It is a very strange thing, but somehow in my planning I forgot to calculate the possibility that I might survive. Yes, four years ago just after the cancer surgery I was given a 50-50 chance of survival without chemo and 70 to 75% chance if I had chemo. It was a no-brainer, I had chemo. I had complications, kidney stones, additional surgeries, infections, anemia, blood clots and new problems, an aortic aneurysm. I had additional surgery for my gender issues and then I put on lots of weight. Somewhere I just got caught up in surviving. A then friend (who I haven't seen or talked with in almost four years, sadly) wisely advised me to concentrate on surviving. I appear to have survived.
No one knows what will happen next in life, but I kind of forgot to even think what my life might be like if I survived. I didn't think of the fact that I might need something meaningful to do and that I might eventually be healthy enough to do that. I didn't think that I might eventually have needs beyond survival, needs for companionship and possibly affection. I really didn't foresee that possible future. Last week that shortsightedness bit me big time ( I sincerely hope I didn't make a complete ass of myself.) I suddenly discovered that I am alive and have some rather normal needs. Details beyond that are not really important. What is important is that I really need to figure out what I want out of life and what I might realistically have in life. My father will be 97 shortly, my mother's sister is 93 and if I continue to survive the cancer and the aneurysm I might live a very long time still. That is almost as scary as not surviving. I have only been marking time and taking care of survival.
I am young enough that I could still do something significant, the big question is what? I have Masters Degrees from Yale, Professional Computer certifications and years of experience in both Parish Ministry and Computer Networking. However, the Computer industry is predominantly a young man's industry and I am an older woman. I am not sure I fit anymore. In a way I barely fit when I was younger. It has been years since I was a full-time Parish Priest, though I had until a few years ago done regular part-time ministry. I don't know that I have the will to go back to a full-time ministry. So what do I do?
Even stickier issues exist for me. My children are grown and I am now divorced from my partner. I had worried about health and survival. I never really thought too much about the fact that I might need some form of intimacy and companionship. Women my age, even straight ones, often find making new connections hard. I guess I am saying I am a bit lost and bewildered. I somehow need to regroup and find direction. I could say that life would be easier if: I was younger, I was prettier, I was thinner, I had money, I wasn't Lesbian, I hadn't lived part of my life as a man,...... I could make those excuses, but they would be just that, excuses. The reality is that I face more uphill battles in my life. I kind of hope I am up to the challenges and I certainly hope I won't have to face it all alone. That's all yet to be seen, though.
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