I worked with a woman called Nicole Ciomek for awhile a few years ago at Arsenal Pulp Press . Over the years Nicole and I have stayed in touch through Facebook and we’ve a also become mutual readers of each others blogs. Nicole’s blog is quite different from mine. Condofire is a magazine of my interests and the most personal I have gotten is the “Conversations with My Mother” series I wrote because I found my mother quite funny.
From time to time I have considered writing more about certain aspects of my life, particularly the wild flying leaps I’ve taken over the years but I’ve shied away from it for a number of reasons. Partly I don’t want to get hurt – partly my family’s privacy.
But I think it’s an interesting and worthwhile thing to do because at the end of the day the one thing social media can do is globally connect people with similar experiences. Connecting with others makes life less lonely. But it takes courage to write openly and truthfully about your life and particularly about the things that by nature, choice or accident make you different from the norm. It takes courage to reveal yourself.
Nicole has done something with her blog that I have been unable to do – she talks openly about her life, her love, her triumphs, her terrors, her hurts, the cancer that changed her life at 28 years old and the life altering fact that she can’t give birth to children and how this makes her feel. Her life was changed for her. The accident of her life irrevocably changed her journey as much as she had it planned.
I love reading Nicole’s blog because she makes incremental decisions every day in spite of the obstacles and the strange change in plans she’s had to encounter, to live and embrace her life with love and intelligence. Like Nicole I can’t/couldn’t/didn’t have kids. I understand how difficult it is to be standing in front of someone who has just asked you if you have kids and when you answer “no” says immediately “The best thing I ever did was have my kids”. Well, really.
How does she deal with these messy issues? Like this:
“To be in the moment. To put aside fears. To let go of control over things you cannot control. To give love without an expectation of return. To be thoughtful and kind. To laugh. To enjoy. To look to the bright side. To give out praise and support. To be open to change and what the future holds. Well, this is really living isn’t it?”