About a month ago, I wrote up a nice little post about a boy from my past who I believe only liked me for my cancer. Pretty much.
It sounds ridiculous, but when I look back on my life post-treatment I have to hand it to myself: I’m f*cking fascinating. I have all these quirks, and strange habits, and fears, and I go about my everyday life as if all of those things don’t exist. As if 2009 never happened.
When I think back to that year, there’s kind of a haze over the memory. The year as a whole, that is.
What I mean to say is that the year as a whole seems to have this foggy amnesia-like cloud over it. It’s a blur.
But a specific memory—a perfume scent, a beeping sound at 3 am, the soapy taste of Ifosfamide, holding my breath while the nurse plunged a needle in my chest, cursing at people who were just trying to help—that is all as clear as the deep blue sky.
But it’s not every day that I’m accessing these memories—it’s every day that I’m accessing the fog. I don’t really know if that makes sense. But every day I’m aware of that foggy cloud over my shoulder whispering question marks and threatening to toss out one of those memories.
Again. It truly is fascinating. I’m fascinating. I’ll say it—it’s my blog, screw humility.
But the fascination people have with me—the fascination with my story, with memories…with those quirks and strange habits—well, I’m afraid people often confuse it with who I really am, and it blurs their judgment. Confuses them.
At least that’s the way I thought it happened with that boy. Looking back I fear that he confused his feelings of fascination with feelings of affection. With FEELINGS feelings.
I wrote a blog post about it, but I’m pretty sure my approach in writing it was all wrong. I showed it to him beforehand, because I felt guilty. And he asked me something that I know is meant as a positive testament to who I am—but that could not be further from what I want from people.
He asked me why it was that he was not allowed to be inspired by me. What was so wrong with thinking that I’m inspiring.
You may be thinking NOTHING. NOTHING is wrong with being inspiring. What could she possibly have against being inspiring?
But what I think…
What I feel…
Is that foggy little cloud over my shoulder. Constantly pricking at my back, threatening to swallow me, lording it’s power…and I can’t help but think…this foggy cloud inspires you? This awful black hole that brings so much pain and uncertainty into my life…is your inspiration?
And of course…you’re probably thinking “no, Jesse. It’s you. It’s the fact that you put up with that cloud that makes us inspired.”
Well, let me tell you—I wasn’t given much choice.
I’ve run all the scenarios through my head so many times. Thought to myself…you can’t just let people do what they do? You can’t let them spin something positive out of your experience? They just want to be inspired.
Well, as a close friend of mine would say:
Go inspire yourself.
What I want? Is your respect.
I don’t want to know if you’re inspired by me. Inspiration is something that occurs within you, and if you find it in my sad little tale, then that’s great. Keep it to yourself.
I’m after your respect.
Show me some respect, and we can be friends.