So remember how last week I said I wasn't going to go shopping this month? Ha! Well, I totally splurged on a bunch of beautiful clothes last Friday. Will you let me try justifying said splurge? On a superficial level, I think most women can relate to how hard it is to find clothes you not only LOVE but also FIT you well. And I happened to have the stars align and a bunch of amazing things actually fit me that I didn't just like but loved. But more importantly, here is the greater story: Well, since my mom was diagnosed with Breast Cancer last week, I've been feeling at odds with my body. Since my mom and my dad's mom have had the same type of breast cancer, I'm kind of freaking out that I am next in line and I am just waiting for my boobs to suddenly go, "Oh hey, we are joining in the breast cancer club too! chop us off!" I've had a few stress filled dreams this past week, my anxiety is feeling a bit higher than normal, basically my brain is just rotating on over drive. I need to figure out how to both recognize my chances of getting breast cancer in the future are high while also just learning to be in the moment. I'm a planner, a dreamer of the future, a worrier, I'm very cautious, I'm a thought filled person, a person who reflects and ruminates. But I am not so great at living in the moment.
All week I have been wearing my most comforting cozy clothes, constantly day dreaming about a potential future of having to deal with breast cancer myself. I am scared. I am SO thankful my mom's cancer was caught early and that she is already planning to head into surgery later today (Monday, one week after her diagnosis), but we don't know yet if she will do a lumpectomy or a mastectomy or what. I would be SO grateful if she could somehow skip chemotherapy or radiation therapy. But still, removing a lump from a boob or the entire boob itself is intense. My mom and I have seriously huge boobs. Like, seriously, jugs. (You might not be able to tell in my photos because I have become the master or disguise, aka draped tops are the best.) My body is pretty much a duplicate of my mom's body. And I know my mom is as cool as a cucumber, but I'm feeling crazy trying to imagine what it's going to be like seeing her for the first time if she does get a mastectomy or a double mastectomy because I see my own body in her's.
Obviously, my mind has been swirling all week and it has been honestly quite hard to focus on anything but trying to grasp how breast cancer will effect my mom and how it could eventually effect me. But, simultaneously, as much as I am a worrier, I am also a problem solver. I expect and initiate quick responses to problems and I seek to solve puzzles with careful thought and in an timely manner. Being that I've already had practice with dramatic and hard situations throughout my life, I have learned that for me, the best way to find at least a little peace in the moment is to allow myself to let my mind swirl with thoughts while also seeking remedies for elements of my hardships. I can't magically heal my mom. I can't predict my future. But I can at least try to view my body as something I am somewhat in control of rather than being totally afraid of what it will unleash upon me at any given time. I can't hide in layers upon layers of scarves and sweaters and parkas everyday until I am less scared. I have to appreciate my body in the moment. I need to celebrate what I am, who I am, what I have for now and what will probably change a million times over as I age.
I am still afraid. I am still scared of certain elements of getting older, of illness and decay, cancer and irreversible pains of the body. But I WANT to love my body right now & put good energy into my thoughts, my soul, and my physical body. I want to show my body love. I need to celebrate it and cherish what I do have. Beauty is just the surface & health is essential. But even beyond those things, I feel like I am reaching for something deeper in connecting with my body, these tactile things, this flesh that disappears into dust. I'm trying to understand my spirit and mind's connection to my body in a new light. And I feel like my shopping spree was a step in trying to physically acknowledge that need I have to celebrate and appreciate my body right now. I'm not talking about needing to show off my body. I just need to see myself and know that I invest in me. And even though I cannot control what my body gives back to me, be it health or cancer, I need to know that whatever happens with my body is what is was meant to do along it's journey. I am seeking love and acceptance with the flesh, beyond beauty, beyond health. And though shopping for clothes is just material gain, in my mind it is more of a physical acknowledgement of the journey I am on, taking a step towards understanding self love and TRUST in my body on a much deeper level. Trusting my body, that is what I need to learn to do.