I’m living on the edge here. Posting random thoughts without the safety net of a rough draft. I just don’t feel like it today. Forgive the upcoming ramble.
When days pass and I don’t post anything new, I sometimes wonder why I bother with rough drafts at all. Why don’t I treat my blog like a diary and just write? Why try to craft the perfect sentence? Who cares, really?
When I was 11 years old, I started a journal after reading the book, Harriet the Spy by Louise Fitzhugh. In that story, Harriet, carried a notebook with her where ever she went. It was a companion, a place to share her observations. A safe haven for all the thoughts and fears she wasn’t brave enough to voice.
Something about that struck a chord and on October 16, 1975, to be exact, I started writing in a composition notebook and didn’t stop until February 26, 2001. I wrote nearly everyday for 26 years. In the time since, I would occasionally wonder why I stopped, why it no longer felt right, so today, out of curiosity, I found that last notebook and read its last entry. It takes place three days after my wedding and 11 months after my mother died. I didn’t intend for it to be the end, it just was. Blank pages fill the rest of the notebook.
It’s my guess and I’m no psychoanalyst, but I stopped writing because life as I knew it, was drastically changed. Glancing through that notebook, something I never, ever do, I realized most of my writing that last year talks about encountering life’s dividing line. I clearly felt the first part of my life was over. No going back. I no longer had a mother. I had a husband. I had a very different life than the one written by a young girl growing up or a single girl in college or a young woman with a big job in the big city. With my current perspective, it’s no wonder I stopped. That girl was gone.
The interesting thing here is why I started writing again after so many years. The catalyst pushing me to unburden myself through writing, as those when I stopped, was again, a life changer. Hello, breast cancer. When there was no one left to turn to who would understand, no one with an ear left to listen, instead of speaking the words aloud, I wrote them. Not in a black & white notebook this time, but on a laptop, sharing with an invisible audience, and it felt right, but I edit.
Some of these posts are just too personal to go out without rewriting. Tempering, in a sense, some raw emotion that might seem a bad fit for public consumption.
Along comes today and I’m uneasy. My first instinct is to blog about it, but can’t. I’d have to write it out, revise it, make sense of it. It could take days and in this case, I’m in need of instant gratification. That’s why I remembered the notebooks. How it used to be, when I wrote freely all the time, head to pen, without stopping until I said all I wanted to say. Can I allow myself to do that now or do I need to edit myself simply because my personal dilemma is going public? I’d like to think I can just put it out there.
Tomorrow, I step again onto the path of breast cancer reconstruction. My plastic surgeon has a whole hour of precious time blocked out just for me…and I’m not excited. I’m very hesitant actually and can’t figure out exactly why.
Tattoos. The last phase of my 2.5 year ordeal, seems anything, but final. There’s inner turmoil because tattoos, by nature, are permanent reminders. A lasting souvenir, commemorating a journey’s end, but how could it, when this journey is never truly over?
What happens next? Am I supposed to walk out of his office as if things are all right in my world? Just move on? Like the questions asked by Nancy’s Point the other day. I don’t know that I can return to who I was just because my reconstruction is declared finished. I’m changed and not only physically.
There are constant checks and recurrence fears, coupled with guilt that I should quit whining and (here it comes), be grateful it’s not worse. I am grateful, but that doesn’t take away the worry. Still there’s something more here today. I don’t know what it is. Tattoos aren’t that big a deal in the long run, and I should stop making it an issue…at least that’s what I tell myself. It’s not really working.
I sometimes think my blog posts should contain a definitive answer to whatever I’m questioning. That’s probably why I revise so much. I’m always trying to tie up loose ends into a neat, complete package, but on this day, writing off the cuff, I can’t do it. I don’t have an answer to why tattooing yet more physical evidence of what I lost is bothering me so much. This procedure is supposed to help it all look better, not worse. I just hope it does.
I hope this post makes sense.
Anyone else face reconstruction procedures with trepidation?