When Looking Out for Ourselves Isn’t Enough

The other day, I tried to find an old post of mine on Facebook in which I mentioned MLK. I didn’t find what I was seeking, but I found another instead. Strangely enough, this post does not mention Martin Luther King, Jr., MLK, or any variation of his name, but the powers of Facebook pulled it up for me anyway. This is a post from November 10, 2016.

Move On Up #2

Move On Up #2: Photo from Flickr

The post received 24 likes and five loves, 11 comments, and one share.

In one of the comments, my friend wrote, “This is worthy of a Medium post.”

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The Art of Dialogue: What to Do When You Don’t Know What to Say

As many of you know, last fall and winter were hard for me because several important people in my life either passed away or were managing health issues that forced them to confront their own mortality. The following summer, I had to manage my own health scare with a visit to the ER. Thankfully, doctors were able to figure out that I needed an appendectomy. Fast forward to this winter, I felt a lump in my breast and found out I have breast cancer. Since then, I have been pretty real with myself and others about what that shock and mourning process have been like.

As I’ve opened myself up to sharing my experience, I’m learning a lot about myself and the world. I’m navigating medical appointments, healthcare bureaucracy, health insurance, financial implications, work life, home life, spiritual attitudes, body image, and self-worth in ways I haven’t before … That’s surprising to me because I already have had quite a colorful, adventurous, and unpredictable life. Just when I thought I couldn’t be shocked anymore, the Universe decided it was time to let me know that I had cancer growing inside of me.


Photo from Flickr

Since I’ve shared more of my story, people have reached out and asked me about my situation.

That’s where things have gotten interesting.

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Looking Beyond the Bright Side

A week ago, a friend saw me and asked about a public meeting I had attended for my town. Within the next couple years, my local transit system will implement multiple renovation projects that will inconvenience residents from my town as well as the surrounding areas. I had been telling my friend about these projects for months, and she wanted an update the day after I had attended the meeting.

I summarized the highlights of the meeting and described how I had voiced my opinions on the poor planning of the renovation. After I vented my frustrations, she pointed out that I at least had spoken up for myself. I looked at her warm smile and paused. I could tell she had good intentions to comfort me. She is like that with everyone.

I responded, “It’s okay. We don’t have to focus on the silver lining all the time.” I went on to explain that the situation was what it was. There was no need to doll it up. She then understood that she did not have to bring up the bright side in that moment.


Photo from Flickr

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Make Over Your Life … Gradually

Nearly a year ago, I had a friend who wanted a life makeover. She had a lot of stress in her life, and she was set on reducing it. She was going to change her life from all angles. She had a list of things to start doing or start doing more often:

  • Meditate
  • Do yoga
  • Jog
  • Go on a juicing diet
  • Update wardrobe
  • Go on dates
  • Go to therapy
  • Read self-help books
  • Go to church


Photo from Flickr

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Are You Really Looking for Advice?

I’ve been giving friends life advice since junior high. In eighth grade, one even told me that I was like her therapist.

“Her therapist?!” my sister exclaimed she found out what my friend had said. Yup, her therapist. While it was kind of a weird compliment, I was flattered to know she trusted me with her family problems.


Photo from Flickr

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