Do battle, be brave.

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Every new day poses a question to each of us: how are you going to live today?

Though the internet has moved on to its obsession with the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, I still find myself unable to quite process the “old news” of Robin Williams death a few weeks ago.

I did not wade into the fray of online grief and tributary at the time, I did not want to add my voice to the collective cacophony. His death brought back some pretty frightening reminders of a time when the Black Dog stalked in the shadows of my family and the outcome that could have been.

I see Robin Williams death as a very real and present reminder that you never truly know the daily struggles of the person standing next to you. To the world, this very talented and hysterical comedian was Robin FUCKING Williams. If you have ever seen the man do stand up or speak in interviews, you know that he is an incredible performer and improvisor, one who is vibrating on a different frequency than the rest of us.

And yet the man took his own life.

It just stands as a reminder that we are each doing battle daily with our own demons.

From the girl I know, who is Cancer free a year later, who has been quietly fighting since her diagnosis, to the friends who have JUST moved to Toronto to start a new life – leaving their old ones behind and struggling to figure out where they belong in this jigsaw puzzle. To those fighting heartbreak over lost love, and still others bravely facing the frustration over unemployment, financial difficulties, and family trauma – everybody has their something.

Sometimes I need the gentle reminder to be kinder to those around me, because as the quote reads, everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about, and it is all too easy to point the finger and say “they don’t have it as bad as…(fill in the blank).”

Every day we are faced with challenges, be they big or small, and it is the way that we navigate them that makes us who we are. Sometimes there are days when getting out of bed is the hardest thing we have to overcome, and to do that requires immense strength and the flexing of determination and will. There is no way to say that achieving one foot in front of the other on a given day is any less important or incredible than fighting a dragon or climbing Mount everest.

I try to be as open as possible. There are few things you could ask me that I wouldn’t be brutally honest about.

Why is that?

Too much of life is airbrushed and photoshopped out into the perfect image of what we think our lives should look like.

When I have struggled in the past, I would look around and think “everybody has it all worked out, but me” and I would feel like a failure.

And we all know that is not true, we’re all just winging it daily, fighting our battles the best we can, and going on.

Because the only other option than to continue on is to stop.

I wish someone had helped Robin see that wasn’t his only option.

Not all battles have to be fought alone.

http://www.beyondblue.org.au/

The C-bomb, and I’m not talking about the swear word Ass-douche

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My roommate has Cancer.

And it fucking sucks.

She is a 22 year old student who hoards mugs in her room (we know you do, once we had to rescue some from that den of despair because we were drinking our tea out of wine glasses, which, while fancy, was going to result in exploding glass and you had like 20 in there….bitch), does stand-up comedy, wears loud/funky print dresses and is generally an awesome person who streams TV on her laptop (which is confusing because once i heard shouting in there and I thought her and her boyf were fighting) and only leaves her room when necessary (uuuuhhh sunlight noooo).

I have lived in a floating bubble my entire life.

I’ve never lived anywhere long enough to see people get sick with anything more intense than the flu, because I’ve always moved around so much and have been away from it all (like that time my best friend got DVT and had to get injections every day in her bum…sorry loser, i’m in Canada drinking maple syrup and eating Poutine…hope you’re okay and stuff though… and like…love you…?).

Maybe I see on Facebook that someone is ill, or maybe my dad calls me and tells me someone has passed away, but my life has been pretty sterile in terms of difficult life issues. It all has seemed very removed and distant from my every day existence.

I will be 25 in October and I’ve been to one funeral in my life.

So to say that Cancer in my apartment has come as a surprise/shock would be an understatement.

I’m an emotional person (no…really?) and I know that on this blog and in my life I use a lot of sarcasm/humor to mask how I really feel, but I legitimately have not known how to process this recent turn of events.

It is not MY Cancer, and I don’t think this is an excuse to get all Soap Opera up in here.

But what the actual fuck.

I’m scared for her.

Cancer needs to back off.

So, after feeling pretty damn roller-coaster-glass-case-of-emotion-y and feeling like I-can’t-write-about-this and I-don’t-know-how-to-deal for the last couple of weeks, a very good friend of mine told me I shouldn’t be afraid to write about this. And to approach this issue with the humor my “leaves-dishes-in-the-sink-because-they-are”soaking”-yeah-right-good-one” roommate would appreciate.

At the risk of offending everybody, i’m sorry in advance.

Amazing way’s to throw your Cancer in everybody’s face so you can get what you want: always.

1. Getting out of a Parking Ticket:
I’m sorry officer, I was on my way to my Cancer Doctor appointment and ran out of time so I parked illegally. It’s pretty hard to find good parking spaces, what with the Cancer and all.

2. In relationships:
Oh we’re having a fight? And i’m in the wrong? Are you forgetting a little something called I HAVE CANCER. That’s what I thought. Apology accepted.

3. Getting people to go the extra mile for you:
Those shoes are the last pair and they are on hold you say? That’s a shame. Man this Cancer has been getting me down, I feel like if I had those shoes I’d be able to face this so much better. Sorry? Yes I said I have Cancer. Oh you don’t normally do this, but I can have the shoes? Thank you. This is a totally and completely unexpected turn of events.

That’s all I got humor wise on this un-funny issues.

The amazing thing about my Roomie (and her boyf who is going through this too really) is how strong she is being. Her attitude is: this sucks, but i’m getting on with it and its 2013. I’m dealing with this.

It’s really one of those things that makes you want to hug your loved ones closer, think about what’s really important, and gives you a kick in the arse for not living each day with all the potential we have.

I have my fingers crossed that she is going to be okay, and I will continue to send her amazingly inappropriate texts, because that is how I do.

But if I’ve learned anything over the last few weeks it is that life is a mystery maze. One day you turn the corner and it’s raining snickers bars and gummy bears, and you’re rolling around in a pile of deliciousness, the next day you turn the corner and a Unicorn punches you in the face because you looked at him funny.

Or whatever.

So roll with the (unicorn) punches, and make the most of it.

P.