The Road

Life is a road. It may be long or short, travel through the countryside or cities or along the coast. It may lead you to a dead end every once in awhile. Each turn you make changes your life in ways you cannot predict, but at least you have a destination in mind. The further you choose to go, the greater the amount of obstacles you’ll face, the greater amount of time it takes, the greater the reward.

So… where will your road take you??


Being Young and Sick

I have Cancer. At the age of 28, I am about to go through treatment for the second time because of a recurrence. It’s scary, it’s annoying, and it downright causes me anger.

I was first diagnosed with Cervical Cancer on October 30, 2014. Age 26 and in a new relationship. Testing had gone on for months before my doctor finally found out what was causing a growth on my cervix, along with a few minor symptoms. It wasn’t until he decided to go in surgically to remove the growth, that he realized what it was. He told me I’d have to get a full hysterectomy; it was the only cure. No babies for me. My boyfriend was as upset as I was, he wanted kids badly. A month later, I meet my oncologist (who is awesome!) and the first thing he tells me is that he can save my uterus. Woohoo!! Fast forward a few months, I’m in the hospital to get my cervix removed. Major surgery. It took about three painful weeks to recover and left me with five small scars across my stomach. That was the best part, I love scars! They got all the cancer, and I’d be able to have kids someday with just a couple minor complications. Problem solved.

Now, they say you aren’t “cured” of cancer until you are cancer free for at least five years. I had to have checkups every three months to make sure everything was still fine. I was doing well. Thriving at work, built up a pretty significant savings for myself to begin travelling (my life goal and obsession). Then BOOM. Symptoms return, I get a biopsy, and I have cancer again. I got the news while I was in the staircase at work, on my way in to start the day.

I freaked. I cried. I didn’t know what to do. I had just gotten to work and I’m too strong and proud to take time off for emotional stuff. Luckily, I had a friend at work downstairs who I could talk to before clocking on for the day. I needed to calm myself down somehow or I’d never get any work done. Went downstairs, trying to hold myself together but I couldn’t really talk without losing it. I told him I needed a hug. He gave me the best hug and I confided in him why I was so upset. He let me lose my cool for awhile, and then reminded me of how strong I am and how much I kicked Cancer’s ass the last time. I continued my day, staying strong for myself.

I have completely accepted the fact that I have cancer. You don’t have to like the things you accept, but coming to accept the things we cannot control, is the only way you can be happy. I still don’t know my treatment plan, it depends on the PET scan results. It will either be another surgery or radiation. Either way, no babies for me. Which is fine, I had pretty much decided I didn’t want kids anyway.

I am the strongest person I know. I can get through anything and come out of it better than before. Cancer will not defeat me. Although I have a feeling it’s worse than last time, I am better prepared to deal with it. Mostly, it’s just an annoyance. More debt, more missed work, more annoying symptoms and more recovery. Luckily I have a good job that pays decently and is very understanding and willing to help any way they can.

A few months ago, I planned a trip to Guam. I leave in five weeks and I’ll be gone for two weeks!! There are also some really cool layovers I’m excited about. I thought about cancelling the trip for financial reasons since my recurrence (tickets to Guam are crazy expensive) but there is no way I’m missing out on my dream of travelling the world just because of a little bit of cancer. No one should ever stop pursuing the things they love for anything or anyone.

I am sick. I have a life threatening disease at a young age. But honestly, I have been through worse. I’m going to be okay. I will thrive yet again. Travelling the world will become a reality and I will spend the rest of my life doing just that. I’ll admit that morbid thoughts have come to my mind, but I pushed them out almost as quickly as they snuck in. They do not belong in the mind of someone like me. I will go to Guam and have the time of my life, and when I return, I will kick Cancer’s ass for the second time. There will be no third ass kicking. ┬áThis time, he will stay away for good.

Abuse in a relationship

Abusive relationships come in so many forms. Physical. Emotional. Verbal. A combination of those. For me, it was verbal.

I was in love. We fell so hard and so fast and it was so amazing to be with someone who felt as strongly for me as I did for him. There were many red flags from the beginning, things I chose to accept because I believe everyone can change. Everyone can improve themselves if they just want it bad enough. And he did. Oh, he knew he had issues, he knew he needed to make changes. He had a rough upbringing, and most of his close relationships were very toxic. There was drug and alcohol abuse, abandonment issues, daddy issues, you name it.

But, I am and always have been very compassionate, I try to be understanding. I sometimes believe I am here on this earth to change lives. Most of my past relationships haven’t worked out because my exes were all stuck in some sort of rut, they didn’t have the tools yet to get themselves out. They weren’t ready for me. For love. When I could no longer handle the impossible relationship, it would end, and then and only THEN, they would snap out of their funk and change themselves like they’d always wanted to.

Back to the abuse. See, this guy knew he was troubled. He even warned me when we started dating. He had said that he didn’t like being this way, I inspired him to see things in a different way. I thought maybe I’d be the reason he would finally get what he wanted out of life. I was the best person he had ever dated, at least the most logical and understanding and real.

We had problems almost right away. I had some health issues that affected our intimacy, and I think that played into our problems more than I thought at the time. He had moments of doubt when it came to us, he didn’t always feel like we had something special. It just felt like a friendship to him at times. He could snap at any moment, it didn’t take much to set him off. And boy, he would cuss and just be plain cruel. If I said something he didn’t like, he didn’t try and figure out if maybe he’d heard me wrong, or maybe I didn’t mean it the way it had come out. He fumed. Said things I knew he didn’t mean. Yell. Put me down. Talk about breaking up. Once, he told me “get the fuck out.” I had just come over in the morning to pick him up to go to the gym. He asked about a Facebook post I had written about grabbing dinner with an old friend to catch up. It just so happened to be a male friend. His response: “get the fuck out.”

Now, don’t get me wrong. There were good times. Every relationship has good times, otherwise how in the hell would it have turned into a relationship in the first place?! He gave me massages, made me laugh, took care of me when I had surgery, even though it was clearly rough for him to see me in such a vulnerable, pain filled situation.

We almost broke up too many times to count. The fights were all the same. Same topics, same misunderstandings, same result. He’d tell me he would get better, he regretted the things he said and the way he treated me at times. He loved me and I loved him. We worked it out. For the time being anyway.

I found myself losing myself. I had more negative thoughts than ever before. I judged people I didn’t even know. I said no to hanging out with friends sometimes, because I was so used to just being with him and I didn’t want him to get suspicious that I was up to no good. He was paranoid and jealous, even though I didn’t give him any reason to be.

I remember the exact day I knew I didn’t love him anymore. He had insulted me about my parenting skills with my chihuhua, who apparently he had to take care of all the time. I was done. I did not feel the same way after that. Except I was stupid and still stayed for almost two more months… Hey now, I was living with him and it was very hard to find a place.

Eventually I found my own apartment, way way too expensive, but it got me out. I didn’t even tell him I had looked at a place because I knew his reaction would be very negative and he’d be very mean to me. I told him at dinner. I had found a place and got the keys the next day. Yes, I was moving out. Yes, we were breaking up. He sat there in silence, refusing to look at me. He admitted later that he almost walked out before the food had even gotten to the table. We went home. Didn’t speak. I got a pillow and blanket to sleep on the couch. And I sobbed. Sobbed for my unfortunate situation, sobbed that it was over, sobbed for how mean I knew he would be to me afterward.

But it wasn’t over. I became all those girls who just can’t leave a bad thing when they need to. He came out of the bedroom, and wanted to work things out. I’m not sure how, but we stayed together even though I was moving out. It didn’t last long, and it wasn’t pretty. He made an effort, I will say that. He could feel that I didn’t love him anymore, and he was determined to make me fall back in love with the new him.

One night, we went out for drinks with friends. He doesn’t do well when he drinks too much, and he doesn’t know how to limit his alcohol consumption. He broke something in a bar. Fucked up his arm real bad, had to have stitches and was facing felony charges. What happened? He couldn’t find me in the bar and went looking for me and thought I deliberately was trying to lose him. Found me, grabbed me by the shoulders and shook me, asked “where the fuck have you been?!” That’s all it took for him to lose it. I was furious. Drunk and furious. He scared me. For the first time in over a year together, he got slightly physical and appeared capable of hitting me. He didn’t, but it sure was close.

We broke up soon after. He began seeing a therapist, went to church, stopped drinking completely, and surrounded himself with some good people. Everyone knew he needed help. And he finally, finally went after it. We tried to be friends, but he still had hope I’d fall for him again, and I was simply just over it. He still smothered me and always asked what I was doing, who I was with, if I was seeing anyone.

Well one day I did see someone. I hooked up with a friend at a wedding. He found out, and called me all the names in the book. That was it for our friendship. He was the one thing in my life that caused stress, and I didn’t need it anymore. I am in control of my life, not him or anyone else. At that wedding I had gone to, my best friend said that I seemed happier that weekend than I had in a long time. It just goes to show how much negative people can affect your life. He messed me up for awhile. I was not me. And I knew that yet I became the girl I hate. The girl who made excuses for her man and his behavior.

Every situation is different, and to this day, I still justify my decisions in that relationship. If I hadn’t stuck around, maybe he wouldn’t have made the changes he needed to make for himself, and I can live with the pain he caused if it means his life is on the right track for the first time. He is finding himself. He is learning new things about himself. He is paying for all the mistakes he made, and learning patience and how to not judge everyone so quickly. He is growing up at 30 years old. From losing me, he has gained everything he had wanted while we were together. The perspective he has gained on life, are some of the things I tried telling him before. The things he says now, some of it is word for word to things I’ve told him.

No one will ever learn anything until they are ready to. People are stubborn. You can’t be your boyfriend’s therapist. You can’t change him. He has to change for himself. He has to love himself and treat himself with respect before he can treat others the same way. There is never an excuse for abuse. Never a really good reason to stay. I had my dumb reasons, and I knew a long time ago that it wasn’t going to work out in the end. I knew I’d leave someday. He is now turning into the man I always knew he could be, and he is happy doing so. He can be proud to be who he is. He doesn’t have to regret anything he does or says from now on.

I have learned what I won’t put up with. I have learned what it’s like to be put down by someone I love. I now know what it feels like to love someone who only ever tries┬áto push you away. It is difficult. It is very hard to move forward from that, to not let myself sink down lower and lower. But I am strong. I am not that person, it is not me, it is what happened TO me.

Don’t let what happened TO you define who YOU ARE. You are in control of the way you turn out. The way you love. The way you live life. Your destiny is up to you, your attitude and the decisions you make. No one else.

A poll to take

It’s a New Year!!

The new year always brings hope. Hope that things will be better this year, because everyone knows last year was just terrible. New years’ resolutions have become more and more popular. Lose weight. Get a better job. Go back to school. Save money. Become more involved in my community. The options are endless, most people making multiple resolutions each year.

But I ask you this: have you been successful in past years with fulfilling your resolutions?? Most people will probably answer “no.” If your answer is yes, good job! From my experience, everyone makes a resolution to lose weight or save money. And the point of a new years’ resolution is to make it by the end of the year, right? So you think to yourself, “I have an entire year to do this, it should be easy!”

What’s wrong with resolutions is that no one sticks to them for very long. They think they have the whole year, so even if they get behind, they can always catch up. Right? Well, what if your resolution is to lose 20 pounds? If you lose the 20 pounds in the first 2 months, will you just stop making progress on your level of physical fitness?? You’ll just get fat again.

STOP MAKING RESOLUTIONS. Instead, make life goals in general. Ongoing goals that have no specific time frame will be much more enjoyable. If you make a goal to lose weight by summertime, what happens when you get behind and can no longer reach your goal in time? You don’t even try. Because what’s the point if you won’t have that bikini bod by June anyway? You’ll just try again next spring.

I have always been naturally thin, but by no means am I in shape. I am 5′ 6″ and about 130 pounds, size 5 jeans. So although I look alright, I have hardly any muscle and a little bit more chub than I’d like. I can’t wear tube tops because of the fat by my armpits. I can’t wear super skin tight dresses without some sort of spanks underneath, because yes, I have love handles, no matter how small they may be. I have made countless attempts to get in shape and be super toned and fit, to have that bikini body and look like a Victoria’s Secret model. I’ve set goals to do it by summertime, but it has never happened. And even though I look “okay” in a bikini, I am a little self conscious about my body.

I realized something though. Time restricted goals are just a way to set yourself up for failure. If you change your mindset, you can achieve anything. Changing your mindset is a very difficult thing to do, but it’s all up to you and you alone can do it. Change your goals. THIS IS 100% IN YOUR POWER. I made a list last year, of things in my life that needed changing in order to increase my happiness. None of the items included anyone else. My own happiness is completely up to me. The list consisted of things such as “quit my job” (I worked for terrible people and it caused a lot of stress in my life), “get a gym membership and USE IT” (using it is the most important part of this goal), and “stop caring for people who don’t care.” The list consisted of about 10 goals, most of which are ongoing. It took awhile for me to use the gym regularly, but I’m doing it and I have no intention of stopping, because I did not set any type of goal to allow me to stop. I don’t have weight loss goals, I don’t have a time frame. It is much more rewarding when it is continuous, you feel like you’re actually bettering yourself and you don’t have to feel ashamed or unworthy if you don’t achieve goals right away.

If your goal is to save money, them just do it! Yeah it might be good to save up a specific amount for a vacation you’ve been planning, but don’t stop there! Maybe you’ll save up $5000 to go to Hawaii, but 2 days before your trip, your dog gets hit by a car and needs surgery that you can’t afford. Would you save your dog or go to Hawaii? Or you get back from your trip to find your car was stolen, or whatever the case may be. Bad things in life usually happen when we least expect it. These ongoing goals help alleviate the stress caused by those things.

My point is, make goals that you can accomplish little by little every single day. You’ll be happier and have more reasons to be proud of yourself.