It started at my annual exam when my doctor noticed my thyroid was enlarged. Hmmm, what’s your thyroid do anyway? The doctor said she wasn’t too worried but to be safe to get an ultrasound and have some blood work done. Ultrasound came back – the message the doctor left was not good, ” please, get your blood work done asap.” Then it was time to wait for the results of my blood work. In the meantime, I was freaking out. What if I was sick? What if I had cancer? What if, what if…

This all happened to fall during one of the biggest swells we’ve seen in Santa Barbara since I moved here so I did what any freaked out, surfer would do. I paddled out on a big day and let the waves toss me around like a rag doll. It was good for the soul. I felt clear on a couple of things. I should definitely be surfing more and I resolved that whatever the results I would be more me. More vocal, more real, more open, more alive.

photo (4)The next day I got my results. Blood work was pristine (doctor’s word not mine), see a specialist to be double triple sure, but no cancer, no disease, just four tiny cysts that are actually quite common. Really? Nothing like scary tests and doctor’s messages to wake you up to the basics.

One being that I care way too much about what other people think, I always have. It goes back to the days of being a kid and my Dad doing all kinds of embarrassing, “ground please open up and swallow me” type of things. Like the time the 4-H meeting was at my house and my Dad happened to be driving the tractor in his jungle print bikini underwear when everyone arrived. Yes, that really happened.

In my case, this fear of death, disease, cancer was a good thing. It made me realize how insignificant and totally silly my fear of what people think of me has been and that I’m unwilling to let it stand in my way any longer. So I’m taking conscious steps. I hope you will too. Hit send, ask for what you want, break the rules, tell the truth, say ‘no’, hold your ground, put yourself out there – where ever what other people might think of you is holding you back – take one small step to get passed it.