I will never forget the time a few years ago when I was high on marijuana that it occurred to me with a deep and crushing sadness that I would, in fact, never be an olympic figure skater.
Yes. You read that correctly.
To be clear, this was during my stoner phase.
At that moment, in my state of silly stupor, I was extremely overwhelmed and bothered by this fact. If you know me at all, you know that I am an anxious person, and my mind moves very quickly. I’m not exactly sure how I arrived at the thought in the first place, but I do know that I perseverated on it for a long time (and by long time, I mean somewhere roughly between 3 minutes and 3 hours- time always evaded me when I smoked the giggle bush).
Of all things to be sad about, my mind chose to agonize over the fact that I was not an olympic skater. Worse than that, I wasn’t even a competitive skater! And worse than that, I wasn’t even sure if I could skate! How do I go on living my life knowing that I am a pillar of mediocrity?
I remember having that thought, getting out my journal, and writing it down to revisit the concept later, because it seemed alarming to me. Even in my high state I was so acutely aware of my own fear of not being “The Best” at something.
Its also quite funny that I was not thinking things like “I will never be a star at the Met” or something more relevant to me. Instead, my mind chose to agonize over this extremely unattainable non-goal of mine. (or maybe it was subconsciously a goal of mine?? I’m gonna go with no, it was just the pot…)
I’m sharing this with you because I had a moment that reminded me of that time today. I was looking in the “mirror” after I got out of the shower. I say “mirror” because I’ve taken the liberty of covering up the majority of my bathroom mirror with my newly created vision board to make the breast reconstruction process more emotionally bearable. So anyway, I was looking in the 3 inch sliver of mirror on the far right hand side that isn’t covered by my vision board and I found myself thinking not-so-nice-thoughts about my physical appearance. My boobs look weird, I hate my scar, my eyebrows aren’t right, my eyes look asymmetrical, yadda yadda bullshit yadda. And for whatever reason, my mind flashed to that high time at my old apartment sitting in my bed and being suddenly jolted with sadness over my figure skating status.
They both are unimportant. (And unattainable non-goals).
In the wake of a cancer diagnosis, it is almost comforting for me to get lost in the melodrama of my 20-something culturally inspired vanity, because it makes me feel more normal. Strangely, it reminded me that I’m still me.
It is also comforting to feel myself having more and more of these “ah-ha!” moments around whats truly important to me in my life. A year ago, I would have given anything for a scarless forehead. Today, I accept my scars and wounds. They are perfectly imperfect proof that I am alive, and I have lived.