Day 1

As everyone ushered in the New Year with friends and family, in crowded restaurants, in clustered streets, I was home, in bed, fighting to keep my eyes open. I had no plans to go anywhere and I started to feel bad that I wasn’t in a position to just get up and find somewhere to go. So as the clocks struck midnight, I silently thanked God for allowing me to see another year. Then it happened. My anxiety hit. I started wondering which one of my big plans was I going to get off the ground this year. Will I be successful? Will I have enough time? Am I going to be like everybody else and make resolutions that I can’t keep?

Well, for 2016, I want to be a better me – no the best me ever – the beta version of me. I want to right all my wrongs, and be an advocate for positive change. With all those thoughts running through my head, my depression stuck its little nose in and took me down hill. For most of the day I was down. I was thinking about the many people I knew that didn’t make it to see another year and the heart ache that their family was probably feeling. I started feeling like I didn’t deserve to be so blessed and that one negative thought drove me for the day.

Later on in the day I decided to get some laundry done (What a way to ring in the New Year). It was the “alone” time that I needed just to clear my mind and position myself for a prosperous New Year. As I sorted clothes and loaded machines I couldn’t help but to feel sorry for myself. I was looking at everything that I did and achieved over the last year and finding fault with how I handled it. It was like it wasn’t enough.

By the time I was done beating myself up, I was convinced that this New Year would not be any different from the last. I curled up in bed, turned the TV on and watched an old (but new to me) episode of Say Yes to the Dress. This episode was about the Bridal Store owner Lori and her journey through breast cancer. She had gone in to her doctor just to do a regular check up when her results came back positive. She endured weeks of pain and discomfort and after her first surgery, she realized that she would have to undergo another. She decided to get a double mastectomy to significantly reduce the chances of the cancer ever coming back.

I watched as she shared her journey. I laughed when she laughed. I cried when she cried. But through it all, she was determined never to give up and to fight for what she wanted (which in her case was a healthy, normal life). Her behavior impacted me significantly. All this time I was worrying myself over my “future” when I had, and still don’t have, any control over it whatsoever. Yes, it is always great to plan ahead but nothing is promised. I have been forced to realize that there are things in this world that are more important to focus on, like actually finding a cure for cancer!

My paternal grandmother passed away many years before I was born, from breast cancer. It was not something that was heavily discussed in my family and it held very little significance to me. But now, as I grow a little older, the severity behind the matter is extremely serious. This vicious disease, poisons the bodies of many and destroys life. After that TV show ended, it was like everything was put into perspective for me.

Instead of focusing on myself, I have decided to embrace life and the cards that I’m dealt, and just like Lori, fight to stay my course. So for this year, instead of making resolutions that I know I may break by March (lol), I will invest my time focusing on the needs of others and less of myself, starting by signing up to walk in this years Breast Cancer walk, to help to find a cure. This is my year of change and I intend to be the change that I want to see in this world.

Happy New Year!



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