I’m going to have to admit that I’m struggling. I’m struggling to reconcile my intentions of making this blog a health and wellness resource with my impulses to talk about myself, to use this space as a journal and chronicle my own experiences. Honestly, I know what my goal is: I WANT to focus my energy on creating relevant content encouraging cancer prevention and early detection, to connect patients and their families with support resources, and to make something useful for those dealing with grief and bereavement. However, there are already so many other organizations that do the same thing and they do it so well. They’re connected and sufficiently funded with enormous followings. While I understand that things weren’t always easy for them, and that my path is different, it makes me wonder what exactly I’m trying to accomplish.
I’ll be happy if I can help even one person in any possible way but if I’m being honest, I want to increase my reach and create a strong community. That being said, I don’t operate with any delusions of grandeur. I understand that there’s only so much I can accomplish blogging a few times a week after working a full-time job. I know it’s hard work. I understand that my tone waivers and my content is broad; one day I’m writing about grief and mourning and the next I’m complaining about my running routine. The dots don’t always connect and I can’t expect readers to commit to someone they don’t know who writes with such unpredictably. Moreover, everything is framed through my own lens making it incredibly self-centered. What am I saying that hasn’t already been said? My pain is not unique. I am not a cancer patient or survivor. My days as a caretaker (with my dad specifically) were limited. I’m not a medically trained professional so I read through these reports, deciphering what I can but don’t provide new information.
As I wrote yesterday, self confidence is an issue for me. Don’t get me wrong, I know I’m a capable person who is loved by my family, friends, and dogs. I don’t question my intelligence or thoughtfulness. I’m confident that I am empathetic and kind. I understand that I’m really good at certain things and not others. I’ve always been given so much love and support that I don’t question these things. Truthfully though, I also have feelings of insecurity that I’m not productive or relevant. I talk a lot but when it comes down to it, I’m shy and introverted. I care too much what others think. I’m well loved but I’ve never been popular. I’ve never had that magnetic charm about me. And if I’m being open, I wonder how interesting I am. I fear that I suck.
But, and there is a but, I’m not going to let any of my self-doubt or worry stop me.
Through my dad’s illness, I tried hard to be good and did everything the doctors told me and more. Following his surgery, I stayed with him all day in the hospital and did anything I could do to help. Doctors, nurses, and even my dad told me to rest more but I didn’t heed their advice. Instead, I followed my impulses, laying it all out there and you know what? In the end it didn’t change the outcome. I couldn’t control what was happening to my dad despite my best efforts. I could only continue on and make the best of a really fucking terrible situation. And still I have no regrets. Even though I couldn’t extend my dad’s life anymore through my efforts, I made every day better for him and my family. I focused on the good and the rest fell to the wayside.
Do I wish for a time machine so that I can go back and force my dad to get screened? Yes, absolutely. Do I still startle myself with intense feelings of sorrow? Without a doubt. But do I look back wishing I did more? I can confidently say no, I don’t.
What I’ve come to realize is that I can’t be held back from working on this blog, letting it take whatever form it chooses, all because of negative feelings. I can’t let that cruel voice of self-doubt creep in and destroy the good I’m trying to create. In the end, even if no one reads this blog and I’m cluttering up the internet with my self absorbed ramblings, I’ll know that I tried. I’ll know that I didn’t let fear dictate my actions and it’s something I encourage you readers to do as well (hello and thank you by the way!) – try to remember all the good in you, especially when times are tough. And if you’re going through a difficult moment or ever need a pep talk, I’m here for you.