I decided to speak about my cancer journey at an upcoming Expo this fall. I'll be there with my art, but this will be the first time I will be speaking publicly about my journey. Other than theater work in HS, and a couple presentations in front of employers when I was in advertising, I have never done this type of thing. Theater and advertising were easy, because it wasn't personal, and with theater, I was someone else. While I have blogged about my journey, and spent hours on FB logging thoughts, this will be 45 minutes of raw me in front of strangers.
In May, my friend Dory, who runs the expo proposed the idea to me. I was initially surprised and grateful, but told her I would need to give it some thought. I've been thinking about it for weeks, but wasn't convinced to do anything until this past Monday, after sitting down with the Social Worker from the cancer center where I receive treatment.
I stopped in her office, per her request, as she wanted to know how I was doing and if there was anything I needed. This was our first meeting and I felt an immediate comfort level with her. I suppose it is her job to put people at ease. So, we got to talking about me, what I do, how I was feeling, and how I got from A to B in this journey. Through the process, I realized, I had a lot to say and overall, I wanted to say these things to others.
Prior to my diagnosis, I had many "fears”. The list is quite long, but one of them is the fear of success and the fear of failure. Everyone fears failure in some way, but how many of us are afraid to succeed? Actually, I've come to realize that these fears go hand in hand. As an artist, I've been putting myself "out there" for years, but I'll admit that subconsciously, I believe I have created a block to success, because I fear failure. If I'm not successful, I can't possibly fail. Sure, I've had my share of successes and they have been wonderful, but the BIG stuff, the stuff I truly want always seems to encounter a roadblock. I believe it has to do with convincing myself that I am not good enough. Perhaps, it is comparing myself to someone else. Perhaps, it is the feeling that I do not deserve success. I think it is all these things and more. I have pages and pages of would be novels I've written, but have not put "out there". I have art in the back of my mind that I want to create, but fear I'm not good enough as an artist to bring it alive. I want to start my own art gatherings to teach others, but linger in self-doubt, because I am not classically trained. Who am I to teach others when no one taught me? Doubt, fear, etc. I've come to realize that this is all an illusion that I have created in my mind from past imprinting and perceptions I have put upon myself. We all do it, and it is time it needs to stop. How can you possibly be your best and highest self if you are constantly afraid of facing that person? We face people every day, but we never truly face ourselves. It's time for everyone to look in the mirror and say you can do anything you set your mind to. You are worthy of happiness. You are worthy of abundance. You are skilled and talented. You have all the tools you need. Take flight, my friends. It's time.