How To Move From Sad And Stuck To Happy And Joyous

How to move from sad and stuck to happy and joyous | My Fabulous Boobies

When I was first diagnosed with breast cancer, I HATED those perky, happy survivors who talked about the "gift" of breast cancer

Those early days of being a survivor were rough. I thought I was handling my breast cancer diagnosis wrong because I couldn't feel perky and joyous like other survivors. I didn't understand how they went from being diagnosed with a horrible disease to running marathons and selling out arenas. I felt everything BUT perky about being a breast cancer survivor. Heck, I didn't even feel qualified to consider myself as a survivor when I was diagnosed. I didn't think I did anything to EARN the title.

I was so angry and so heartbroken for so long... I hated looking at perky, happy survivors in their pink t-shirts and tutus. I just wasn't "that" type of survivor. It felt like a huge burden to have to be happy about something so damned miserable.

Nicole McLean and cancer supporter at Race for the Cure DC | My Fabulous Boobies
Me and a random new "friend" at the Race for Cure. She was so sweet and nice.
I was angry as hell but faking it. 

There was a SECRET that nobody was sharing about their diagnosis that explained their demeanor.

Fast forward a few years... and now I have joy. I wouldn't describe myself as perky (that's not my personality) but I'm far happier than I used to be. I figured out the secret though. The joy isn't about having been diagnosed with breast cancer. It isn't even about surviving breast cancer.

The joy is that I realized that I am alive NOW.

I don't have to live in a holding pattern unless I choose to. Breast cancer took away my excuse not to live on my own terms.

Breast cancer gave me permission to stop caring about what other people thought and to live. Just be alive. 

It doesn't matter what I've been through. Today, right now... I am alive. There is power and potential in that. My joy comes from feeling that potential to do or be whatever I choose from this point forward.

Live your life on your own terms | My Fabulous Boobies
Live life on your own terms!

I'm not always upbeat and happy but there is a joy that I have that reminds me that I am alive.

I have moments of survivor's guilt. I move beyond that by reminding myself that succumbing to that feeling of guilt and unworthiness means that I'm not appreciating the gift of life that I have right now. I could be sad about something I can't control (someone else's death) or I can grieve the loss of their life and honor them and myself by following my own dreams.

If they were alive would they want my tears and fears... or to watch me climb mountains and follow my dreams?

I have a choice about how to live my life now.

I have a choice about how I will go through life. With my head down and bowed because I've been dealing with some hard stuff, or with my face tilting up towards the sun... happy to see another day and another chance to do whatever it is I want to do. My boyfriend's sister said something very profound recently. Her comment stuck with me...

"If you're accused of being lazy, accept it. It means that you're doing whatever is is that YOU want to do. And that's okay. " 

Permission to live life YOUR way

How often does someone give you permission to do what you want to do? Not often, right? We usually scurry through life answering someone else's bidding because it is the right thing to do. Many of us dream and wish of "one day" running away, following our dreams, living the life we want instead of the life we have to.

I read a very inspiring blog post recently and it blew me away. The writer, a young woman in her 20's, is living life completely on her own terms. She made a decision that she wanted to travel the world and she mapped out  plan and executed it. No guilt. No shame. Just up and out.

That kind of courage is always inspiring. I'm here to tell you that if you keep standing still, being stuck... you're never going to get where you want to be. Not emotionally, not financially and not to answer that dream life that's calling you. Embrace where you are, accept who you are and then create a plan to get yourself to where you want to go.

One of my pink ribbon sisters (a 2x breast cancer survivor) shared this with me on Facebook:

It's when you act upon it that you realize the freedom. I haven't been traveling/working but I just travel. A lot. I want to spend time with my daughter. I've been sick most of her life. The past two years have been the most fun. I just planned our trip for next month. Live on your terms. I want my daughter to have fun, crazy memories of her mama (running from a crocodile, terrified on the roller coaster, etc.) after I'm gone. ~Joede,

That's really it right there. You may feel stuck now, but you don't have to remain there. You can move to a different space. You have to decide that you want something new, make a plan and then move forward.

Let me be clear though... moving from one space to another isn't likely to be easy. If it was easy, you would have done it already. But it is simple. Make the decision and move. You will have to be honest with yourself about your current limitations. Be honest, be practical, but make your dream a goal.

Take it from Kate from the States, live your life now!

Read: How I Afford to Travel… And You May Not Like What I’m Going To Say

Kate from the States is in her 20's and she's got far more gumption than I did at that time. Hell, she's got more gumption than I had when I was diagnosed with breast cancer in my 30's.

Here's the kicker, if you want it, no matter what your age is, you can have it. It comes with a price though. 

All things do. You have to ask yourself if the price is too high. If it is (and that's okay), then shelve the idea and come back to it later. But if, after a little research, you realize that you can make some changes and live your dreams... I suggest that you go for it. You will never be younger than you are right now.

Truthfully, the only thing that separates those who wish for a different life from those who have a different life is that someone took a chance and someone else decided not to.

Take a chance.

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