Tuesday, May 27, 2008

I'm Not That Great... Or Am I?

A blog reader wrote, "Please stop being so witty, so honest, so thoughtful, so strong, and such a good person through all of this. Being in awe of another person makes me feel inferior."

Let's break this down.

"Witty." Okay, I'll take that one without a fight.

"Honest." I'll take that one too, unless you consider lying by omission. You might think I'm great because most of what you know of me is from this blog. My friends who know me well know that I can be sarcastic, caustic, tactless, and painful. But I try not to be those things in this blog. It's one thing to let my nasty side leak out spontaneously; it's quite another to think it through and then put my meanness in writing.

"Thoughtful." That has two meanings: 1) Considerate and 2) Reflective. I try to be considerate but don't always succeed. Ask any of my family and friends whose birthdays I've forgotten or whose feelings I've hurt. As for the other definition, I'd say I'm more reflective than most. My brain doesn't stop going, so I'm constantly thinking about life, the universe, and everything.

"Strong." Yes, I think I'm stronger than the average person, before and after cancer diagnosis. I frown on weakness, especially my own, so I have to be strong.

"A good person." If "good" means I hold doors open for people and donate money to charity, then I'm good. If it means I'm always kind to my family and friends and think of others before I think of myself, then I'd say I fall a bit short.

"Being in awe of another person makes me feel inferior." I think about people I'm in awe of, and they don't make me feel inferior. They make me feel competitive. If they can be strong, then I can be stronger. If they can turn a horrible thing like cancer into an opportunity, then I can do even better. I can turn my life with cancer into a shining example for everybody to see. Or, at the very least, good material for off-color humor.


Christine Raza said...

Yep. You ARE that great! It is sometimes hard to not be intimidated by someone so... well, FABULOUS, but I am so grateful to have learned so much from you. I only see you once or twice a year, but I feel so very close to you because you have stripped away all of the b.s. and always speak the truth.

I read your "Cancer Curmudgeon" blog and felt a bit guilty because I am one of those people who is doing one of your pet peeves. I know that I have "uninformed optimism". But here is why I am ok with it...

1) In my 39 years on this earth I have never lost anyone close to me, so I can't even think about losing you. I just can't.

2) Despite my flaw of performing one of your pet peeves, I know that huge loving heart of yours will let me be imperfect and you'll still accept me anyway, despite my optimism/denial/whatever.

That's one of the things I love most about you, is that you demand so much from yourself, yet you accept your loved ones for who they are, faults and all.

Thank you.

All my love, Christine

Anonymous said...

I agree...............you ARE great! You have helped so many through your journey............Sorry I have been a bit quiet - have had a few "issues" of my own but Grahams been keeping me up to date and you are (as you know - I hope??!!) always in my thoughts.
So pleased to hear you are managing your plight so well at the moment...........LONG MAY IT CONTINUE xxxxxxxxxxxx

Shin said...


Your comment made me smile. It shows guts and understanding. In fact, I've been waiting for somebody to just say, "You don't like my 'uninformed optimism'?! Tough! Get over it!"

Besides, do you think I've never said those words myself? "It'll be okay. You'll beat this thing..."

Don't you find pet peeves are often things that YOU do, and when you see others do them, they annoy you even more because you know you do them too?

zorop said...

She's a 'dissector!'.
Careful guys.