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“I’m not a role model.” How many times have you heard that? Many, many times. I’m not a HUGE sports fan. Not like my wonderful father and super-cool sister. I mean, yes – I played sports in middle school and I love going to Nationals Stadium (just like I loved watching the Braves). And yeah – I’ll watch college basketball if someone else is watching and I happen to be in the room. But, unlike some members of my family (see above), I don’t play in a fantasy football league, I don’t know the names or records of any of the players or teams, and my heart would not be broken if my cable package didn’t include ESPN. (Wait. Does my cable package include ESPN? Note to self: check cable package).
So I’m not a sports aficionado. But one thing I do remember about sports – insert any sport here – back in the day is that these up-and-comers would grab the attention of the media and fans, then they’d say or do something that “let us down.” And then the superstar would say, “I’m not a role model.” And I get that. Dude’s just trying to live his life, deal with the spotlight, and get some time on the court/field/diamond/whatever. I’m not saying that’s an excuse for bad behavior. I’m just saying I kinda sorta get it. Stay with me.
The handful of you who are loyal enough to read this blog (love ya!) know that I was diagnosed with breast cancer a while back. And yes, I know I’m breaking my promise about this not turning into a cancer blog, but I did blog about vacation in July so give me a break! Anyway. Breast cancer. In May I had a bilateral mastectomy. That kind of sucked. But I avoided chemotherapy and radiation, so that’s good. I’m feeling great and I’m just going about my regular (generally boring) business. I realize that I am very lucky.
Now, this blog is linked to a couple of social networks that I belong to, which means that this blog was how I told most people about my cancer. It was an easy way for me to process my thoughts and to get it out of the way. People were very nice and very supportive – and I am really grateful for that. Really. But here’s where I circle back to the title of this post: people have said they admire my positive outlook; that my attitude has been wonderful; that I’m strong. Thank you. But don’t let me fool you. There were days when I was 100 percent negative; my attitude sucked; I wallowed in self-pity.
My point is that I’m human. I don’t belong on a pedastal. I’m not a role model. Just like those guys on the basketball court/football field/baseball diamond.
I did the only thing I knew how to do, the thing that I believe most people would do: I got up – even when I didn’t feel like it. I moved forward. Something shitty happened to me. I consulted with experts who advised me on how to fix it. We fixed it. I moved forward. Standing still was not an option. Going back was out of the question. I just kept moving. (Does that make me a shark? Don’t some sharks have to keep moving or they die? Let’s go with that).
Don’t get me wrong. I love to hear that I look fantastic, that I’ve got it together, that I’m the comeback kid.
But I’m not a special snowflake. I’m not a hero. I’m not a role model. I’m just a girl, standing in front of a boy, asking him to love her.