This post was inspired by “Do It Afraid” by Jill .
My family and I went to a little party for brunch on Sunday. This would not have been a big deal except that it was going to mostly former co-workers in attendance and since the cancer returned I have been avoiding these kinds of events.
But this brunch was different. It was a surprise in honour of a friend and former co-worker who is in ongoing breast cancer treament (she is also one of the women with whom I am involved in a writing project and that I wrote about in my post entitled “the building.” There is a new building now but my friend still works for the organization). She has been treated quite shamefully by her employer (a supposed advocate for “workplace accomodation”) who has consistently refused to accomodate her need for regular time off for treatment. The case will be decided over the next two days by an arbitrator and I knew I needed to overcome my trepidations to show her my support.
And I had a great time. There were so many people there who I was happy to see (I think it is a testament to my friend C. She is a wonderful person who attracts wonderful friends, all of whom wanted a chance to show her how much we love her). The food was great. I loved being there with my boys (all three of them). I always enjoy showing them off and they made me very, very proud just by being themselves.
I am so glad I went, despite my fears. I always tell myself that I avoid these things because it will be awkward and sad. But I don’t think that I have been giving people enough credit. The truth is my tendency to experience social anxiety (which predates the cancer) has been exacerbated by spending so much time on my own (something I quite enjoy). I think I use the cancer as an excuse.
From the moment I stepped in the door, and saw all these people I genuinely like, I felt happy and excited and I know that my face and body language expressed that. It was lovely to catch up with people and easy to put them at ease. I know that going did me a world of good.
Cross-posted to Not Just About Cancer.