Outside the Fantasy

The lessons of life outside the fantasy of our hopes and dreams

It’s been a busy month. No sooner did my book launch than I had to take a trip to Chicago to help take care of my mom after a recent surgery to remove her cancer. I’d already promised to come out and help when we got the news from my husband’s side of the family that his grandfather’s cancer was back and there was nothing they could do. We had to schedule a last minute trip down to southern Texas to say our goodbyes.

Life never makes things easy. A short hiatus from YouTube and Twitch while I got my book out turned into two solid months of no work on any of my platforms. I would do it again, though. That valuable time I was able to spend with my mom helping her recover and those precious moments with my husband’s Welo (his family’s affectionate name for his grandfather) meant so much to us.

Sometimes I think we forget the importance of family and togetherness in our constant hustle to try and make things happen. The extra long break was, in a lot of ways, absolutely horrible. We were forced to face the impending loss of a man that means so much to all of us: seeing my mom sick from 6 months of chemo and too weak to even get up from her chair on her own was heartbreaking. But despite the darkness hovering over our families, I can’t help but be thankful that we were able to be there during these hard times.

It’s never who you’re with in the good times that are meaningful: it’s the people who show up to support you when things are at their worst that make the most difference. I’m glad that, in some little way, I could be there for them. I didn’t do much. My sister was there for my mom for the 6 months of chemo that happened during the pandemic before my husband and I could get our vaccines. My husband’s uncle took on the brunt force of caring not only for his ailing father but also for his mother who had passed away the year before when we couldn’t be there. But to help where we could and how we could was meaningful in its own way.

It feels weird to be back. My little world here in my dining room, surrounded by computer screens and cameras, feels so far away from the blisteringly hot house in Texas where we danced and sang for Welo. We made food as a family, bickered, laughed, cried, and tried to make the best out of a sad reality.

My quiet home is so cognitively different from my sister’s house full of lively little girls that we had to corral away from their sick grandma. The sleepless nights listening to make sure mom didn’t fall out of bed or call for help; cleaning out the drainage tube that kept fluid from building up in her chest after the surgery; tirelessly playing the same games over and over with my 2 year old niece just so she’d stop trying to wake up her grandma: It’s like an entirely different world.

In a lot of ways, my isolated life in my little house is a fantasy. It’s everything I really want for myself, and it’s easy to see how fortunate I am to be here. Now that we’re back home and starting to get settled in, I’ve been able to get back to my normal work routine. I’m posting a series of videos on my YouTube channel (CC Writes) all about the art of writing prose. On Twitch, I’m doing hour-long writing sprints to plot out my latest book series–a magic-punk story about plague, power, and an oppressed race of faeries called Tieflings. It’s all so very calm and normal in a very abnormal way. I’m thankful for the fantasy. I’m also thankful for the family that called me outside of my fantasy for a brief time, and the reminder that not everything revolves around me and my work as a writer.

Make sure you take care of your loved ones. Step outside of your dream of a better life to live the life you have right here and now. It’s important and it’s worth it. And, as always, thanks for stopping by. I’ll see you later!

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