Elephants And Tea - March 2020 - 14

I didn't realize this had happened until I was talking about this frozen part of my
life with my Aunt Ginger. At the time, we didn't have a name for it, but she explained
to me that in a lot of ways I am still that 24-year-old girl. Trauma can cause a lot of
strange things to happen to you and for many of us cancer patients and survivors, a
"time bubble" is an accurate description of what we're experiencing.
There are pros and cons to the bubble. I've had my share of depression, tear-filled
nights and missing out on experiences I longed for along the way. As I mentioned
previously, my friends moved forward, began their own lives and families, and I
felt left behind. The pressure I put on myself to hurry up and get on with things was
almost unbearable. It caused me to make compromises I wish I hadn't. In a rush to
find someone and get married, I gave my heart to people who weren't to be trusted.
In a rush to advance my career, I never gave myself a moment's peace after completing treatments. I felt my internal clock ticking away and I fought against it tooth and
nail. These attempts only left me empty and heartbroken.
It wasn't until I made the decision to do what is best for me that I finally felt freedom
from the pressures of keeping up with the "30-year-olds." I started talking to friends
and family members who were in specific places in life that I longed to be in, and I
found a majority of them were not as happy as they seem (on social media). In fact,
many of them told me they wished they could trade places with me. I had been spending
much of my time traveling, writing, and going to Disneyland and they all envied me.
Sometimes hindsight is 20/20. I decided to take my life back and to stop living
in possibilities and what-ifs and instead to focus on what is. I took the plunge and
moved out of my parents house to an apartment on the beach. I surrounded myself with friends who were in the same place of life, enjoying the same things, and
didn't judge me by my cancerous past or my age. Every day I woke up and I decided
to live for today.
I got rid of false hopes that were never meant for me. I looked at situations that had
happened, people who had hurt me, and the way a few people affected me negatively.
This reflection made me realize my own foolishness. These people and ideas were
never what I truly needed, they were a placeholder, things I thought I should have
"by now," but they weren't the real thing. I had been trying to put a cheap counterfeit
in place of the real truths that were waiting for me. I only needed to be patient but I
couldn't see the forest for the trees.
Now that I'm out of the woods, I see how things were being pieced together to create
the life I now live. I see how the time bubble saved me from rushing in with people,
doing things, and going places that were never meant for me. I'm a firm believer
that everything happens for a reason. Although I'm coming from a place outside the
bubble, five years later, I still remember the painful sting of the bubble and I'm here
to tell you it doesn't last. In fact, it will only last as long as you let it.
Look at the people around you and think about all the things that they are doing
that you wish you were. Now look at those same people and think about all the things
they're doing that you're thankful you aren't. You may be surprised by how much it
opens up your perspective.
Turns out during these last five years I just wasn't as ready as I thought I was. I've
had so many experiences and adventures than I never imagined I could. Looking back,
I'm so thankful for my "time bubble" because it made me wait. It made me do a lot of
waiting that I NEVER would have chosen to do on my own. I'm exactly where I was
always meant to be and time is no longer an issue. Life never turns out the way you
think it will. As long as you embrace that fact, I promise you it will turn out better.
The "time bubble" is an essential part of your life and your story. The years caught
in the time bubble can feel like a blur, a burden, and a prison all at once. Every person
will react differently to their time in the bubble, but we must all do our time if that is
the path that has been laid in front of us. We grow and are molded differently from
our experiences. For me, I feel like the bubble is what kept me young at heart. I went
to sleep as a 24-year-old and woke up as that same 24-year-old a few years later. I've
learned to live with it and to be thankful for it. Embrace the bubble. l

14

ELEPHANTSANDTEA.COM
MARCH 2020

"Now that I'm out
of the woods,
I see how things
were being pieced
together to create
the life I now live.
I see how the time
bubble saved me
from rushing in
with people, doing
things, and going
places that were
never meant for me.
I'm a firm believer
that everything
happens for a
reason."


http://www.elephantsandtea.com

Elephants And Tea - March 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Elephants And Tea - March 2020

Contents
Elephants And Tea - March 2020 - Cover1
Elephants And Tea - March 2020 - Cover2
Elephants And Tea - March 2020 - 1
Elephants And Tea - March 2020 - Contents
Elephants And Tea - March 2020 - 3
Elephants And Tea - March 2020 - 4
Elephants And Tea - March 2020 - 5
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Elephants And Tea - March 2020 - Cover3
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