Turning 47 was a muted occasion. I had 2 chemo infusions by then and the side effects were slowly starting to creep in. I also started my no soya and no sugar diet so there were no birthday treats to be had and I had no energy to protest. While I spent most of it taking it easy and nursing an unhappy tummy, it didn’t stop my family and friends from sending their love.
Don’t ever remember having so much flowers around me. And I have to say, flowers do make everything look prettier. I did say, I’m truly blessed with the village I’m a part of. Fast forward through chemo, WFH, surgery, radiation, more staying in because of a compromised immune system, more WFH, more chemo and immunotherapy; turning 48 is definitely cause for celebrations and so much to unpack.
If the prognosis wasn’t as positive and I had lost the fight to cancer, I’m happy to say I had no regrets in the first 47 years of my life. Sure, I made mistakes, got lazy, wasted time but by and large, I loved hard, worked hard and was afforded opportunities my 12 year old self wouldn’t have dared to think about.
Now with this second chance of sorts, it’s yet another opportunity to truly live the authentic life I often ponder about. What does that mean and how would it look like? In 2021, I thought my life and I guess the world in general was going to be split between pre-covid and post-covid. Now, for me it’s going to be BC, before cancer and AD, after the death of 47 year old me.
48 year old me has the same unbridled passion for leaving the world better than when I entered it. Just now more considered … it isn’t all cancer, it’s got a lot to do with getting older and hopefully wiser from the experiences life, including cancer have given me. In my attempt to live an authentic life, here’s my checklist:-
- listen to myself
- be honest to myself
- show up for myself
Before I can authentically listen to others, be honest to others and show up for others. BC was learning, I’m hoping AD is about applying. From the famous words of my favourite drag queen (I do love drag queens)
If you don’t love yourself, how in the hell you gonna love somebody else?