Yesterday, as I drove from Louisville to Lexington on a pretty fall afternoon, my mind began to wander. As I thought about the week ahead and taking another step in dealing with this breast cancer, the ghosts of the past collided with the ghosts of the present. This diagnosis has led to me taking stock of how I arrived at this point in my life, how I am living my life right now, and how I want to live my life going forward from here. I was surprised by one particular memory that resurfaced, and I was even more surprised at where that trip down memory lane has led me.
Over a year ago, a guy I was dating masterfully combined the classic “it’s not you, it’s me” cliché with the modern way of ending a relationship via a text message. It happened out of the blue, and it definitely left me feeling blue. Later, he texted me again, out of the blue, an off-handed comment that made me feel a different shade of blue. That comment led to today’s tearful start to my day, as it popped back into my head.
In that latter text, he remarked that I was “complicated”, and while he assured me that this was not meant to be negative at all, it felt like it then, and still does, as it touched on one of my deepest insecurities. As I try to prepare myself for how cancer and the ensuing treatment will impact my family, friends, and myself, I am overcome with a lot of emotions. One of those prevailing emotions is the fear that I really am “complicated”, in a negative way, and that his pronouncement is both true and shared by others.
If my life were complicated before, this latest chapter in my story will do nothing to refute that and will only give credence to it, as it will add a new layer of complications. On what may seem like the most superficial level of all is my fear that I will be too complicated or damaged for a guy to see beyond my emotional and physical scars to fall in love with the girl with the big heart who is underneath them and who has a great deal to offer. I love who and what I am, but I am having a day of doubt when it feels like those quirks and qualities are relationship kryptonite.
Having a relationship post-divorce has confounded and eluded me, and I have all but given up on having one with the introduction of cancer, chemotherapy, and radiation in the mix. Obviously, I understand that my health comes first, but cancer has not changed who I am at my core, I remain just a girl from Kentucky who wants to make the world a bit better, take care of and love my family and friends, and have a healthy and happy relationship with someone who loves and accepts me, regardless of how complicated I am. Just once, it would be really cool to hear, “You’re a great girl, and I love you”, instead of hearing, “You’re a great girl, but . . .”
Perhaps, the cancer treatment will eradicate the doubts and desires of my heart, in addition to the cancer itself, and I will get out of this club and no longer want what has remained out of my reach. Maybe, I am complicated, but there is so much more to me.
That’s another story . . .
Categories: That's Another Story