Do you have regrets- I'm talking proper cheek stinging memory shamers that make you feel flushed if they surface? I don't any more but I did. I used to feel so much guilt for things I did out of anger, out of impulse, for love, in spite of love, because I was drunk, for no reason whatsoever.
Since The Cancer became a noun in my day-to-day I have been given the super power of appreciating life as it is. Not if I was prettier, more successful, more organised, more, more, more.
One word reigns supreme. Enough.
Not only for the first in my life do I feel absolutely enough as I am, all those things I thought I regretted are now the very same things I'm glad I did. I've been ridiculously drunk, scandalously hungover, kissed all the wrong boys and had a bloody good time doing it.
I'm glad for the time I thought I'd been shot in the leg when in fact I'd been egged by a passing car, also for the time I was an in an armchair race down a hill which led to me being catapulted and concussed while dressed as a superhero. That time I told a woman in the supermarket I dreamt I broke in her house only to realise she was not who I thought she was but in fact a stranger and the time I pretended I was seriously injured to avoid the shame of slipping over on a carrier bag in front of the office hotty. I don't regret any of these.
I'm glad I don't know how to be a grown up, that i'd still rather believe in hunting for fairies in the woods than keep a house just so. I relish the fact my housework style is best described as 'appears to have been signs of a struggle '. I will never live in the house you can turn up to at any time and it's ready for visitors but I do live in a place that is ready for your visit. I concentrate on people, on moments, on laughter, on life.
For the first six months of Child 1's life I watched her endlessly, relentlessy absorbing the magic of how two cells grew a whole person. My then in-laws spoke in hushed tones about the possibility of me having PND, of how I had a home to run, a husband to care for, a house to keep just so. Yet here was this miracle, the best thing to ever happen me, shining out with all her blinking and snuffling and needing a cuddle. That longed for little girl is the essence of fairytales, she is picnics in a summer's breeze and all bits that haven't yet been found in the universe. Her eyes speak to my soul. Her magic never wears off and the miracle of her made it essential that Child 2 came to be. And then it started again. The talks of being a neglectful wife, of lacking routine. Yet once more I was transfixed by the wonder of how two more cells told a new story - the story of the little girl who dares, of raw determination and a curious mind. She is my dragon slayer, my swashbuckler, my alien searching Astronaut.
I did make a terrible wife. I didn't even attempt to make it as a housewife and I certainly made divorce an inevitability. I don't regret a moment of it all because the two greatest loves of my life are the result.
So, this Christmas The Cancer has given me many good things. It's given me clarity on what's important (this will never be ironing), the support of an amazing patchwork of friends, it has silenced feuds which I was too proud and cowardly to resolve and a surprisingly unexpected gift - to want to be myself. Until now I've spent much too much time thinking about how I can be something/somewhere/someone else but from now on being in my own skin is exactly the place I want to be for as long as i'm lucky to be in it.
So, ghost of boobs passed, thanks for the lesson, i'll be sure to remember the richness of life from now on.