i have been thinking a lot about the past. particularly over the last few days. it’s just been kinda circling through my mind and weighing a little heavier on my brain. nothing crazy; just remembering moments. as they were and how they remain fixed in my space. someone once compared the mind to a filing cabinet- one with endless drawer space. and every memory gets its own file folder. bigger memories or moments get thicker and thicker as you pile in the frames and times. as time goes on, the older moments get further from the front of the cabinet. and each time you draw yourself back to a moment further in the past, the more work it takes to remember the file folder to begin with. memories start to slip into the back of the drawers. bigger moments take up more space. it’s truly the principle of it all. and i remember being so incredibly sad that there would one day be a moment where i stopped remembering my life before cancer. a day where the filing cabinet became so immensely full of all the days i lived in the second body i was given. and i am finding myself two years into the recreation of myself; one that cancer forced me into in order to save my own life and i am still navigating it all. the ins and outs of being in a body that was not the one i was born into. one that was created by a surgeon and crafted with scalpels and stitches and a whole lot of luck. one that i didn’t want and one that i loathed for the longest time. but the truth is, it’s serving me right now. it’s providing me a space to heal in and in all of this, that’s pretty much all i can ask for in this moment. healing isn’t linear, right? we have heard that one about a million times at this point. because it’s the truth. nothing happens on the timeline we personally create and if you know me, you know any timeline i ever create, gets laughed at by the universe and instantly shredded into confetti. and right now, i continue to find myself in unique parts of healing. parts i didn’t expect to even exist. parts of healing that in twenty twenty one, seemed absolutely impossible. i remember sobbing on the phone to a woman that i had never met just six weeks after my mastectomy. and now that woman is my friend and someone who truly changed the game when it came to my healing. but if you told me then that i would be where i am now, wow. i don’t even know how to describe the laughter.
but in all seriousness, this healing process has been exactly that- a whole messy process. and that’s okay. this year has been entirely devoted to embracing the idea that the universe has a different plan for me. and while i sometimes absolutely loathe that for me, everything usually turns out okay. i will die on the hill that everything doesn’t happen for a reason. everything just happens. i didn’t get chosen for the battles i have fought because i was the right person; it just happened. and sure, i managed to fight like hell and win but it’s not because i had something someone else didn’t. i put in the work and fought the good fight. and same goes for the healing part of it all- it’s just as brutal. different but immensely challenging. it’s brings so many things to the surface. and so many things change and shift while you’re figuring it all out. and just when you think you’ve got a good handle on healing, the universe throws a curveball. or lemons. whatever you wanna call it. and for me, i used to be really bothered by the universe and it’s interruptions to my healing. it always felt unfair and undeserved after everything that happened. it felt like i couldn’t hold onto my trauma and a casual curveball. and for a while there, it felt like the universe was just dumping everything on me. hit after hit. and there was a toxic energy out there- with lots of conversations that suggested i was the right person for all of this. that i was the strongest person and therefore, had been picked. ugh. no thank you. and in the same breath, i hear ya. i did such an incredible job taking the lemons from the universe and in an overwhelming plot twist, make an entire fruit salad. but there’s a lot more involved in all of it than just that. it’s a whole thing. but over the last few weeks, there’s been a lot in my brain relating to the past. and all of the things that i have been through and walked through. all of the transformative experiences and lessons. and last week, i walked back into my therapist’s office after a solid eight month break. i sat down and it literally felt like a perfect time to begin unpacking the last eight weeks of my life. where the universe decided that all of my big traumas could take a backseat but it was time for another hit. and sure, i have processed the hell out of it on my own but i have also talked about it here. and the idea that when people leave you and you are just kinda left to process it, unpack it, reel in it, try to make something of it, push it away and pack it back up nicely- well that’s asking an awful lot. sometimes i just can’t get to packing. and that’s because i find myself climbing through all of the vines and weeds and roots that have been laid. and sure, there are parts of me that just don’t understand any of the things that have happened to me. there are parts of me that truly have no idea why certain people left me in the hardest parts of my life or why i find myself wishing things were different when they in fact, should be exactly as they are. but it is because of the damn roots. the things that tie us back to what was. the things that tie us back to the beginning. the roots; the foundation; the memories. all of it. these thick vines and branches that knot us in a forest of everything that belongs to us- past and present. and it can be really hard to sever yourself from those roots; how firmly we plant ourselves where it feels most comfortable and the sun feels the warmest. but we aren’t meant to be tied down forever in the same parts of the forest.
so when the universe yanks us uncomfortably from that rooted spot; it’s more often than not, for our own growth. of course, it feels unfair and scary. maybe a little harsh or unsettling. but as we find ourselves settling into something new and different, the sun lends itself to shine pretty nicely in all parts of the woods. and right now, i am navigating a new part of the landscape of my life. one that looks a little different than what i imagined. it’s filled with lots of wonderful people and new opportunities to grow wildly. sure, it’s not filled with the people i had grown to love and sink into but that’s just part of losing one set of branches to sprout something new and beautiful.
roots to grow; plenty of new seeds to plant.