there’s a lot happening inside my brain and my heart right now. and there’s just a lot about myself that feels attacked in the moment. and as i have spent the last eighteen hours processing some of things i am going through, i began to make a list. because some of the things that are happening to me are based on false realities. but there are also parts of me that are not talked about a lot. but are still important. and so this list that has been circulating my brain for the better part of today is truly a list of everything that is actually true about me. it’s everything you might wanna know. it’s vulnerable and transparent and it’s not in any particular order. but it is real. so here ya go.

i am a scorpio to the core. I love hard and hate even harder. i believe that absolutely anything can break your heart, including words. i have spent the better part of the last decade or so actively working on my mental health. it’s an everyday thing, not just a medication thing. i can argue with a doorknob, even if i know i am wrong. i tend to have anxious attachments, which stems from anxiety that was poorly managed for a long time. it means i am often afraid that people will leave me. i also often think people are mad at me. it’s a character flaw. and one i fully own. i can be a lot of who i am. which has kept my circle small over the years. i like to lay it all out on the line first so there’s usually little surprise when it comes to me. i care more about others than i do about myself. oooo another character flaw. but at the end of the day, i will choose to put someone else’s oxygen mask on before putting mine on. sorry southwest airlines! in twenty twenty, i nearly lost my life- TWICE. once in march and again in august. it has created an interesting and unique web of trauma, with much of that trauma deeply rooted in the medical field. a lot of people characterize me as strong but i often struggle to see that trait. i don’t give myself enough credit on the regular. but what i will give myself credit for is my loyalty as a friend. i am the best friend you could ever ask for. it’s my specialty. if i played a character on grey’s anatomy, it would probably just be loosely based on me being everyone’s best friend. my specialty- friendship. my skills- making you feel loved and appreciated and supported. i struggle with sleeping and that’s how this blog came to be. I love a good sleep, don’t get me wrong. sleep just doesn’t love me. when i was thirteen, i used to have panic attacks about sleeping. probably was just foreshadowing my days of caffeine and under eye bags. in twenty twenty, eight days after i started chemotherapy to treat the raging tumors in my right breast, also known as breast cancer, my best friend of twenty two years told me that she could not handle my diagnosis and stopped speaking to me. ah, as if i personally selected my cancer off the shelf at target. poor timing on my part i guess. and for the better part of the last two years, i have been wrestling with the eighteen inch incision that decorates the front of me. as well as the six inch ones that are a bit higher up. trying to build nerve regrowth and process the patterns, waves and marks they make and have. sometimes, they just exist. and other days, they can ruin my whole mood. i can’t wear white anymore. and it often feels like the surgeon stitched me like an overstuffed chip bag. some days, it feels like i could do it all over again. and other days, i could never. i like to think of myself as something like the moon. in different phases, but still a light. even in darkness. and last night, my friendship with my best friend of the past five years ended. accusing me of struggling with my identity and that my existence is too rooted in what has happened to me. but i am a firm believer that everyone’s story matters. and that everything we do is for some other purpose. and that my story is also important. and that having cancer has led me to be exactly who i am in this moment. and while i have actively been healing from everything that has broken me in this lifetime, i can assure you that this too broke me. that everyday i try to figure out more about myself on this side but it’s not easy and it’s never not work. and so here i am again, finding myself readjusting the width of my circle. and trying to make sense of it all. while not fully falling apart.

because as i make this list of things that are true about me, i know my exact worth. even when i am really hard on myself or doubting everything that i have been through or picking out the individual flaws in my post mastectomy body- i know what i know. and what i know is true. my flaws exist. i am a human after all. and i am far from perfect. but i know my exact worth, down to the pennies and nickels. i am worth more than people leaving me on read. more than people walking out on me in good times or in bad. more than being shamed for where i am in life or who i am in life. more than having my heart broken by people who are supposed to hold it like it’s made of glass. more than feeling like a burden. when i know my story is heavy and my emotions get harder to hold. more than all of that. i am still a whole person. one that has been stitched and glued and strung together with the thinnest of threads. i am still a whole person. one who has been alone in some of the biggest and scariest moments. one who makes mistakes. one who has a really big heart. one who struggles with quieting the anxious parts. one who wakes up everyday wanting to make sure the people in her life are doing okay. i am a whole person. and i am going through it right now. and there’s really zero shame in that. my schedule is full and so is my brain. my heart feels a little smushed and i have been replaying the last two weeks on repeat. and when i think back to the hurt that i felt in twenty twenty. after everything else that i had been through and a friend of more than two decades just left me – it comes full circle again. to feel that exact level of pain and loss. and that small voice starts to creep in. the one that makes me begin to think that there must be something wrong with me. there must be this fatal flaw. but when people want to go, let ‘em go. i keep reminding myself that i don’t need people who think my story is too much. or that think i should just shut up about what i have been through. i don’t need people who shove me into small spaces when i am truly uncomfortable that way. those who try to make me feel little when i really am just bold all around. and it takes constant practice and reminders to myself. and continued work and efforts to make sure that i am living for myself. and being true to myself. and being authentic. and real. and cutting the bullshit where it is. but also rising above the nonsense. and not letting people stomp all over me as they walk out of my life. because i fought to be here. i earned my place here. i deserve more than what some have given me.

and sure, i am sad. and my heart hurts. and my brain continues to loop through the terrible things that were said. about my identity and my journey. and my health. and who i am at the core. but i also know myself. i know my heart and my mind. my intentions and my thoughts. and i know that it’s okay to be sad and mad and hurt. and that it doesn’t mean something is wrong with me. it just means it’s time for something else.

more to add to the list, i guess. more adventures and successes. more stories and more phases. a dozen more seasons and for sure, more sunrises. and more things to add to the list. more things that show my worth. more dollars & pennies. nickels and dimes. my worth will never be less than that of the whole world.


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