As much as I adore the summer, October is one of my favorite months. The color palette the changing leaves creates is always pretty, and Halloween is one of my favorite holidays. But it’s breast cancer awareness that makes this month such a stand out to me. I love that the Today Show’s logo turns pink for a month, and Philadelphia honors survivors and those fighting by lighting up the skyline with pink lights. I love seeing companies I admire offering products specifically designed with donations in mind. Honor and awareness are important always, but it’s so inspiring to me because it seems like every person and organization plays for the same team to fight for the same cause.
Breast cancer awareness is important to me because I was tested for this awful disease when I was 19. I was in college, and one doctor lead to another and another until I left feeling as though cancer could actually be a possibility. That’s what happens when your doctor says they “aren’t 100% sure”. I looked at everyone around me in a different light, especially as I walked out of the hospital after my third (and most intense) appointment. Suddenly, I craved boring – I craved routine – more than anything. I remember looking at people driving from one place to another, and I wanted to be them. They were in their element, and even though I knew in my heart that cancer was a remote possibly, I wanted to have that feeling again of knowing where I was going and what I was doing in the moments and days that followed.
Going to appointment after appointment and waiting for doctors to call with results was, without a doubt, the worst experience I’ve ever had in my life. I was fortunate to receive the best news – I was fine – but my doctor later followed up with the fact that she had diagnosed a 22 year old girl with breast cancer. That’s why she was concerned about me. I counted on the fact that no one in my family had ever been diagnosed with breast cancer, but I was counting on my age even more. I was young. I was in college. I had my whole life ahead of me; I still do. But for the 22 year old who my sweet doctor had to face, age didn’t matter.
I never want to face that experience ever again. But in the midst of it all, I learned boring is beautiful and routine is the best ever. That’s something I still think about now. Full schedules make me happy, and new experiences fuel me. But in the middle of the busy, I start to crave the moments that I thought were completely boring just like I did when I walked out of the hospital. The moments I so want to fill – those matter too. They matter even more. I constantly remind myself that this moment may be one that I want back the most – the one that’s not filled with any change, but instead filled with complete knowledge of what’s going to happen next.
Boring is beautiful, routine is awesome, and neither is ever guaranteed. Live in the moment. And wear pink.
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