I love the way a song and lyrics can speak directly to you, define a moment for you, and can open your heart and world to realize things about you, you may haven’t otherwise known. As she says, “My savior of self defense taught me to “write” what I cant say”. This blog has always been a place for me to share so many of the emotions I have felt throughout my diagnosis. I quoted that line from a song because in the 7 years that this blog has existed, something was missing. Whether you go back 7 years from my original diagnosis or you start from my recent stage iv diagnosis, I’ve always promised honesty. I’ve maintained that honesty, but this new direction I have chosen to take… has really opened up a piece of my heart, a deeper appreciation, and a window in to my true soul - the fears, the hopes, the dreams, the difficult journey I’ve been faced with. Sometimes this blog has been a place for me to inadvertently tell those closest to me, what was going on inside of my head. As I write that, I want to cry. It’s sometimes hard for me to tell them directly because, quite frankly, it’s hard. Its hard to share what goes on inside of my head because it can sometimes be a scary, sad place. I live a fearless life… full of fear. “No amount of remembering the better things will make the bad ones go away”.
Talking about my feelings and showing my emotions has never been something I’ve been great at. Writing my emotions, has always been much easier for me. So here I am, writing them all out. This is “My Little Voice” and, as the song goes, “Sometimes a little voice can say the biggest things”.
I hope I speak for those out there who might be afraid to speak. I hope my little voice, speaks the loudest words, the biggest things for those who can’t. This wasn’t an easy write, and it wont be an easy read.
I don’t want you to look at me and feel bad for me. I don’t want you to look at me and think of me as this girl who has stage iv cancer. I want you to look at me as a girl who lives her life, a girl who has made the best of her time, no matter how long or how short she was here. I’m a simple girl. This obstacle I have been faced with has forced me to live a life that is full of little gifts that I have given to myself. It has forced me to offer little gifts to others as well. I’ve been given the gift of truly appreciating the life that stands in front of me. A gift, many take for granted. I have been given the gift to leave whatever I want here —which words or actions I want to leave in the hands of everyone I love. If thats not the ultimate gift of life, I don’t know what is.
What most don’t understand, is that you have that gift too… you just have to utilize it, appreciate it, and move through it.
I can fully understand, sadly, that there is a real possibility that when I say goodbye to someone, it might be the last time. It welts me up every time. What does that goodbye mean to the other person? Was it just as meaningful to them as it was for me? How will they remember that moment—or me for that matter. I am very aware of the place and time I have on this earth. The odd thing is, is that my stage iv diagnosis doesn’t make my place or time on this earth any different than yours. You aren’t granted any more time than I am just because you are deemed healthy. We are all terminal.
I share my journey, my fears, my dreams, my travels, my life, and all that falls in between with the hope that you will be inspired to live a life that is fulfilled in every way you desire. I hope that you will say the things you want to say to the people you love without hesitation—even if that means writing a letter, or a blog. I hope that those I love know just how much I love them—but thats part of the gift I have been given. I have that voice. I can share that with them. I can leave whatever stamp I want to leave. I have been given a voice, a gift, the privilege, to leave nothing unsaid, nothing undone, and everything exactly how I choose.
There are times, such as this moment right now, that I sometimes wish I still lived in my little bubble. The bubble that guaranteed I’d live until I was 95 like my grandma did. The bubble that promised I’d have all the time in the world to say and do whatever it was I wanted. The bubble that I was sure wouldn’t pop. That naive little bubble that creates a safe space and protects you from ever having to worry about bad things happening to you. Most people live in that bubble. The one that says, “that would never happen to me”. Unless you have dealt with trauma in life, you’re probably living there right now. The part of me that wishes I still lived in that bubble wonders who I would be today. What would my purpose be? I certainly wouldn’t be writing this blog if I still lived in that bubble and I certainly wouldn’t have a nonprofit that serves so many women. I wouldn’t have met all of the incredible people I have met along the way. I never would have experienced the most genuine, giving, and loving humans who have supported me along the way. I, ME, This girl right here gets to witness pure amazingness and the GOOD that is entangled in all of the people I have met along this journey. Ahhh, what I get the privilege to see and feel through all of this is a true gift. I miss the bubble, but I am confident I live a more fulfilling life full of all sorts of amazingness because it has been popped. I live a good, simple, purposeful life. I have flown from that bubble and you know what? I am ok with that. In fact, I am blessed beyond measure for that.
When I finally accepted my new journey in life, I finally started to live; I’m not living a life that I question anymore. Though I am always trying to be a better person, and I’m still learning lessons about myself, I don’t question WHO I am. I know who I am and simply put, I am me. I am not trying to be anything else but me. I am finally sharing my little voice so that I can say the biggest things to you. The honesty, the hard parts, the fears, the joys, the GIFTS! I choose to live a life of hope. Tangled in there is fear of what the future holds, but this is “My Little Voice”.
As I sit here and look out at the ocean, in tears, I wonder when I’ll see her again. I wonder “if”. Most importantly, I walk away with an insane amount of appreciation for the sound the ocean makes, the energy it gives me, and the magical sunrises and sunsets that she shows me. It’s a simple moment to appreciate but one so many forget to truly take in. The ocean makes me realize that this world, and our reasons for being here, are far much bigger than we will ever be able to comprehend.
My Little Voice has turned in to something bigger than me, my purpose, and these special moments and the time that I get to share these words with you mean the biggest things to me.
Welcome to your voice and your heart, Jen. It’s nice to finally meet you.
“Sometimes a little voice, can say the biggest things, Its just my little voice that I’ve been missing” -Sara Barielles
And if you haven’t listened this song yet, I highly recommend you do after reading this.