Jane Ballot

Being me in the world

Wednesday 28th January

It’s amazing to take a journey, either literal or figurative, and to find out something about yourself. That is, if you find yourself at all.

Today at registration we were chatting to the students. A couple of them took gap years, even after studying. I joked with the one girl and asked her if she had found herself. She said she hoped so.

I wish I could find myself.

At the ripe old age of 51, I think I am having an ‘I don’t know who I am’ moment. I need to find me.

It’s not exactly a case of not knowing who I actually am. By this stage in one’s life, you really do kind of know yourself. You know what you hold dear and, generally, how much you will do for others and to acquire things. You even know how much things mean to you.

My ‘moment’ is more about discovering myself inside this cancer-patient / cancer-survivor who seems to belong to everyone else – to look and find just the ordinary me.

Oh, I love belonging. I love being a part of a group, or a community. I thoroughly appreciate all the support I have had through this cancer thing and I couldn’t ask for a greater support network.

I just feel lost, somehow.

I think I have spent so long being scrutinised by various medical persona and watched by both those inside and those outside the circle that I want to be able to step away and be allowed to find exactly how I feel about all this and how I will manage the going forward.

I don’t mean anything medical, that all goes without saying and is up to the docs. What I mean, for example, is how, exactly, does one deal with having only one boob? I was very gung-ho about not caring if I only have one boob or not. Well, it is now really hitting home. I don’t care what anyone else thinks – if I look weird / lopsided, then I do. I care about me and how I actually feel. It is much harder than I realised to confront the evidence of disfigurement every day. Literally.  And it is actually so small and so hidden compared to what some other people have to go through.

But it is my reality and I am the one who has to make sense of it for myself and to take me forward into it.

This is, I suppose, finally about me.

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