Two weekends ago I headed up to Madison, WI and attended the Midwest Young Adult Cancer Conference.
It was a one-day affair and I had a good time.
I learned a few new things, and connected with some great people. For me, connecting with others was the highlight of the day for me and it's highly probable that I'll attend it again next year.
That said, part of the day was hard fro me.
I was surrounded by people who also had cancer. Who were in my age range. Some of them also parents, some of them not. It's good for me to get time with a wide range of people who are in similar boats as me. It's therapeutic for me.
It's why I try to get out to local Stupid Cancer meetings and YSC meetings.
At the end of the month, I'll be flying to Denver to attend CancerCon as well.
There are too many moments of the day where I feel isolated and different.
At my core, I know that I'm not - I'm surrounded by a fair amount of people who try to understand, who are caring, and sympathetic. It means a lot to me. But it's another thing to talk to someone who knows what things are like verses someone who is just trying to imagine what things are like.
I come home feeling more normal, feeling more okay with things, and with a wee bit of energy.
Except sometimes I don't. Sometimes I walk away and I feel stuck.
And I hate it. It's uncomfortable. It's unpleasant. It's hard to face.
So on Saturday, in the midst of all the goodness of the day, this feeling of stuckness was thrown into the mix as well. Frankly, this wasn't the feeling I was anticipating dealing with.
But I sat in it for a bit. Instead of ignoring it, instead of burying it, instead of just wishing it away, I sat in it.
Turns out, it wasn't actually that bad.
I mean, it's probably not great. But it's not really bad either. It just is.
It just is.
Okay, maybe I'm still working on convincing myself of that. But I think it's worth convincing myself.
So with all these thoughts flying around my head, the rest of the conference went really well.
At the end of the day we did a little wrap-up activity in which we wrote what we had expected to learn there and what we did learn. After all of that, we were challenged to write some sort of wrap-up in a 7 word poem.
I admit I was stumped at first, but it came to me.
Short. Sweet. And it hit the point.
At the last minute, I altered it a bit.
I think it's perfect.
This is what I'm holding onto moving forward.