On Inspiration

Recently people have been telling me I inspire them. I never know what to say to this, I mean obviously thank you (because really, does a better compliment exist?) but also because I feel like everyday it is all of you who inspire me. And then you get in this loop, like "no, you inspire me." - "no, YOU inspire me." and on and on it goes in this amazing love sappy downward spiral and then people cry, puffy eyes, the works.

As I envision what it means to have a disease that doesn't have a cure, a chronic condition, and what that means for my life after this aggressive phase of treatment is over, I wonder, where does all this positivity come from? And can I bottle it? And sell it? Or at least hoard it for the inevitable day when thing get to be more than I can handle. Why is it that all I can feel right now is lucky, not how much this sucks (I mean, it does, really don't even get me started on my wrist burn, let alone the fact that after subsisting on a toast/broth diet for a week I finally caved and bought myself a gigantic pair of jeans.  If I was pigging out and like, eating lots of deliciousness, sure, bigger jeans, whatev, but I'm hungry AND I have to get bigger jeans? unfair, soooo unfair.)  Where, oh where, is all this positivity coming from?
I feel blessed, and from those blessings I draw the strength to go on everyday. Not just go on, but do really, unexpectedly well (which for me right now means "feel almost, most of the time, like a normal girl and not like some sort of diseased lab experiment") in large part, I think, because of my attitude. Happiness and positivity are just better states to be in then the alternative. But what does it mean, to be inspiring, or to inspire others? And where does my inspiration come from? I decided to try a little experiment this week, to pay attention to the moments when I felt bad, physically bad, but also emotionally. Like the crushing fear, creeping anxiety threatening to drown me in tears bad (obvi this happens, I mean, I have incurable cancer - what the f?) but also just the normal everyday bad. The "dammit I can't close my jeans" bad, or the "Crap, there are no parking spots" bad or the "shoot I left my wallet somewhere and now I have a doctors appointment and no way to pay for it, stupid chemo brain" bad. Then I paid attention to how I got myself out of this mood.

And so, here is a list of things I drew inspiration from this week. It's not a total list, because I get inspired about a jillion times, give or take, a day.

But I hope that in it you too can find, if not the inspiration, at least some comfort. Because no matter what your thing is (and trust me, I still think there are lots of things worse than this "c" thing) there will always be things that come along, nasty things, things that try to ruin your day. You can't control these things, but you can control how YOU react to these things

1) I am not the light, I am just the glass window reflecting back the light. I was driving home from something (most likely doctors appointment) across the bay bridge as the sun was setting. I looked over to my left and there was this amazing glass building, and it was so clear and true that it was capturing the setting sun in what felt like all it's brightness, and then reflecting it back down in this golden, pink tinged ray onto the water, so that the water of the bay had not one, but two suns, strewing amber light in these intense spears. It was magical. It was breathtaking. And as I watched it (sitting in bumper to bumper traffic) I thought, everyone who has helped me out these last months, who has written me notes, given me financial aid, love, presents, thoughts, good vibes, care packages, visits, rides, company, puppy care - these people are the light. I am just this mirror, that gets to reflect the light back, so that everyone can see how beautiful they are, how powerful and also how light can spread, it can infuse everything if you let it. I want to be that mirror, to help people to see the awesomeness that they have inside of themselves, to make it into something beautiful. Sometimes the best way to make yourself feel good, is to make someone else feel good.

2) Inspirational Images  Call me a pinfreak, I don't care. There is something so write about words that just speak to me - short, powerful, cute, would make an excellent t-shirt. I love these. I MAKE these.
Here are some my favorites from this week (and of course, don't forget THIS ONE I made)
Say what you will, they make me feel better.




3) Music. Music just makes me feel so much better, about anything, all the time. There is of course this playlist *my special girl power, can't touch this playlist*

I am also obsessed with the song below. And yes, I know it is about being gay, and NO, I do not think being gay is a sickness. Don't get all up in arms on me please, my fragile chemoness can't handle it today. It's because sometimes there are things that are part of you that are different than what is part of other people. People who don't understand otherness can think this otherness is a terrible thing (or fear it), but really, it can be filled with so much amazingness and love, how could you wish to be any other way? You are dealt the hands you are dealt, what matters is what you do with it. Wishing to be different than who you are (me, girl with cancer) is not going to help - accepting that this is how things are and trying to adapt and find as much joy in my life as possible will.



The Moral: "And I can't change. Even if I wanted to, even if I tried. My love, my love, my love she keeps me warm. She keeps me warm. She keeps me warm." yup. and the hook is like hippy crack. It just makes me happy. I listen to it on repeat.

The other song on repeat right now:



The Moral: " I don't want to go to sleep. I want to stay up all night. I want to just screw around. I don't want to think about what's going to be after this. I want to just live right now." Amen sista. 

4) Pampering I know this is something I am notorious for, but guess what? It works. Give yourself a facial, spring for a $10 mani/pedi, buy a new lipgloss. Whatever makes you feel like the positive, relaxed, person you are. The point is to treat your body to something that makes it feel cared for, special, worthy of love and healing. I have mentioned this to my doctors and they totally agree - anything you can do to reduce stress is essential to treat and manage my cancer, so imagine how positive an effect this kind of self-indulgence can have on your normal, healthy body. Bonus points if while you are pampering you also read inspirational quotes and listen to inspirational tunes.

LUCKIEST GIRL IN DA WORLD

And no, not everyone is lucky enough to get AMAZING CARE PACKAGES from Dr. Jart (thank you, thank you, thank you - I can't even tell you how much joy and healing this brought me) but almost anybody can slice up a cucumber and put it in the freezer for a few minutes and then toss it on ya eyeballs. BOOM. Instant pampering.

More to come loveys,
xoxoxoxo
Dena