Of late I have been doing some real soul searching. After all, we have had to lock down a few times since the dreaded Covid hit our family 3 weeks apart. (Insert Face palm here) As you can imagine I have had a bit of time to sit, think and ponder where I am at in life, and the reoccurring theme of my thoughts was, where do I fit in, and which direction am I going?
Being the youngest of three girls, I never felt left out. Growing up, my parents always gave us equal amounts of time and love, but I always felt like I needed to be seen and heard. You see, I was the rambunctious child, always noisy and the life of the party. Mum would say she always knew when I was home because my crap was everywhere, and Dad would berate me for showing off. Who would have thought?
I have always thought I was put on this earth to do something big. I have forever had that feeling that something big was just around the corner. One would think fighting cancer would be classed as 'something big' or caring for Bob when he was diagnosed would also be my 'something big,' but nope. I don’t think that 'big' thing has happened yet as I still have that feeling of unfulfillment. It is hard to explain, but I still have a gut feeling deep down in the pit of my stomach that I haven’t reached the peak yet.
Yes, I love to put my hand up and help where I can and as often as I can. I am always volunteering my time to help a charity or a sporting club to make a difference. Recently I was asked to be the Ambassador for an upcoming event in Ballarat. I am always honoured to be asked and of course I said yes. Afterwards though I couldn’t shake the feeling that perhaps I should have said no and suggested another local breast cancer thriver who could step up to the plate. I do not like to be the person that is front, and center.
I have written about my struggles with anxiety in the past and am honest about my struggles. I do however push through that anxiety nine times out of ten because I know by telling my story and sharing my experiences it may help others, even if it may be just one person. When I do help, it gives me the warm and fuzzies and makes my heart sing, but I often wonder how long can I be that person? I don’t want people to look at me and think “oh God, it’s her again!”
I am a happy person. I am also an incredibly grateful person, but I am also a sad person behind closed doors. You will very rarely see me let my guard down and show unhappiness. I do struggle at times and this is mainly because I wish I could help everyone, but I have come to realization that I cannot. I wish I had endless hours in the day to get everything done and give more, but I cannot have that either. I wear my heart on my sleeve and take on a lot of emotional baggage from others, and I cannot do this forever.
This event where I am Ambassador will be my final front and centre gig. I will be there representing every breast cancer patient that has come before me and for some that I have unfortunately lost along the way. I will do it with pride, with a smile on my face and with love brimming from my heart, but it’s time. I don't want to choke down the anxiety any longer and put myself in a position where anxiety eats away at me. I have recently in my downtime, concluded that I am at a time in life where I need to step back and start to enjoy more of the quiet life. I am no longer that rambunctious child who had the
confidence of a lion. I am also not ready to totally step away completely. For my mental and physical health though this is something I need to do for me, I need to stop spreading myself so thin.
I still have that feeling that I will do something big, but I also have that feeling that it is ok if I take a step back and pass the baton onto the others coming up behind me. I am now content with turning the last page and finishing the chapter, which is my cancer journey and closing that book, for good. I will always be grateful for the road that I have walked and the journey that cancer has taken me on, but I no longer want to be known as the 27-year-old breast cancer patient. I am a proud 41-year-old who is a cancer survivor and who has bucket loads of knowledge that I am willing to share, but not on the scale that I have in the past.
My door will always be open for anyone that wants a chat or advice, but my 'something big' isn’t in my books, it is not in my public speaking or from being an ambassador. Perhaps it is something entirely different, it may be just around the corner. Who knows, maybe I will always have that unfulfilled feeling?
Instead of pursuing it and always wondering, I am going to sit back, enjoy my family, and live every day that is gifted to me. I’m going to slow down, breathe and allow my “something big” to find me.