Where is My Joy?

In the wake of this tragedy, I am seeing the world again through a different pair of eyes. This time, I am determined to keep this pair. I have been in a similar place before and failed to convert the new views into a way of living that made me feel fulfilled and joyous. Instead I dug myself further into the administrator life (I’m still wearing my boss lady suit as I type this, sans shoes) and pushed everything else out and away. I am talking about such vital joy fertilizers as love, friendship, creativity through art, and a closeness with the world. I know I owe some of that to PTSD, some of it to secrets I chose to keep, abuses I endured, physical exhaustion, excessive focus on my weight/exercise, and a low level depression that was not helped by poor therapists and bad medical care.

So, new eyes. What are you bringing into focus this time around?

The need for artistic expression with a medium I can mold with my hands. I used to make necklaces. I was good at it; many I still wear today and they regularly receive compliments. I felt frustrated with my limited design options and wanted to learn how to weld and design in metal.  I never did it. I am in close proximity to a number of one-day seminars and a well-regarded community college program.

The time is now.

Photo taken by me. Joshua Tree, CA 8/15/2015

Speaking of art, there is a riveting and disturbing art show happening at an abandoned hospital. The space was left untouched and is part of the show itself. It utilizes the operating rooms and the recovery room- two spaces that represent my PTSD- and I am going to go this weekend. I want to test myself. I plan to come back and write about it in this space.

I have not forgotten about the advocacy work I know I need to do. I am trying to withdraw from my fall advocacy class right now. It is bioethics and I am in no place mentally to debate moral relativity over the internet. I will pick it up again, not to worry. In the meantime, the Thyroid Cancer Survivor’s Conference is local this year. I was not going to attend as thyroid cancer has finally stopped being my every third thought. Then the program was released and I see a lot of opportunities for me to learn more about advocacy, for myself and for others, as well as a number of spaces where I can share my experiences with people who might need them.

As for the administrator life, it is what I do, not who I am.

Blogging gurus and personal development coaches would call this “designing your life.” I’m going to call it “waking up.” Let’s hope I do not fall back asleep.


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