there’s a saying out there- ‘reap what you sow’. maybe it’s from the bible; i am not one hundred percent certain. maybe in my free time, i will do more research. but this idea of reaping what we sow has been heavy on my mind the last few days. it’s amazing what having cancer does to you. it kinda forces your brain into uncomfortable thinking places. where you literally think about things you never thought you’d be thinking about. like for example, last night, i laid in bed for four hours just thinking about all the ways i need to be a better person. and when i say that i mean, how can i in this current state of being be a better person? i was racking my brain. and i know what you’re thinking. you’re probably going ‘don’t you have a lot going on right now? why are you even thinking about this?’ and yeah. you’re not wrong. but also, have you met me?! i’m a crazy overthinker who also happens to be in the middle of the greatest health crisis that’s ever happened to a person. or at least that’s what i tell myself. someone commented on a facebook post of mine yesterday and said ‘i can’t believe you’ve had to fight for your life twice this year. you’re my hero’. first, wow. ugly crying over here. and second, where’s the lie? it’s been an exhausting year. and yet i find myself trying to be a better person in the midst of it all. because aside from my three ton medical record being the most exciting thing to happen in twenty twenty, i also said goodbye to a really what i thought was stable friendship. and it happened right after i started cancer treatments. like days after. and it broke my heart. but i didn’t really have enough time to spend healing from that. because i was too busy dealing with a double mouth infection as my first side effect from the chemo drugs. and honestly, as the two months since that friendship ended have passed, i find myself recognizing [ooooo, we love a good former blog post vocab word] that my heart is still very much so broken. and i think that’s probably how my brain landed back into the whole reap sow situation. or maybe it was the eight thirty conversation with my psychiatrist. i can’t remember. but that’s chemo brain for ya. but this friendship. i mean, when i say stable, i mean stable. twenty one years. visiting each other in different states. walking down the aisle at each other’s weddings. we even had a pair of pants that travelled between us since two thousand five [which was probably the first and only year those pants actually fit both of us and yes the obsession with the sisterhood of the traveling pants was that real]. we met in middle school. we literally know everything about each other. so when my cancer diagnosis was too much for her and our friendship collapsed, it pushed my brain into this space. you know the space i’m talking about. the one where you begin to question all of it. first you ask yourself ‘did i overreact? maybe i should call her! we can still be friends’ which then turns into ‘wait. no. hell no. she just told you that your cancer diagnosis, which ya didn’t pick off the shelf at sephora, is too much for her. that’s not friendship. hell, that ain’t a twenty one year friendship.’ which then leads you to a place where you’re confident in your choice even though it hurts. and then twenty four hours later, you’re back to wondering if maybe you said something wrong. ‘maybe i said it wrong.’ said you had stage two cancer wrong? nah sis. okay well maybe i’m not allowing her to process this or maybe she’s got a lot on her plate or maybe it’s me.’ and maybe sometimes it is you. full disclosure: it’s been me before. we call that accountability. but sometimes it’s not. sometimes it’s just the end.
but it’s also about sowing. what a weird sentence. see, sowing is something you do in a friendship. actually in any relationship in my opinion. literally planting and scattering throughout your relationships. whatever that looks like. time, energy, space, acceptance, love, safety. it’s giving parts of yourself. to someone else. that you love and respect and want to have those pieces of you. and there will come a time, where you reap. meaning the person returns the favor. for all of the sowing you’ve done, you benefit from all of that. and not in a greedy, ugly way. in a ‘return the gesture way’. in a ‘we respect each other in this friendship’ way. and that’s kinda where i am right now. in the reaping phase of my relationships. all of them. and that’s hard for me. i’ll be honest. because if you know me, you know i thrive on being the one who always sows. and while i know that sounds a little humble braggy, i ain’t wrong. i’m a type two. for those of you who aren’t into enneagrams, ya might wanna skip a few lines. just saying. i’m a type two. a helper, giver, will never let you see me sweat, often times overextends myself but won’t tell you that i did. i’m always worried about the people in my life. and always worried that people might be mad at me or that i said the wrong thing. i have a really big heart and it matches the size of my anxiety. so being in the reaping phase of life while i go through this terrible health crisis is hard for me. because i want to help and i want to be there for people. and i want to rise to the occasion. but i’m also exhausted. and weak. and super emotional. but that’s the whole point of sowing. scattering and sharing pieces of yourself in whatever capacity you can, because one day, you may need those pieces back. reap what you sow. that bible verse or quote from a sign in a beach shack somewhere is true. you really do reap what you sow. you get what you give. and i had sowed quite a lot into that friendship i mentioned earlier. so when i needed to reap, and i got shut out, i decided it wasn’t going to work anymore. and looking at where i am now and the circle that surrounds me and my three centimeter tumors, i know what i’ve sown. and i know what they have sown. and i know that i can reap. get what i gave. because i’ve given a lot. and now it’s their turn to give back to me. their time. their energy. their emotional space. rides. meals. hugs. card games. whatever they can. and then the cycle will repeat again. and again and again. because that’s how it works. reap what you sow.
but ya gotta sow first. and sometimes you can sow for years and years. and never reap. or sow for years and years and then never speak to that person ever again. and that’s okay. because it says more about us. it says more about those who continue to sow without thinking about the reap. thinking about giving into others before we think about how it’ll come back to us one day.
continue to sow. because you get what you give. and when you’re a giver, you deserve gold. not bronze baby.