For today's Badass Survivor post, I'd like to spotlight the talented writer and Call Your Girlfriend podcast host Aminatou Sow. I first discovered her insightful writing through the book Big Friendship, a meditation on friendships and their evolution. As someone who deeply values friendship, I loved how this book elevates and recognizes the important work needed to maintain strong friendships over time (a relationship also often sidelined to all the wedding and marriage hype). In the course of the book Sow also reveals her personal health journey and subsequent cancer diagnosis. She briefly touches on her cancer diagnosis in the book, but has written about it more extensively in her weekly newsletter.
I was particularly affected by a recent advice column where she wrote to a young woman finishing up treatment for breast cancer. You can read the whole post here. I've pulled out a few quotes that particularly resonated for me below.
“I’m a few years older than you but I don’t feel like much of a grownup by any of these benchmarks and I don’t think that would change even if I hadn’t gotten cancer because this idea of a “grownup” is mostly made up. Nobody has a perfectly linear journey on this earth. Life will be full of interruptions like the ones you and I have had. (Hello global pandemic!) Cancer really sucks and I am really sorry it happened to you but I really do not believe that it has slowed you down or taken you off a preordained path for your life."
"Cancer can feel like it robbed us of so many things that make us human and beautiful on the outside but let me assure you that it only enhances the qualities that make you human and beautiful on the inside."