Doors. They're so simple. We turn the knob, we walk through them. I've been walking through them all my life. In 1981, I walked through a door without braces and walked back out with a mouthful of metal and a headgear. In 1986, I skipped out a door to my first date. In 2000, I walked through a door pregnant and walked out with my first daughter. I did it again with the same door in 2002.
But lately the doors I'm walking through feels like life is kicking me through them and I'm hesitating at the knob. It's just cramming me against the doorframe and I'm bracing myself saying, "Just give a fucking minute to breathe. Stop being so pushy."
Yesterday I walked through a door to see my father-in-law for the last time. I held his hand and said, "I love you." He whispered it back. I walked out the door and left a piece of my heart on the other side of it. With him. Sometimes my heart hurts so bad I fear I'm having a heart attack. Which truly, life seems to be attacking my heart lately. As the Tin Man says, "Now I know I have a heart, because it's breaking." I hurt because I love. And that's okay with me.
Last week I walked through a door with my dad and sister. We listened to his oncologist say the words, "You may need think about your quality of life." I walked out the door with my insides spinning and shaking. Cold and floaty, that's how it feels to hear those words spoken to your hero. Life is making me go through those same doors today. This time I will be walking through that fucking door already in a panic, so there very well could be a nervous breakdown waiting for me when I walk out.
I think breaking point has been lurking around the corners lately smoking a cigarette. It's been waiting since the day I lost my job and my nephew. Same day, same hour. Shit like this seems to happen to me in bulk. Many people get laid off, but I get laid off AND lose a family member. It's like I buy tragedy at Costco instead of Target. I get the big load so I won't run out.
Case in point: As I walked out the door to see my father-in-law yesterday, I received a call about my gamma mammogram I had on Friday. The left titty is concerning them. I hear about false-positives all the time, but that's not helping me right now. The more I hear about the "lucky ones" the less lucky I feel. They're taking my cards and I fear that I will be left with the joker. There are only so many false-positives out there in the world and frankly, it sounds like they're all used up.
So another door on Thursday. I have to walk through it and have more tests. I have no choice but to move forward because I can't move backward. That knowledge blows ass. I have to go to that fucking appointment. It's just sitting there on my calendar taunting me. 1:20 Thursday. 1:20 Thursday. 1:20 Thursday. I begging the universe to please let it be scar tissue from my Rack Install (a.k.a. boob job) from 2007. Damn, I should know that au natural is always best for me. What was I thinking having chicken cutlets slammed into my chest? Fuck. I'm no porn star, I just wanted to be proportionate, that's all. I have hips and I resembled an upside down lightbulb. I just thought I could have a shot at having the body I've always wanted. And now I'm pretty sure I'm being punished for it. Goddamn it to hell.
I can't figure out which area of panic deserves my attention most: My father-in-law who has less than a couple of days to live, my dad who quite possibly may choose to quit chemo today, or my left booby. Which one is panic-worthy?
Information is just that. Information. It's what emotions I attach to it that makes me scared, panicked or anxious. Like flying a kite with certain strings. I can choose which string to use, but I still need to soar.
I don't know what doors I'm going to have to walk through in the next week, but I do know that I will survive whatever comes my way. Thrive even. I've already walked through doors that have broken me down and yet I always get back up a little stronger. A little happier. A little more forgiving. A little more grateful.
Am I going to panic? Absolutely. Am I going to live in fear because of panic? Absolutely not.