Coming Up Against the No

Why didn’t Steve Jobs get treated for his pancreatic cancer when it could still have been cured? I’m not sure, probably no one alive knows, but I think maybe it’s because, after starting this huge company and achieving unimaginable success, some part of him believed that his will could control reality.

After all, it kind of seems like everything else he’d ever wished for had come into existence. In a weird way, it probably wasn’t totally irrational; it was how his life had worked up until then. When wanted something bad enough, somehow, he could eventually make it happen.

Until he couldn’t.

Steve jobs regretted it, apparently — as I suppose he would — the decision not to get his cancer operated on. I wonder what he learned from that experience, apparently his final words were “Oh wow, oh wow, oh wow.”

I’ve had a weird week. I started a job, majorly fell out with a friend, and watched two people I love go through some big rites of passage. And, like I dunno — it feels like there’s something I want to articulate, but I can’t, or maybe I don’t really care enough to, or something. And I have this blog I never write in, because like, fuck it but maybe I’ll write in it now.

I feel like, the past few months of me, have been the sort of opposite of Steve Job’s life pre-cancer. It’s like everything I wanted, and thought I had, just burst into flames and no amount of willing it otherwise could fix it.

So, like, 6 months ago I moved across the country to be with this guy I loved. Before him, I hadn’t dated anyone in years because I’d been like dealing with this trauma of getting sexually assaulted twice. And, it sounds stupid now, but I had this feeling like when we were dating — finally. Finally I get to just be happy like everyone else.

Anyway, he dumped me 2 weeks after I moved.

We had a fair number of mutual friends, and ultimately, this led to a deeply frustrating social situation where I was not invited to events I wanted to go to because he would be there. This extra double sucked back then because I’d just moved and didn’t have an established base yet, but I’m still dealing with it 6 months later.

Anyway. I got this like, facebook ad targeted at me:

We live in a world that currently gives women a long sustained “no.”

No to most of the things we care most about.
No to what we passionately want to protect.

No to a woman’s voice, her safe and free sexual self expression, the health and beauty of our planet. No to the voices of minorities and those who are not protected by the legal and justice systems currently in place, no to children being safe from gun violence in school, no to economic opportunity and rightful compensation for all.

The world is a long loud noooooo… and it affects us daily.

and I guess I feel that. I feel the no, have to deal with the no.

Anyway. I’m supposed to say everything’s fine now, and in a way it is. I have good old friends who really showed up for me, I’ve made new friends who I feel very close to, and I even have a job I like which never happens because I hate 99% of the working world.

And yet, some part of me is still ruled by that place of no.

I kind of want to take that course that the facebook ad was selling It went on to say:

I teach [women] to get curious and play in that space, to investigate, transform the resistance of the other person and create something even greater than either could have thought of before. Not compromise. Creation.

To do that requires no flinching in the face of no. No backing down. It also requires zero attacks, crushing, or aggression.
We teach these skills in the school so that women are empowered as individuals so ask, command, invite and express freely.

Truth is, I’ve been so frustrated, I haven’t dealt with my “no”s very well. Because, it’s hard, right? It’s hard to be told no, and it’s extra double hard when you kind of feel like some double standard is at play. What is the right response to no?

And, when does a “no” eventually become an “oh wow?” That’s what I’d like to know.

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