A call to action. A cry for help. An opportunity for you to realize your power to give strength to someone affected by a blood cancer (Leukemia, Lymphoma, and Myeloma). Get involved. Make someone stronger.
Note: Story contributed by Ekata, dedicated to those finding the strength to take a chance, to those trying something different and to those who make me stronger
…2019 like I aint going nowhere.. or at least tryin!
35mm. I remember when I found you. The sun beaming on my body, Vitamin D for my skin and soul. The crisp fresh air filling my lungs with hope. Hope with a deeper lens – full of possibilities that were further than my arms reach. It was so refreshing. It was new, it was dope – but it was fleeting,
It’s been a year and a half since then.
I was so excited when I had found you! I had a glimpse of a new, old me. Someone ready to take a chance, someone ready to explore a different kind of hope, until life abruptly, and forcefully knocked you out of my hands, reminding me exactly why I had traded you in a few years earlier. Back when I had learned to let go of what I thought my future would be, managing the worry of the unknown and what I was told was “known”, being happy with today and accepting everything that comes with that. My near-sighted lens allowed me to do this. Focusing on what was within my reach while preparing for the days I would no longer be here.
As you were so rudely knocked out of my hand, my shield came back up, my near-sighted lens back in my hand, and I found myself holding on even tighter than before. It’s very different from freely hoping.
But thankfully I grabbed you before the shield came up. All this time keeping you securely in my back pocket. And though I had tucked you away and kept my distance, I had never forgotten you and how you made me feel.
While I often thought of you, and even longed for that feeling, I worried it would be a fleeting reunion again. I worried it would be harder to let you go if I had to — I wasn’t ready to explore a deeper hope to only have it stripped away again. I wasn’t ready to risk what I conditioned myself to be happy with.
So, in my back pocket I’ve kept you, only taking you out when I felt it was safe. Safe as in moments with “controlled” circumstances of hope, with a predetermined curfew and minimal chances of me not returning you to where you belonged, my back pocket. We danced this routine a few times, and you were always a gentleman. Letting me lead, not asking me for more and never insisting on staying a little longer – almost as if you understood me. You knew what I knew… I wasn’t ready to take another chance because I didn’t have the courage to be caught off guard again. What if life pulled the same move as last time, what if this time I lost you forever? Or worse, what if we spent more time together and I couldn’t let you go?
There was a time when strength was accepting my situation. Learning to be content and making the best of what was. Being strong meant facing what was in front of me and finding a way to accept it, to live with it and be happy.
I lived in a world of conditional hope that was achievable, and laughter always. This had become my strength, but has this since changed? Has it evolved? Evolved like everything does…
After all, the art of adaptation has been my greatest lesson life has repeatedly taught me, so why should now be any different!
Hoping for the conditional best while preparing for the worst is how I rolled. But maybe that’s no longer enough…
Is that what I’m noticing? what I’m feeling? Is this why I’ve been thinking about you so much lately? Trying to find the courage to pull you out for more than those safe moments, to give you a little more dance time.
Letting go use to be what was freeing, but now maybe holding on is what will make me feel free. Maybe now the strong thing is to allow hope for a bit more…
It must be why you’ve been on my mind so much lately. Within arm’s reach but also a heartbreak away. Am I ready for that? No…! But whoever is???
As I search for what’s the right or wrong thing for me, the truth is I’m really searching to see if I (and maybe those around me) can handle it. Cause with unfiltered hope comes promise and excitement, but so does disappointment and heartbreak. But that’s living untethered, isn’t it? It’s what everybody does and maybe it’s time for me to join them again.
Maybe it’s time for us to dance a full song – an unedited, explicit, LP version.
My situation wasn’t a death sentence, even when it was, it wasn’t. It may have been the end of what was once possible and so desired, but it was also the birth of something new because I allowed it. There may be limitations you had never faced before but you can learn to navigate them. Learn when to nudge them a little, when to push them to a breaking point and when to turnaround and go in another direction!
Maybe now’s the time for a different kind of strength. Being part of something bigger, taking a step forward. Not knowing how it’s going to turn out, if it’ll be successful or if we’ll be here to see it through. But maybe it’s okay, because all that matters today is that we took that step forward.
Can I think past this week? Can I plan for something more? Can I commit to something other than worst case? Can I allow myself to want more? Can I expand what I’m happy with at the risk of losing it all?
I’m not sure, but I’m going to try to walk the part and hope the rest follows.
So I’m steppin into 2019, like I ain’t going nowhere… or at least tryin to…