Yesterday I was talking with a good friend about some of my feelings about the last year. I was lamenting that I feel like I have lost some sort of naiveté, lost more of that childlike ability to just do what makes me happy without all the "adult" thoughts of money or consequences or illness or death. I'm in my thirties, so it's not like that process wasn't well underway, but cancer took me through an accelerated version. I feel more like someone who might sit on a porch shaking my cane and yelling at those pesky kids to get off my lawn than someone who would drop everything and move to Australia for a year.
But the universe in its infinite wisdom wasn't going to let me get away with that. Oh no, it had other plans for me.
I went to a show last night -- a band called The Weakerthans. I haven't been out to see music in a good long while. This band has quite a following among the emo kids and the place was filled with twenty-one year olds in their retro eighties togs singing along to every line in every song. As I looked at the crowd my mirror neurons kicked in and I felt that obsessional joy that comes with seeing your favorite band live, that obsessional joy that dissipates somewhere in your late twenties. And I smiled so hard I almost cried. (Which in and of itself is very emo and so therefore appropriate.)
I've noticed that cancer has heightened my ability to feel other's elation. When I see a big smile or a moment of achievement (which I am lucky enough to see often in my line of work) I can actually feel it now. Not just appreciate it, but physically feel it. It's kinda tingly. It's funny 'cause my friends at the show were complaining about how bad the crowd was, how annoying it was to hear everyone singing along to every song, but I liked it. It unearthed the twenty-one year old in me.
So, yeah, I'm bitter. I'm jaded. But I'm also more open to delight. Life is too short not to take advantage of it every time it comes my way.