Last night I went to a party to celebrate a friend who has been cancer free for 5 years - which in cancer terms means "cured". Woo Hoo!!! I was ecstatic for her and wanted to show my support but honestly it was very hard for me to go. I knew I would be seeing many people I haven't seen in awhile - people I wanted to see but wasn't quite ready to see yet. It involved trying to find something to wear - always an issue. I have to work from the top down these days - starting with a hat and working from there. I chose a pair of jeans I could still squeeze my newly pudgy body into and heals (which always make you feel pretty) and slapped some makeup on my broken out face. Vanity seeping through. Insecurity seeping through. Nothin' like making an entrance when you are 5'10" and bald. Of course all of my insecurity and worry was in my head. I walked into nothing but loving arms. I looked into eyes I hadn't seen in several month and even though the words were "great to see you!" and "how have you been?" the understanding and friendship behind all of those eyes was so deep. There is a new richness to these relationships and I cherish all of them.
I have been worried lately that I will fall back into my "old" self. I don't want to go back to the way things were - I want to hold onto this new appreciation for life and everything in it. I want the superficial to stay at bay and already I feel it tugging at my heels. Jeans, hats, pudgy. They all mean nothing. I still find myself wanting to stay in "the box" of comfort and security - the one where I can't get hurt - the one that surrounds my home. The only way I think I can hold onto my new found riches is to step out of that box - every day. Take risks. Trust in the goodness of people. Trust myself.
Sometimes in those moments when we are feeling most alone - if we take our hands away from our eyes we can see how not alone we really are.