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Sunday, September 28, 2014

Richmond, VA

Merry meet friends

Michelle here, bringing lots of love and light

“The cities, the roads, the countryside, the people I meet - they all begin to blur. I tell myself I am searching for something. But more and more, it feels like I am wandering, waiting for something to happen to me, something that will change everything, something that my whole life has been leading up to.” ― Khaled Hosseini, And the Mountains Echoed

I’m glad that I happened upon this quote.  Last week I wrote about being restless, and indeed I still am.  I even included two poems about my searching but as I pondered this quote, I realized that this is where I am now.  It was an “aha” moment.  I, too, feel as if  “I am wandering, waiting for something  to happen to me, something that will change everything, something that my whole life has been leading up to.”  Of course, like the writer I have no idea what it is.  Searching for something and waiting for something to happen are entirely different aspects of perhaps the same coin.  I didn’t know for what I was searching and I don’t know for what I’m waiting. 

The last time that I felt as if I were waiting for something to happen was in October, 2012.  I was feeling both anxious and restless and also feeling that a life changing event was about to happen to me.  It did.  In November, 2012, I discovered the lump in my breast and in December, 2012, I was diagnosed with breast cancer.  It was and is a life changing experience.  I was never sick with the cancer and I knew that I would be fine.  I was fine and I had the faith to prove it, by golly!  I had very little pain after surgery.  Other than being extraordinarily tired during radiation, I had no conscious side effects.  There are some minor side effects from the daily pill that I have to take for five years.  The circumstances (losing job, apartment, storage) that occurred during that time had nothing to do with the cancer, however they altered my life as well.

How has this changed me?  How has my life changed?  Am I a better person because of it?  Am I more compassionate, loving, kind?   Has it made me selfish, wanting to live as I choose and not as I’m expected?  How has this changed me?  I can’t say that I’ve had a life changing experience and not be aware of or acknowledge the change.  One would think that answers would pour forth but I really had to stop and think about this.  I would like to think that I am more loving, compassionate, kind and better but am I?  I do think that I selfishly want to live my life for me and not the expectations of others.  I may have been that way already but it’s more apparent now. 

The definition of life-changing is, altering a person’s life or circumstances in a substantial way.  Alter means to change or cause to change in character or composition, typically in a comparatively small but significant way.  Given the definition, I can say ok, yes, my life has been altered.  I am more aware of life and living than ever before.  Conversely, I am more aware of death and dying than ever before.  Cancer survivors live with the threat of the cancer cells reconstituting in other parts of the body.  It’s not worn on our sleeves but it is there in the recesses of our minds.  I’m told it could return in the lungs, liver or bones, in addition to the breasts again.  My faith is that it will not return, so it will not! 

Even though cancer came to teach me something, I am not looking for that type of lesson again.  So this time I am waiting for the thing “that my whole life has been leading up to.”   What could that be, I wonder?  We all have an idea of who we’d like to be in the world; who we’d like to show up as.  We see ourselves in a certain way.  Diane von Furstenberg has a reality TV show due out this fall.  On the trailer, she says that she never knew what she wanted to do, but she knew the kind of woman she wanted to be.  I agree with that but I would add that in knowing who we want to be, I think it helps us to know what we want to be. 

We are always becoming who we are, even when we are not aware of whom that is just yet.  I wrote a poem in 1997 about becoming.


I AM Becoming

All He wants me to be

I AM Becoming

More than I ever thought I could

More than I dared to hope I would

Coming into the me

Created before the earth was formed

The me that’s been forgotten

But is now




The self-that’s wholly God

And wholly me

In awe of the mystery that’s within

The mystery that is God in me

          The Hope of Glory





          I AM


                                      I AM

Michelle LaForest-Roberts

©April 17, 1997

As I looked over my poems, I saw that a great many of them, at various times, had to do with waiting, waiting for something to happen, as well as searching.  I believe that the answers are always within, and also at various times I’ve received the answers to questions that I didn’t know I had.  I wrote this in my journal on January 22, 1997:

-“It seems as if I’ve been waiting all my life or searching.  Waiting for someone or something.  I wish I knew what the thing was, it always seems to be just beyond my grasp-I guess because I don’t know what it is.  When a person is looking for car keys, she may not know where they are, but she knows they are in the house (if they’re on the same ring) because she let herself in the house.  She just doesn’t know where they are.  But when you don’t even know what you’re looking for, it’s always out of your reach-yet it could be right there and you wouldn’t know.”

I wrote this in 2002 but I think it expresses how I feel today as well.

The Woman in the Mirror

I see so many women when I look in the mirror

I see the women I have been, who I am, who I’m becoming.

Sometimes I don’t recognize the woman I see

She’s a complete stranger to me; physically, emotionally, spiritually

Sometimes I don’t like her

Sometimes I don’t want to know her

Then, at other times I’m delighted to meet this woman

She’s confident, exuberant, witty and beautiful on all levels

I like where I think she’s headed;

The things to overcome, the hills to climb,

Wondering what she’ll find wherever she’s going

I see pain sometimes behind the eyes

But nothing that lingers

Just glimpses of another time, another life.

But…what I really do see more than anything-----

Is a woman who is getting stronger every day-one who is becoming content with herself- not trying to please or appease

Perhaps tease (just a little)

Defining boundaries,

Expressing herself---

Myself, the way I choose

However that may be

Whatever that may be

And that’s real!

© April 9, 2002

My friend Linda sent me this Gypsy proverb: “We are all wanderers on this earth.  Our hearts are full of wonder, and our souls are deep with dreams”

I don’t know who or what is waiting to happen to or for me.  But I can say this…….watch out world, I’m coming through!  People get ready, there’s a Michelle coming!

Until next Sunday…

Merry part and merry meet again,

Blessed be

Gypsi Mama Michelle


1 comment:

  1. My life was ALTERED on August 1, 2011 when I found that my “best friend” was no longer here. The old “Debbie” died at the precise moment that an officer walked up to me and apologized. He did not have to elaborate; that apology spoke volumes because I knew that nothing would ever be the same.

    Mickie - the only thing in life that is constant is change - I know that you are on a "seek and find" expedition but I’m not sure that we ever really know who we are or who we want to be because we are always evolving.

    Tomorrow (September 29) I will celebrate the 79th anniversary of my mother’s birth and in celebration of her life and memory I recognize that who I want to be is the person I was raised to be - principled, trust-worthy, and kind AND a bitch when I need to be. I also revel in the knowledge that - I ‘am’ because she ‘was’.