I have written in this blog at least a dozen times since the last post, but only in my head. It’s often during a morning hike with the dogs where I literally talk out loud to them, cuz they’re such good listeners, or am fortunate enough to have a close friend to explore the wonders of our sore bodies and sore heads. I’ve been reluctant to put pen to paper because Life, for the most part, these past few months has been kinda shitty and there’s not often a good time to write from a bad place until the heart stops racing and perspective comes back. But out of darkness comes light and apparently the ‘living’ part of life happens when you get up from the fall.
I’ve had three friends get diagnosed with Cancer – I use the capital C because it feels deserving of it – and with each brave woman I’ve watched dignity, inner strength and true passion prevail. Each friend is different and yet there have been remarkable similarities; each thought of their children almost before thinking about themselves; each reached out to friends instead of shutting down; each found a way into acceptance without feeling defeated. Women are unbelievable humans, capable of such depth of emotion and power. I’ve learned by watching them and have been inspired by their resilience and nerve. They have taught me again to be awake in my life and let go of negative people and situations that can cloud my days. Through their struggles so many have been taught, helped, even saved and I really hope they all know that.
In the midst of the vulnerabilities illness brings, Life tossed up an interesting medley of mishaps. Our tenants became squatters in my UK house refusing to leave and costing us thousands over many months to get them out. More than the money was the stress and hatred I developed for them. They played us as fools and dare I say, won. Every morning for months was wasted from 6:30 am onwards on how to deal with feeling victimised and held hostage by them. There was a part of me that was trying to remain distant from the house, as seeing it as a rental took a lot of time and perspective on my part, and a lot of letting go. But it is personal; it’s not a rental, it’s our home and I attached a lot of emotion to claiming it back.
Then, at the same time, our nanny of two and a half years did a Jekyll-and-Hyde-disco-freak-out on us and threatened us in more ways than financial, leaving me disgusted, disheartened and dispirited. The boys quickly got over her (which was interesting) but somehow I was left holding onto the betrayal and bewilderment that I could have trusted her so implicitly with my kids, while she could leave in a crazy storm without even saying goodbye. Having just got back from downtown LA where I sat in a deposition (cue Law and Order music now please) of a labourer who claimed he magically broke his foot at my house a year ago without actually having an accident, I’ve been more than a little paranoid and preoccupied these days with ulterior motives and disguises worn.
But as my three friends dealing with the truly big stuff have shown me, this bad energy blanket that seems to be slightly suffocating me right now will pass. If you sit long enough and quietly enough, you will see the light on the other side of it all. It takes on different forms, but it’s always there. A plan of action or non-action to the diagnosis; an unexpected friend telling you she’s an employment lawyer; a reconciliation made out of common ground found; a real and true and proper understanding of how much love and support your partner and you share. And, of course, the kids…how you’re love for them is so extremely honest that your ability to hold onto darkness, in order to keep them in the light, is possible.
It is true that you learn a lot about yourself when the chips are down and it’s important to give yourself the space to feel low, and even depressed. The shift then comes with what you do with your new found knowledge of yourself and how to apply it wisely. For me, I’ve had to keep things really simple whilst all this discovery is going on and tell myself, almost as a mantra, that I have everything I need to remain in the light.