So I’ve been missing from the world of Hair Optional for, um, awhile. (Don’t look at the last time I posted, please. Or do, and then read all of my old posts. It’s really up to you and how much time you have.) WHY?!?!?! you beg me in an agonized voice. Well, it’s because I quit my job and wrote a book.

“You did WHAT?”

I know, I know, “everyone” who survives cancer writes a book, runs a marathon, or starts a non-profit. I know. I’m a stereotype. But I am a woman and also a good driver. So, sometimes our stereotypes hold and sometimes they don’t. But I digress.

2014 turned into an incredibly tumultuous year for me, both on the health front and on general life. Michael and I bought our first house, I continued to try to breath through my job as an attorney, and then I had a biopsy that went wrong and turned into emergency open heart surgery. That’s a hell of a story, and I did write about it, just not on this blog. At the end of all of that, I realized that, since cancer, I had been trying to put two people in the same body: post-cancer Lydia and pre-cancer Lydia.

“Sure, I got this really horrifying disease that makes me rethink everything I’ve ever done and all of my behavior EVER but from 9-5 (or 8-6 or 7-7 or more) I’m going to put on a suit and go into my white-soled law firm and pretend that I still care about whether JP Morgan gets the full amount of it’s loan during this particular bankruptcy.”

In some respects, having my chest cracked open for a second time reminded me of exactly how well that was working out.

So I recovered from heart surgery, saw a shaman and hiked Machu Picchu, paid for all of my medical bills, and quit my job. For the record, the only thing I miss about it after almost two years is my coworkers. Ostensibly, I quit my job to write a book about cancer and heart surgery and trying to pack two people into one body, but for the first month or so it became abundantly clear that I quit my job in order to have a full-fledged meltdown, during which I watched all seven seasons of Sons of Anarchy, drank too much bourbon, and took the Harley Davidson motorcycle safety class (once sober).

And then I wrote a book.

It took me eighteen months, two editors, and weekly therapy, but I have a 93,538 word document saved on my computer entitled “Complete Manuscript – v8.” (NOT the working title.) Double-spaced, it’s 321 pages long. I’ve been told that unless my name is JK Rowling, I can’t submit a manuscript to a publisher that is longer than 100,000 words, so now that I’ve written the book that I needed to write in order to screw my head back on and figure out how to integrate my two Lydia’s (still in process), I’ve started the process of turning it into something that perhaps you, my devoted readers, would enjoy reading in a timely manner. Needless to say, I think I have some pretty interesting insights in it, so I’ll keep you updated.

In the meantime, I’ve returned to Hair Optional and the world of my electronic diary. As we move forward together, I really really REALLY hope that I never write about chemotherapy in real time ever again. So if that’s the only reason you read my blog, God speed my love. But a lot happens to a 37-year-old cancer survivor post-chemotherapy with aging parents and a sister survivor who happens to be living on a planet that is having a world-wide political meltdown, and if you’ve enjoyed the ride so far, I guarantee you’ll enjoy the ride from here.

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