Someone recently told me that things always get better. This is not my experience, I think. Could I be wrong?
I asked her if she really believed it. She didn’t want to answer. Are things really better today than yesterday? How would we know? Is my life better now than before I had cancer? I don’t think so.
Maybe it’s more a philosophy than a statement of truth. A belief system. Everything always gets better, even when bad things happen. Even when things might seem worse.
I don’t know. My life seems tangibly worse. In the areas of my major life goals, I have failed. I never found a lasting love or partnership. I never found a family to join or build. I never made it in my career of choice. Cancer effectively ended my quests for these things.
I had thought my life was like a romantic comedy. Lots of hilarious and harrowing failures punctuated by new hopes, new dreams, new loves. When I got cancer, I realized I was in a tragedy. Good intentions, willingness and effort are no match for the critical character flaw which undermines every ambition.
Cancer wasn’t the flaw. It was just the symbol or physical manifestation of the flaw. The flaw is in me. Is me. Something about me that I can’t escape.
Cancer just made that story make sense. I wasn’t half way through a perplexing romcom, but near the end of an unexpected tragedy.
I don’t know the future. I don’t actually know the story of my life. In other people’s lives I admire how their failures lead to unexpected successes. I’m open to that happening for me.
Maybe I’ll find some kind of love and family, in an unexpected form that is better even than what I’d dreamed of. Perhaps I’ll find my way into a new career that turns out to be more fulfilling and successful than my former jobs. That sounds lovely.
I just don’t see it. And that’s what would make it a miracle.