High praise...

Sometimes I look in the mirror when I am getting ready for work these days, or getting ready to go out, and every now and then I actually see a glimpse of the person I once was. I see energy, rather than listlessness, and light, rather than dark. I see eyelashes - yes, eyelashes! - enough to actually put mascara on these days, and every now and then, if I catch myself off guard, I see someone pretty. Every now and then.

Yet, is this the person I once was, or is she the person I have become? I wonder, sometimes, if I'm so busy "just showing up" and simply "Jen being Jen" that I fail to grasp the enormity of some of the transformations that have taken place beneath the surface. More than once, in the past couple of days, I have received some pretty high praise. I realize I lean towards the humble side most times as most of the things that people are lauding are simply par for the course of a day in the life. What I think I am realizing is what an impact my ability to simply get through the day and still remain the ridiculously eternal optimist has on people. More than that, I am being told more and more often that people have a need to hear the trivialities that I have to say. I still say, "Feh" to that, but perhaps there is a grain of truth.

Today, I was told this:
I'm so proud of how strong a woman you have become. You have had to face more in your short life than many of us face in a lifetime. Your strong will and determination have gotten you through this time when things should have been so different for you. You have found a man who adores you and will always be by your side for love and support. You have set an example for other women to fight everyday to beat the odds that have been dealt you and come out the winner.
Wow. Pretty amazing praise. I'm both flattered and proud of to be thought of like that. I read and re-read it through a smile and some tears, when suddenly the words "...things should have been so different for you..." jumped out at me.

Should they have been?

The thing is, I'm no better than anyone else. I have stupid insecurities, I say insensitive things, I do things I'm not proud of, and I make every effort not to hold anyone else to impossible standards. As I said yesterday, I'm just a small girl in a big world, trying to make sense of it all. For some reason, I was reminded of some country song called She Don't Know She's Beautiful (yes, the grammar makes me cringe) that has been pointed out to me more than once. The thing is, most times, I simply don't know. So it goes.

However, reading the praise that was bestowed upon me today gave me pause once again. Maybe there is some truth to what people are saying. I've always said that if any good can come out of this ludicrous situation, perhaps I can help just one person have a glimmer of hope or allow just one person to realize they are not alone. Perhaps my experiences can make one person look at themselves in the mirror and realize that life is too damn short not to throw your arms around it and take advantage of every day you have with the people you love. Maybe the fact that I'm human and I do let the trivial many get to me sometimes will encourage someone else to be a better person. Maybe someone out there that I've never met, nor never will meet, will come across an entry of mine while doing a Google search for cancer hiking Stage IV and have a moment of faith that perhaps, in fact, all things are possible. Maybe someone out there will discount my ramblings as the senseless drivel of someone who refuses to admit she is a time bomb, but even then, perhaps they will realize that I'm still alive enough to write them.

I think I just fell over the soap box in my way.


    I think you're both the person you were and another person, but not in a split personality way. Old Jen has evolved into strong and determined Jen. Plus, you're a conquerer. They should give you your own country for that, or at least a cool helmet and shield.