14-Day Blogging Challenge: Day 14
“What Have You Learned About Yourself
in these last 14 days?”
Some of the things I have learned is that I’ve made it through this challenge. Though sometimes feeling uncomfortable because of my feelings of vulnerability, I found myself generally feeling great in exploring my nearly 60 years, through writing about myself, searching to look and see, and reflecting on all these experiences, that contribute to making me who I am today. It is so interesting for me to read Day 1 through Day 14. I can see how this became a reflection for me, in sharing good experiences and the painful ones, both a part of my life’s journey. I also like that through these writings I am allowing others to see deeper into my life and maybe identify with some of my personal experiences and moments.
I hope my sharing has touched you in some way, and if you’ve also decided to take this 14-Day Blogging Challenge, what have you learned about yourself?
14-Day Blogging Challenge: Day 13
“What Makes You Unique, Different, Quirky?”
To begin, I’ve always been on the quieter side and have seen myself as introverted. As a kid, I was always studious. I’d spend much of my time studying at libraries. I always have liked spending time in quieter places.
As a teenager, I was blessed to enjoy the friendship of 3 close friends and our friendships continue to this day. One of these friends and I lived in the same building. We’d often get together, and listen to her older brother’s collection of 45 rpm’s. We’d talk, dance, and squeeze in homework and studying together.
I enjoyed attending Hunter College in NYC. I did a lot of walking through NYC in the day. Sometimes, my professors would hold classes in Central Park which when they did made it feel like a bit of having some greenery on campus. Also, wonderful was visiting, walking through, and seeing exhibits at the museums.
I know my husband 41 years and we’re married 37, not so common these days. I love waking up to him by my side, watching him sleep, listening to his snore, running my fingers along his face, his eyes, nose, and mouth, our holding hands, taking walks together, and drives along country roads. I love listening to him describe automobiles and a rich history he knows well. I love remembering our riding motorcycles, the wind in my hair. We met through a mutual friend. The first time we got together and started talking was during a party at his house. Listening to rock music, I was asked what music I’d like to listen to, my answer, “The Beach Boys”. Reminds me, I’ve never felt like I had to “fit in” and I’ve always felt okay making my own choices.
Now that’s not to say I haven’t liked listening to rock music, I have and I love music. However, I’ve also discovered that certain MS symptoms I experience seem to be triggered certainly by volume, certain tones, and the beating of drums, so it’s a fine line I travel in choosing the music I listen to these days.
I love to have my morning coffee over a conversation with my sister, and then our doing something creative together, weaving, painting, jewelry making, sewing. During the evenings I enjoy some reading, writing, knitting, or crocheting.
I tend to like familiarity, a “sure thing”. However, as a survivor of MS and Cancer, I’ve also learned to live with and accept uncertainties. So I am encouraging myself to step beyond my comfort zone and try new things. It’s important to me being engaged and feeling productive, feeling like I am making a difference. I’m not quite sure just how unique, different, and quirky all this makes me, I just know it all contributes to making me who I am and who I like being.
“What makes you unique, different, quirky?”
14-Day Blogging Challenge: Day 12
“What are You Resisting Right Now?
I ask myself, “What are you resisting right now? I know it’s fear fostering my resistance from moving forward, taking the next step, and breaking through my comfort zone. But it is just that fear which I must face, which each of us faces, when taking a chance. It’s pushing through the what if’s, worry, and anxiety. Where does it stem from. Well, this can be different for each of us.
I know where mine stem’s from, during my childhood, when I started picking up the phone, to speak with family and family friends. Not everyone who called understood my answering, and one who certainly did not, said: “Children should be seen and not heard”. The voice I heard then became an inner voice which would surface when I’d face a decision in school and social situations about speaking, and which would often keep me from speaking up.
So I am acknowledging the “voice” of resistance, and determined to burst forth from that uncomfortable place of resistance. It may pop up from time to time, and I will look at it differently now, facing it, and speaking up as I am moving ahead. So, I may wonder, and ask myself:
- Am I saying something of importance?
- Will others hear what I am saying and my meaning?
- Will my writing ( and readings) touch others?
- Will what I say be liked (or maybe, it will not)?
- Will what I say be criticized?
- Will people like my work?
- Will folks identify with me?
- Will folks identify with my thoughts?
- Will I have inspired?
- Will I have been encouraging?
- Will I have made a difference?
These are also the questions which will inspire me to move forward and push forth through any resistance I may have or have had.
What are you resisting right now?
14-Day Blogging Challenge: Day 11
“If I Were to Write a Book”
If I were to write a book on anything at all and be guaranteed that it would be published and be successful, it would be my first book of poetry, prose, musings, and include some of my photography. My narratives would be a way of reaching out and touching others through sharing from some of my very own and sometimes difficult experiences.
There are times , one in particular, while very young, which felt so out of control, for example, as a child when one of my siblings (and they are twins) became affected by meningitis. It was my first of experiences in love, loss, and survival.
Then, as an adult sibling when one parent passed suddenly from a heart attack, and almost 30 years later the other passed through a battle with cancer. Again, experiencing my own grief, through love, loss, and survival, while at the same time, trying to help other family members through the grieving process.
In 2003, after seven (7) years of mysterious symptoms, I received a diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis. Since then and through attending a narrative writing program for patients and caregivers who have been touched by cancer, I’ve realized the survivor that I’d become.
However, it wasn’t until 2014, and a new diagnosis of a gynecologic cancer, endometrial (uterine) cancer, that I decided I was going to look for new ways of thriving in addition to surviving.
Not only was I going to move from a place, of “picking myself up, dusting myself off, and starting all over again”, which always seemed to work for me during challenging times, I was entering a mindful space to “THRIVE”.
Since early childhood growing into becoming an adult sibling (and primary caregiver to my sister), being a carepartner with my husband of 37 years, becoming a survivor myself of multiple sclerosis and cancer, I’ve faced my challenges on the journey we call living. Some painful medical conditions require high maintenance plus the changes of finance which so often follow, so through my writing, and sharing, I like the idea of fostering a sense of encouragement, inspiration, and positivity with THRIVING in mind.
I like to think of writing and my publishing a book as a way to reach others so that we may make greater sense of ourselves and our conditions, accepting who we are, where we are now in this moment of our lives, and initiating change, within ourselves, culture, and society.
“So, if you were to write a book on anything at all and be guaranteed that it would be published and be successful, what would it be?”