Tuesday, March 9, 2010

On being happy with yourself...

Last week I happened to catch Roger Ebert on Oprah. You know Roger Ebert as the movie critic, but did you know he had thyroid cancer? In his battle with thyroid cancer he has lost not only his voice, but his entire lower jaw. Just imagine yourself in that situation for a moment. Imagine never being able to eat or drink again- never having a slice of birthday cake, never crunching into a crisp apple, never sipping on homemade lemonade on a hot summer day.

Now add on top of that never being able to have a conversation again. I’m not a big talker. I’m shy and I know I have gone a whole day without talking to anyone before, but imagine going the rest of your life never being able to speak to someone again. I am a huge fan of the written word, but there is just something about having an actual conversation with someone that brings that to a whole other level. No matter how much you’d be able to communicate, never being able to speak again would be a pretty lonely place. Some Scottish programmers have developed for him a device that allows him to type his own words and the computer will translate them into his own voice. That is pretty cool, but he still has lost a lot.

Losing his jaw has also disfigured his face, although to me I thought it was endearing that he looks like he has a continual huge smile on his face. When Oprah asked him if he was going to have anymore surgery to correct it, he responded-

"I'm not going to talk or eat or drink again, so the surgery would only be to patch my face back together," he said. "I don't want to go through that. This is the way I look and my life is happy and productive, so why have any more surgery?"

It was basically like saying “This is me and I am ok with that”.

I got to thinking about if I could or would ever be able to say that about myself. I can’t. And I don’t know that I would ever be able to. I am the type of person who is always looking to improve myself. I don’t know that I will ever get to a point where I can say “This is me…the finished version of me…and I am happy with it.” I want to. I think it would be a great place to be. But I don’t know if I will ever get there.

What about you? Could you look in the mirror and consider everything you are (the good and the bad) and say to yourself “This is me and I am happy with it.”?

7 comments:

Carly said...

I admire Roger Ebert for not running & hiding. Cancer is a nasty disease and the fact he can say he is happy with himself and where he is. . . Wow! Faced with cancer I'm not sure I could accept all my good's & bad's. I, like you, am not in that place now. Is this not accepting the good & bad a woman thing? Do guys have this problem? They seem much more accepting of themselves. Hmm. . .

Laura said...

I received my present! Thank you :) Blogging about it now.

Laura said...

PS. I like your blog :)

Megan said...

no. not right now. i think that comes with age. the older i get the more accepting and loving of myself i become. for this very reason i'm really looking forward to my thirties.

AnnQ said...

Wow...not sure. I'm so particular about certain things I'm not sure I'm evolved enough just yet. Someday I'd like to be, though.

Jen said...

I think it isn't quite the same. I mean honestly, there are things that I have not yet accomplished in my life that I wish to, but that doesn't mean I'm not happy with myself and that doesn't mean that I'm settling. Does that make sense? I am happy with the person I have become and that person is someone who loves to grow and change and learn new things. I don't think there is anything wrong with accepting who you are for what you are and knowing where your limits lie. I think it is sad for people who go through life making all these grand plans and not accomplish them and then feel like a failure because they didn't do these "things" that may or may not have even made any difference in who they are as a person.

Ally said...

Wow! This was so powerful. I need to look him up online to get the story. I knew he had cancer but haven't seen him in some time.

So sad. Thanks for making me feel better. I'm here utterly depressed beyond belief about still not finding a job after six months, but at least I'm still rather healthy - I hope!