I guess I am going to be okay.

I am creating ballet-related merch designs for one of my Redbubble stores today. I have been thinking a lot about how I want to create some kind of body of work that will live on once I am gone. But I feel so unsure about what that should be. Redbubble designs are probably not the answer, but they are, perhaps, a place to start.

Although, this lady on TikTok says that none of our digital files will survive. That there needs to be more hardware to store the massive amount of content we are creating and that in one hundred years, no one will be able to see all the weird stuff we put on the internet. The cloud will float away and disappear. Poof. Papyrus is a more stable method of record-keeping, apparently. Pretty discouraging to think about, seeing as nearly everything we create is digital these days.

I made this blog because I want a space where I can be as weird and raw and unfiltered as I want while I write about my life.

So about my life: last week I had an oral biopsy on my gums, due to chronic inflammation that had no clear cause. After googling my symptoms and the procedure, I convinced myself that I had oral cancer. I have spent the last several days feeling a very deep, thick, and suffocating sense of fear. I was not as afraid for myself as I was for my family, particularly my children.

Life is weird because what matters most is our connection to other people, not our individual selves. We are nothing without love, community, and relationships.

We can't function without each other. And I say that as an introvert who needs hours and hours of alone time. I have been lonely: really, truly lonely, and it sucks, frankly. Without other people, life loses all meaning. I didn't really fear disappearing from the earth, not that much. But I couldn't stand the thought of abandoning my children against my will, of leaving them here without a mother. That is what scared me most.

Even though I was convinced I had cancer, I went to ballet class yesterday. It was a beginning-level class, but I still made many mistakes, which bothered me. Even after all these years, when I go to ballet class, I have this nagging, gnawing sense that I don't deserve to be there, not really. That I am terrible at ballet. That I should give up and go home. That I am in everyone's way and causing problems. I wish I could get over that feeling. I really like ballet, but I'd like it a lot more if I didn't feel so bad about myself all the damn time.

One of my merch designs says "World's Okayest Ballerina," which is a funny and cute way to say that you do ballet for fun and are not that competitive. But feeling like the world's okayest ballerina would be a huge step up from feeling like the world's worst ballerina, which is how I usually feel. It's how I feel right now.

Anyway, the doctor just called me, and I do not have cancer. That is a huge relief. I feel weird and shaky, and the anxiety is still in my body, but I can feel it slowly lifting. I think I might feel normal again soon, whatever normal means. My biopsy showed oral lichen planus, an autoimmune disorder similar to eczema. I just googled it, and the condition is correlated with a higher risk of oral cancer, but I am not going to think about that right now. I am going to try to relish the relief of the fact that I do not have cancer, not today.

But man, this last week was tough and left me wondering: why is life so ridiculously hard?

Why do we have to die eventually and, in the meantime, worry about dying from things like cancer? If death did not exist, would life still be this hard? Without death, there would be no fear of death, and the fear of death is the root of most of life's problems, right? But without death, would there be birth? Would there be beauty, newness? Would there be the goodness without the badness? The light without the dark? No one really knows.

Life is so confusing and terrible. But I probably feel that way because I have spent the last seven days in a fog of existential terror, vacillating between extreme anxiety and extreme depression. I guess cancer scares can do that to a person. I am glad I don't have cancer.

Anyway, let's talk about something else. I really like ballet, and I always have. When life is really, really tough, ballet can be a soft place to land, and dancing can feel like magic. (Even if you don't feel like you are particularly good at it, dancing is still a nice way to spend your time, and it is certainly more magical than, say, looking over your credit card statement or paying your utility bills.)

As I mentioned, I have been working on designing ballet-related merch this week. One of my designs says, "Ballet is magic." I really do believe ballet is magic. Here is the link to my store on Redbubble, if you are interested. Maybe buy some of my stuff if you like it and can afford it. I am a great saleslady. (Haha.)

Goodbye, for now. I guess.

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