Fake It Till You Make It?

Being okay is a choice I make every day. I wake up in the morning, dreading my day and choose. Red pill or blue pill. Wake up and be an adult or quit, literally, everything and just stay in bed. I choose to wake up and get up 90% of the time.
Because that’s what you do. You wake up, you get up and you do the damn thing; I am broken but I am fighting not to be. Because I have people around me that lift me up and because I finally feel like I WANT to live, instead of just having to. But that doesn’t make it easy to be happy. I have to try and find happiness every.single.day. Some days  it’s easy like Sunday morning and some times I’m workin’ 9-5  just to see something good in a day; JUST to focus on the happiness I know exists.

Sometimes I look through photos and, even though my eyes might leak, I smile and laugh and remember how lucky I was to be her mom. and how INCREDIBLE my life was when she was here.  Sometimes I have to do it that way, force myself to remember the good, the fun, the smiles, the laughter, the joy, and the adventures. Sometimes I feel like if I fake it, then one day I wont have to, one day i’ll see the good before the bad. One day I’ll be able to feel the love without the sharpness of pain (or at least with the pain a little duller).
But as the dark cloud of the death anniversary gets closer to shore, I get kinda over it. I am over trying to pretend that her life outweighs her death in my heart all the time. I am over always having to find the positive and the happy.
I do it 358 days of the year (save a couple days that completely suck, here and there) and I kind of hope that its okay that I don’t for 7. not if I don’t want to, anyway. Not if I wake up and think, nope. this is shit. all of it. complete shit. and then I don’t put on pants, eat my comfort foods and drink wine at noon. That needs to be okay.
It needs to be okay if I wake up in a good mood and think, nope, not today doom and gloom. I am going to enjoy this weather, I’m going to smile. I’m going to try and do things today that remind me of Lilee and then I’m going to not wear pants and drink wine (probably not at noon). That needs to be okay too.
It needs to be okay because I need just a short bit each year to not pretend.
I do, however, understand the importance of putting on my big girl knickers and fakin it till I’m makin’ it, because if I constantly let myself be down when I am down, stay home when I don’t want to look another human in the face or eat whatever I wanted and drank whenever I wanted, I can’t say for certain that I would be here, clicking away on this keyboard, today.
But it is exhausting.
I’m exhausted.
Pile on the PTSD, pile on the memories, the energy that this time of year evokes, pile it all on and I can’t do it. My back breaks. The weight of it is too much.
I have this hope of traveling all around the 6th; a little before and a little after. I am always going to take some time to reflect, so why not make it into an adventure as well.
I had someone ask me why I would want to plan a big trip around that time. Wouldn’t I be miserable? How would I be able to enjoy the trip? Wouldn’t I want to do a smaller trip for her, and then a bigger one at a different time of year when I wasn’t so low?
Yes. Of course that makes sense. No one wants to go to an all inclusive party week in Mexico on the anniversary of tragedy.
But here is why I do want to be somewhere else in the world:
I want to be able to just be. Happy, sad, excited, peaceful, retrospective, introspective, vinospective (made that one up). I want to be able to just live in whatever way I am going to live. I am not one for distractions in the traditional sense. Some people, when they know something difficult is coming up, will through themselves into their work, or hobbies or whatever else can keep them from thinking of that difficult thing.
want to wake up and think about it if I am thinking about it. Or not, if I’m not. I want to find beautiful colours on a day I am seeing only grey. I want to feel like I am living remarkably, because that is how she lived. And, just like her final moments during a treacherous rainstorm, her last breath bringing a rainbow through the clouds across the valley, I  want to be somewhere sensational to mirror how she died. Because she died while 13,000 people held their breath. She chose to die in my arms, the way she was first brought onto this earth, listening to her dad play his guitar which was one of her most favourite things.
You would have to be blind to not see how poetic her life was and equally how poetic her death was. Horrendous. Yes. Beyond. But poetic, too. Incredibly so.
Taking time away from this life I have built without her, isn’t just to go cry into a bottle of wine and eat my feelings. It’s to find something beautiful that reminds me of her life, and live my truth as I remember the day she died.
This year I’ll be alone in the pacific north west. Not faking it. Not trying to make it. Not pretending. I doubt I’ll spend the whole time wallowing in my own self pity (unless I want to) but I also can’t say i’m going to enjoy every second of my time away.
It wouldn’t make it easier to be In Italy, or France, or Argentina, but one year I hope that’s where I’ll be.
It won’t make it easier being snuggled in a little B&B, looking out at the pacific. But it wont make it harder either.
Whether I am over seas or in my own familiar back yard,  I will have the freedom to just be.
And that might be the only thing I know I actually need.

The Freedom To Just Be.


removing pants and pouring wine,
Yours, honestly,
Chelsey xo
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3 thoughts on “Fake It Till You Make It?

  1. Bill and I will never, ever forget your beautiful Lilee-Jean! Honestly, she was the impetus that has moved us to try to make a difference in a few oncology kids’ lives. Her spirit lives strong in so many hearts. But, I know you know that and I know that you are doing exactly what you need to do at every given moment to cope with the immensity of her loss while honouring that indomitable spirit. Keep writing and trust that when you (just) BE, that is absolutely fine! Sending you love!❤️

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