True North

My goal this weekend was to get my life organized. I was hoping to figure out my five-year career plan, determine which hobbies I would pursue in my spare time, and finally tackle the ever-present to-do list. I thought maybe if I sat down long enough, I’d be able to completely take stock of the person I’ve become and figure out what it means.

Spoiler alert: I didn’t figure out who I’m supposed to be.

I don’t love admitting this, but ever since A’s cancer diagnosis, I’ve lost my own identity a bit. Before the cancer, I was an honors graduate from a prestigious law school full of drive with stars in my eyes. When I was faced with the possibility of losing A, though, my interest in my career deflated and I quickly became satisfied to leave work at the door at five. My heart has never fully returned. I know there’s more out there for me in the career world, but I’m no longer sure about chasing it. Instead, I’m happy to go to work, come home and let the hours dwindle away staring out the window at the night sky, a glass of red wine on the table and A’s head in my lap.

Maybe I’ve changed and I don’t want the same things out of my life anymore. Or maybe I haven’t and my current complacency isn’t being true to myself. I’m not sure if I’m just paralyzed when I think about moving forward because I’m afraid I won’t have the chance to come back and experience ordinary moments with A.

I love A more than anything, so if I knew that our time would be limited, I know for sure that I’d pushing work as far to the side as possible. But, A is in remission and if we’re going to get to grow old together, then at some point I have to start thinking about what I want to do with my life using myself as true north rather than cancer. I’m not sure when cancer became the reference point for everything. And I’m not sure when I’m supposed to make that stop. Or how. All I can tell you for now is that it wasn’t this weekend.

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2 thoughts on “True North

  1. I relate to your ambivalence. It’s strange to find oneself in this place, trying to balance thinking about and taking action for a future that has been seriously threatened, and relishing each moment today. My one-year bone marrow transplant anniversary is next week. I’m hoping for clean bone marrow biopsy results and wonder if that’ll help me become more comfortable with moving forward.

  2. When is the biopsy? I’m send all of my best your way. I hope that it does help! Maybe the one-year milestone will. A gets a biopsy this month as well. They seem to help ease the anxiety for awhile. And each time we get further out from that initial remission, I can get more and more relaxed right? (As if being anxious has ANY effect on how on a relapse/how mentally prepared I would be for a relapse.) And yet, it’s always some milestone in the future… A IS still on maintenance chemo for another six months with another big in-patient consolidation round as the blockbuster finish to the initial treatment. Of course the craziest part is that I recognize it’s completely irrational and unproductive to spend energy worrying about whether or not I’m worrying the appropriate amount..and yet here I am!

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