Only in Dreams // “Shake It Off”

sweet dreams

My dreams lately have inspired nothing but anxiety and panic, not because of the content, but because of the realization that nothing is at all like how I dreamed it upon waking up.  My life isn’t exactly nightmarish.  Nothing is particularly bad.  I’m alive for now. I don’t have cancer for now. School is going well for now. My relationship is great for now.

The understanding that change is the only constant in life allows me to float through knowing that everything can change tomorrow, or tonight, or in an hour, or even 10 minutes from now. It’s both comforting and unsettling at the same time.


For instance, last Monday, a nurse at my gynecologist’s office called me to let me know that my CM 125 blood test (a blood test that detects ovarian cancer markers) game back normal (negative).  I celebrated a little too much.  I was indulgent, downright gluttonous at times.  Despite the growth still requiring removal, I was excited.  The nurse informed me that my doctor would be consulting an endocrinologist to determine how to proceed.  I found that to be odd but ultimately accepted it.

This Monday, however, my gynecologist herself called.  She said that the nurse misspoke; she was still playing phone tag with the oncologist.  That snapped me back into reality.  Whatever false sense of security I had vanished.  She also said that my tumor is benign now, but that might not always be the case.  It was a sobering reminder that I am never entirely out of the woods.

I’m now waiting to schedule the removal of my ovary.  My life is spent waiting.


I’ve spent this week trying to get back to center, to feel like I did a year ago when I was at my happiest.  I’ve been taking better care of my body and have put more effort into my appearance.  It is the effort I deserve.  The care I deserve.  I’ve thrown myself into my studies.  I’ve spent more time with family and friends.  I’ve taken big steps to reclaiming myself, even if the version of me I’m trying to reclaim is a stranger now.

I just painted my fingernails for the third time this year. I added glitter because life needs more glitter.


Life needs more glitter.  Glitter in the form of good news.  Glitter in the form of the hugs and kisses.  Glitter in the form of the most satisfying burrito you’ve ever had.  Glitter in the form of meaningful experiences and good talks.  Glitter in the form of knowing in your heart of hearts that you’re not only on the right track, but that the track you’re on is on its way to greatness.


treat yo self

Over the years, I’ve come to accept my closet love of pop music, pushing whatever snobbery I stubbornly held onto aside.  I like singing Belle and Sebastian’s “She’s Losing It” just as much as I like singing Minor Threat’s “I Don’t Want To Hear It,” just as much as I like singing Katy Perry’s “Firework.”  Because I’ve outgrown the scenes and the arrogance and the bullshit that revolves around letting the stuff you like define you.

I guess the song I’m most identifying with right now is “Shake It Off” by Taylor Swift.  It’s the chorus that gets me, really.  My interpret of it is this:  bullshit happens.  People are going to be assholes.  Situations aren’t going to pan out the way you want them to.  You could either succumb to all of life’s nonsense, or you could brush is off and carry on with your life, as fucked up as things may seem.  Life is kind of shitty right now.  I’ll say that.  But the best I can do is shake off all of the negative crap and “keep it moving” as the young kids say.



Author: Leila

Just another case of arrested development.

3 thoughts on “Only in Dreams // “Shake It Off””

  1. We humans are funny creatures, we have the most incredible ability to get through all sorts of adversity, yet we almost never give ourselves credit for it. Shake it off seems to me to be an excellent attitude that will serve you well, I wish you all the best 🙂


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