back and legs making me unable to not only walk but do anything but roll around in bed and yell in pain. I was having nose bleeds regularly and blood blisters on my lips. I had bruises all over my body that had no reason for being there. And I had headaches so bad, I started keeping a neck pillow in my car so I could have some sort of relief as I drove to and from work. But as worried as I felt, I truly couldn’t have imagined the news I was about to hear and the year I was about to have.
In “You’ve Got Mail,” Meg Ryan’s book store is forced to close down due to a large, conglomerate book store opening up just down the street. She’s tormented with the fact that the life she had envisioned for herself and grown accustomed to, is so abruptly taken away from her. As I watched last night, I empathized with her character so much more deeply than I had just one year ago, as our stories are not the same but I so understood how she felt getting her “life” ripped away from her. But by the end of the movie, she’s making the best out of a bad situation and turns out to be writing her own book and allows herself to truly follow her butterflies and finds herself in the arms of Tom Hanks. She lets life take the reigns and it leads her to happiness. That’s what I’m still trying to do, trying to let life take the reigns, follow the things that give me butterflies in life. Because one thing I’ve learned in this past year is that life’s too short, too precious and too unpredictable; you’ve really got to enjoy each day for what it is. Whether it’s a good day or bad day, just appreciate the day. Appreciate it because you’re lucky to be here and lucky to have what you do.
Today was my first day back to the working grind. It was for sure a mix of emotions. It felt just like the first day of high school, I was anxious all day yesterday, could barely sleep last night and then the day came. I had trouble getting myself out of bed in the morning, not because I was too tired but because I felt so overwhelmed at what the day would bring. But get out of bed I did and to Framingham I headed. As I walked into my cube this morning, everything was just how I had left it 11 months ago. The new 2014 calendar was still up, “Punta Cana vacation” highlighted March 7-14, cereal in my drawers, and my trusty heating pack still sitting on my desk as I had been using it to help ease my back pain (soon to find out it wasn’t exactly “back pain.”) It was surreal. Nothing had changed but everything had changed. I’ve worked 11 months to get back to where I sat today, I’ve gone through what feels like hell and back to get my life back. But it hit me as I sat there at 5:30 with the lights starting to dim that I’m not getting my old life “back.” I’ve got a new one, a very different one than the one I had left. One that is filled with much hope, determination, fear, anxiety, love and fight. I still have a long way to go, about 15 months more of treatment to be exact. There will be good days and there will be bad days, but as Mike reminded me last night, if I can get through what I’ve been put through in the past year, I can make it through a few stressful and tiring days of work. Just need to put my head down and tough it out. I might be be small and fragile looking on the outside, but I’m a warrior princess on the inside. And warrior princesses can do just about anything.
So tomorrow, I’ll be back at it again…back in my cube, back in meetings, back on emails and back on social media but I’m back with a little chip on my shoulder and a lot of things to prove, not just to my colleagues but myself.
A day after my absolutely fabulous Friday and two scoops of chemo crappiness later, I’ve had an all-in-all rough 72 hours. Both physically and mentally. I woke up Saturday morning with an extreme amount of jaw, mouth and throat pain which we quickly learned is an infection in my GI tract that comes quite often as a result of chemo. As with any infection, it onset a fever and some nausea. It continued to get worse and by Sunday my fever was up to 102.5. Pretty much sucking the life out of me, even my doctor noticed I wasn’t “as perky” as normal. Luckily I had some friends and family stop by both days which helps to put my attention on something other than the uncomfortableness; even if just for a few minutes. I certainly didn’t expect that I would be Miss Pollyanna, sunshine and rainbows the whole time but this was the first really rough patch I’ve had so far– the kind that punched me in the face with the reality of just how hard and long this road is going to be.
Then we added some insult to injury: Sunday morning my hair started to bid me goodbye. Some people may call this deep denial but I like to say I was being an enteral optimist when thinking just maybe I’d beat the odds and not lose my hair. I was quite honestly clinging onto this glimpse of hope and up until Sunday morning I was yanking on my hair everyday to see it it felt “loose” and lucky for me, it had been sticking in there quite well. Unfortunately, and unknowingly to me, the hair loss comes on extremely quickly and from Sunday morning to when I first noticed hair on my pillow, I was pulling out large chunks by Monday morning (pukeeeee). This quite literally made me feel nauseous. So, since my mom was here for the day, I had one of my favorite nurses and lets face it, didn’t have much of a schedule, I decided to rip the band-aid off as quick as possible and take control of the situation. With a Beyonce playlist of “If I were a boy” and “Diva” blaring in the background, we began the buzz-a-thon: and to my utter shock, it felt great. The first row of hair took my breath a way a bit but I didn’t cry because I felt a sense of control. It felt like I was choosing this, not my sickness making me do it. Which was empowering and important for me to feel.
And, it’s gone! G.I. Jane, anyone?
(refresh the page to see a little slideshow of the whole “buzz-a-thon”)
One life lesson learned yesterday: anxiety leading up to a challenge is more than half the battle. The thought of buzzing off my hair ended up being far worse than the actual agony of doing it. And, if you decide to make something shitty, something fun, it’s guaranteed to be a better experience than if you didn’t.