If someone had told me in my 20s that life would shock me with Divorce, Cancer, Bereavement, Cancer, Cancer, Cancer! I may well have given up there and then. Instead in my 20s I had optimism, innocence, joy – those dreaded words had not touched anyone around me, so why would they impact me?
Impact me they did! Divorce in the Asian community was frowned upon. I chose to walk that path, and I used it to reconnect with who I was – to discover what truly mattered to me, what I valued and to create a version of me that inspired me.
I was courageous, I was curious and I learnt to believe in me. I learnt what it truly meant to appreciate what I have, to create the security I craved, yet find a way of giving back to others – that was my true awakening to the gift of Seva – selfless service that I had witnessed through my dad’s kindness and compassion.
When love came knocking, I jumped in with a heart filled with joy & hope. 18 months into our marriage, my husband was diagnosed with Lymphoma – this was to change the direction of my life forever, for the good, the bad and the ugly parts of a disease like Cancer, touches the lives of all those around you.
A year later, I found a lump in my breast. Life decided to challenge us once more. When Cancer knocks, every aspect of your life is thrown into turmoil, once again I was challenged whilst trying to work out who I was now? The treatment, loss of hair, loss of dignity, broke me, but it also woke me. Whilst I lost faith in my body, through patience, support, and lots of tears, I gained a new-found respect for myself – for my strength, for my vulnerability, and my compassion for myself and others. I learnt that I mattered.
Sadly, Cancer decided it hadn’t finished with my family. In 2019 I lost my beloved dad to advanced prostate cancer, and 5 months later our family dog to blood cancer. And also a second diagnosis for me – this time endometrial cancer. Losing some dear friends to this horrendous disease along this life path of mine, has awoken a renewed sense of purpose, an acceptance that death is part of life, and not to be feared.
But why wait for these big thunderstorms in life to awaken you? I’ve made it my life mission to be a Wakeup call for all those whose lives I have the pleasure of crossing. To remind others of all that we are, our story is ours to write, to celebrate, to enjoy. Today, right now, you are enough and YOU matter.
Whilst adversity can wake us up, it’s how you choose to step forward and create the vision of you that rises, that shines, that inspires you to live a life you cherish, that’s your gift.