don't waste your talents. don't waste your dreams. don't waste your heart.
don't believe anyone who tells you can't...because you can.
(i am currently reminding myself of these same truths everyday)
i can't get the italics to go away. so its fancy writing today.
i was selfish & although i hate to admit i am currently selfish.
i was pretty selfish when i had cancer. people emailed and i never wrote back. people sent facebook messages and i never wrote back. not one thank you note was ever written. i was pretty much...libby ryder focused with a side of ava ryder. even justin did not get much of my time or energy. well, he got my time. i had a lot of time on my hands. but he certainly did not get much of my energy.
disclaimer: i had cancer and i realize that is a big deal but...there is a lot more going on in the world and in the lives of loved one's than my own story.
i justified myself a lot. pretty much for anything i did or did not do.
but now it's time. it's 2012 and in a little over a month we celebrate one year cancer free. oh, the joy. the gifts we experience in my healing. but what i really want to be about and what my hearts desire is to love other people well. to not be so "me" focused but others focused. being intentional. sending cards. little gifts. texts. picking up the phone. being available. many of you did that for us last year. thank you for walking in the valley with us. you did not have to. no one asked you or made you. most of you were strangers. not anymore though. you walked through cancer with us so now you are apart of the story. a part of our story.
i am going to write a book this year.
i have been praying about it and talking about it for several months. however, i will get all inspired and then i get stuck. paralyzed in the lies.
who would read this? can i even write a book? am i good enough? talented enough? what if i fail? do i have the time?
well...what if i fail? (what does that even mean? what constitutes failure when i am writing a book about my own story. because no one reads it...is that failure? i am sure my mom would at least read it)
i am beginning to realize it is less about failing and more about being vulnerable. putting myself out there to publishers and editors. to the world. i realize that i do that every time i press publish on this blog...but a book feels so permanent. like my one chance to say anything i would ever want to say. talk about strange pressure i am putting myself. i am missing the whole point. i know this. i am creating something from nothing.
write. just write. it is not that hard. (that is what i tell myself about ten times a day).
i was talking with a friend recently who said...go away. be alone. turn on some music and write. really allow yourself to go there. enter back into those first days after the diagnoses. first chemo. telling family. ava. hair loss. weight gain. fear of dying. loneliness. anger. distance from my husband. drinking. isolation. pain.
let's just get it out there...i am scared to write it down because for some reason it makes me think i am going to get cancer again. if i talk about it and really go back to those days and months of cancer and everything having to do with it. i am scared. i am scared to enter into that and then boom...back to current day of being a wife and a mom. i have so much more respect for authors now. it is not easy. but it is my heart. i love to write. i love sharing our story. i love trying to provide some sort of hope and peace and encouragement in the midst of death and fear and darkness.
i can talk about the lord. i can talk a out joy. i can talk about not wasting your cancer and not
wasting your life. that is natural. that is my heart.
but what about the other stuff? the ugly stuff. the scary stuff. the shameful stuff. the whole...i could have died or what if i am not around to watch ava grow up kind of stuff. that is where i am stuck. those are the places in my heart i do not want to enter. i do not want to go there. that's too deep and too scary.
i keep coming back to this...what if i can go there? what if i am not alone in this? the truth is i am not alone. the same God that carried me through cancer will carry me through writing our story. the dark parts that i have not never shared on this blog or with family or with friends or even with justin.
the dark layers that are easier to ignore and pretend don't exist and certainly never did. but you see those places. the dark ones are just as much a part of our story as everything else i have shared in this space since it started back in july of 2010. i believe our journey of cancer is one of hope and joy in the midst of pain and death. but it is easier to talk about joy. it is harder to admit areas of failure, shame, doubt, and anger.
as i was walking through cancer i was numb in many ways. i only realize this now as i look back and see how deep the pain and hurt was...but i wanted to fight. i wanted to be strong. i wanted to find joy because there was joy. but when you are walking in trauma you do not even realize it is trauma because it is your life. i knew it was a valley. i knew a dark cloud hung around while i had cancer. but we wanted light. life. joy. peace. hope. we refused to waste what the Lord had for our little family in cancer. we hope we did not waste it. i do believe we did not waste our cancer. do not waste yours.
i want to get to that place. the place i am scared to go. i want to be real. i want to be honest. i want to cry. i want to yell. i do not want to sugar coat any of it. but the hope i have and the joy in our story is that our God is big enough for all of that. that in the midst of cancer there can be joy. there can be life. there can be hope. that is our story. that is His story in us. how thankful i am for that.
i pray i leave this place. this paralyzed place where i am right now. but my heart won't stop aching when i think about writing and about our story being shared further than this little blog.
so as i enter into this process of writing book and being others focused...i pray i do not grow weary and stop. i believe the Lord can work through anything and what He did in us and through us in cancer is worth writing down. even if my mom is the only person to read. it would be worth it.
if my life and my heart is about not wasting any of it. not one second. than what i am doing here. just write a book. because it is my heart and my passion and my dream. not mention it is one of my 2012 goals.
i re-read this email a lot. it is from a successful photographer. wife. author, and women who loves and loves hard.
"oh, libby, your story is just beautiful. really and my mama always taught me if you put your mind to something, you can achieve it. so i guess this means i believe you'll write your book. really. and if you think about it in the worst possible way (i.e. no one reads it), you at least have your story documented for ava. how precious and amazing will that book be for her when she's a mom?! augh...i love it! i wish you all the best!"
let's do this. don't waste your life...your talents....your dreams. follow them and follow them hard. my husband taught me that. he is disciplined and consistent and real and honest and loves the Lord more than anyone i know. he told me babe...you have something to say...so i am writing a book.