Once upon a time, my sister told me I’m pretentious, and I put people on pedestals. She claimed when someone doesn’t meet my expectations of them, I knock them of that pedestal in my head and never let them back on it.
Back when my sister said that to me, it shook me, made me really question myself because that’s not how I saw myself. It took me longer than it should have for me to tell myself it was BS and move on with my life.
Tomorrow, I turn 39. I had 37 birthdays without the shadow of cancer. It’s been a little over a year and a half since I heard those four words, “You have breast cancer.” Those four words shattered my world, and as I’ve put my world back together, as I stare 39 in the face, I’ve come to some realizations.
I don’t put people on pedestals. I expect no more from people I know than I expect of myself. I expect a lot of myself. It’s just the way I’m wired. I find value and worth in working hard, honoring commitments, serving my community, and loving my family and small, but mighty, group of friends.
It’s okay that I like classical music, show tunes, musicals, and going to the symphony. It doesn’t make me pretentious. Music, like writing, like reading, comforts me. I remember, clearly, the first time I heard Mozart’s Kyrie. I was fourteen. It touched a part of my soul. I remember hearing Scheherazade, and with joy, understanding the rise and the fall of the music mirrored the stories in “A Thousand and One Nights.” I was sixteen. I remember sitting in a London theater watching Blood Brothers, and another night, in another London theater, watching Starlight Express. I was eighteen. I remember sitting at Fair Park watching the Beauty and the Beast (the musical). I was twenty or twenty-one. The Dallas winds have an upcoming concert, Video Games in Concert. If A doesn’t take me, I’ll take myself. Music has always been a part of me. Music, like reading, like writing, heals me. Time does not heal my wounds. Music. Stories. Those heal my wounds.
Perhaps those are the things I place on pedestals. I expect music and stories to do for me what time cannot -heal, comfort.