This is going to be one of those braindumps that bleed out my fingers before I can really think it through, so hang in there!
Many years ago at the start of my career, I took Project Management classes. On the first day of our Intro class, the teacher told us that since we were going to be living with one another for the week, we may as well celebrate So-And-So’s birthday. As a little exercise, she asked us to separate ourselves into groups on either side of the room as Extroverts or Introverts.
Much younger Lisa wasn’t sure where I fit. While I knew I was comfortable in crowds, I also loved my alone time, so I didn’t know which personality trait was dominant. The instructor told those of us not sure to sit out the exercise and sit on our hands. We were not allowed to participate at all.
The class separated into their respective groups … and thus started the discussions. Who? What? Where? When? Why? How? The Extroverts were off like firecrackers. After 5 … 10 … 15 minutes of discussion, the Introverts weighed in with thoughtful contributions.
After a good 30 minutes of bantering, the celebration was decided. We would have dinner at a local marché-style restaurant, so the large crowd could serve themselves (suggested by the Introverts), then find a party room large enough to host us at the hotel to continue the celebration (chosen by the Extroverts).
The instructor turned to those of us on the sidelines and asked, “How did you feel about not participating in the discussion?”
I replied, “I had a really hard time not jumping in right away!”
“You are an Extrovert.” she told me.
You see … Extroverts talk to think and Introverts think to talk. That advice has been an invaluable life and career lesson for me for almost twenty years. I learned to stop, listen and learn from both styles of communication, and understand how introverts and extroverts communicate differently in groups and alone. Extroverts energize by being with other people, but that doesn’t mean we don’t like to ignore the phone and curl up alone with a good book on Sunday. Introverts cherish their “me” time, but that doesn’t mean they won’t get out to the Friday night birthday bash to see their buddies.
This blog is my way of thinking.
I am talking and blogging to make sense of what is happening to me, but I am also compelled to bring you along for the ride.
I can already look back and see how far I’ve come:
I’m not fine.
This isn’t happening.
I will be fine.
I refuse to have scars on my breast.
I refuse to have a mastectomy.
You can rebuild them? OK … take them if you have to. But not yet.
I REFUSE TO LOSE MY HAIR!
I get wigs? OK … Can I have three? In different colours?
No, I don’t want chemo.
Can I just have a little bit of chemo?
I have a 40% chance of dying in the next two years without chemo? Can we blast the fuck out of this with the biggest chemo bombs you have? I will gain/lose weight, lose my hair and get super sick? Sign me up and bombs away! But don’t give me steroids … I don’t want to gain weight.
Baby steps. Baby steps through land mines. Two steps forward and one step back.
I have this deep desire to communicate authentically about my journey. It’s like this what I was always meant to do. Every moment I’ve lived has been set up to get me here and tell you my story.
Everything Happens for a Reason.
I’m still processing my diagnosis, putting myself in the corner for timeouts when I want to lash out, and finding my voice, so bear with me.
I want you to laugh, to cry, to think, to feel … and to realize that your life matters. My life isn’t better or worse than yours. I just have different battles. And somehow we are going to find out what it all means, find our voices and thrive!
I love you!
Even when you piss me off.