Holding On

A few months ago, I went on a rock climbing expedition to Utah with First Descents (FD), an adventure camp for young adults with cancer. Part of what FD does is has you chose a nickname to separate yourself from the you that you’ve known (the you with cancer and all the emotional baggage that accompanies that).  I chose Sunny, for my sunny disposition.

I’ve always been the kind of person that seeks out the silver lining, sometimes to a fault, in less than ideal situations.  For example,  I would stay in a relationship because I swore that sometimes it was amazing and most of the time he was great, when really I should have packed it up and headed straight for the hills at the first sign of lunacy. OK, so I’ve been known to keep the sunshine search parties out long past the point of reasonable explanation, but mostly I’ve found it beneficial to look for the good in situations that seemed to lack all light.

That being said… I’m from the Midwest. And anyone from the Midwest knows that it truly isn’t sunny all the time. The weather literally changes on a dime and can be clear and sunshiney one minute and dark and tornado-y the next. Well, today was one of those days.

I was putting away the clean dishes when the storm hit. Thankfully I had the wherewithal to step away from the breakables, as I neither wanted to grieve the loss of an entire matching dish set nor clean it up later. The meltdown was desperate and loud and snotty and exhausting. There may have been screaming involved. I may have punched the couch, but it was totally his fault for standing so close.  You know what they say- don’t poke an angry tiger with a stick or you’ll get punched… surely someone has said that.

But breaking down is normal.  It’s healthy. Think about a shower. You go in there to scrub up and hose down. And when you’re done, the whole place is one steamy slice of smell-good.  Mwah!  But while you’re cleaning off, soap scum and lime buildup and eventually mildew are slowly taking over.  You have to get in there every once in a while with a brush and some cleaning agents, otherwise you’re really up a creek. For those of you who have ever seen a college guy’s shower, you know.  Having a meltdown is like cleaning the shower.  Once it’s done you can resume usage as normal. If you don’t scrub it regularly, then you really have a problem on your hands.

Anyway, I’m in the calm after the storm right now. It’s night time, so it’s not sunny yet, but it will be tomorrow. I’m holding on.


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10 thoughts on “Holding On

  1. beautiful. you just let it out, 🙂

  2. exiledtyke says:

    I am sure you are right about the tiger and I love the photo.
    It seems the same weather conditions were here today but I think I may just be in the eye of it as there seem to be enough clouds to suggest it will run into tomorrow. Not sure weather to emulate you in holding on or to go out into the rain and see what washes off.
    Really glad you were able to save the matching dishes!

  3. Denise Olson says:

    Good for you! I think it is so healthy to let those feelings out instead of hiding out in our tissues.

  4. shannon perry says:

    I totally agree its hard to always find a silver lining but I love to be around people that always look for it.

  5. Emily says:

    Good work… let it out. Let. It. Out. Then, let it out some more. I applaud you sparing the dishes… most people might not have that moment of choice… but then again you r a super hero. When the sun is back… put on your tu tu… get out your cape…

    • kpozzoli says:

      I really underutilize that tutu. Maybe I’ll wear it at smash party. It is a happy maker. I kind of want to go put it in right now. Ooo…

  6. I need to tell you how full of awesome you are. FULL OF AWESOME!!!
    Though my story is different, when I saw you on Jeff’s show it was like you were speaking with my heart. I watched your segment three times and sobbed every time. Tears that had previously refused to come – it was very cathartic.
    Thank you for sharing yourself and your journey with us. xo

  7. Ashley says:


    I saw you on the Jeff Probst show this past Monday and I’ve been catching up on your blog over the past few days. I just wanted to tell you that your amazing and beautiful and you’ve inspired me and I can’t imagine how many other people. You go girl. I will follow your journey and I just know that so many people are as well. We should all strive to be more like you Kelly!

    Sending hugs and a huge thank you for sharing your story!

    • Susan Fields says:

      Hi Kelly, you are an inspiration to all of us. I watched Jeff’s first show just to see what he would have to offer. I both cried and laughed when I watched your story. I am at a place in my life where my parents are getting older and all I want to do is enjoy them and not be so caught up in all the petty stuff that surrounds our lives. I would like that same concept to flow through the other parts of my life. Your life is so inspiring that I want to say Yes to life and be all in…….what a wonderful life it will be and I thank you for sharing your journey and helping others realize what life could and should be.

  8. Lynn Kriner says:

    Hi Kelly, I just watched you on jeff’s show and you really helped me alot. I too have been diagnosed with cervical cancer and have just completed my treatments. I am having a hard time with everything. You have given me the inspiration to learn and seek out a way to be a more positive person and to live my life to the fullest. Thank you and god bless you I wish you the best.

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