Time after Time — To Go Slow
Lying in my bed, I hear the clock tick and think of you
Caught up in circles
Confusion is nothing new
Flashback, warm nights
Almost left behind
Suitcase of memories
Sometimes you picture me
I’m walking too far ahead
You’re calling to me, I can’t hear
What you’ve said
Then you say, “go slow”
And I fall behind
The second hand unwinds” — Cyndi Lauper
The reason I haven’t been writing for a while is my health and some medical conditions that the last 6–7 years of managing cancer metastasis and countless abdominal surgeries have brought to light.
When Cyndi Lauper first released, She’s So Unusual soon after my 8th birthday in 1983, my world was a sad place in ways someday I’ll share in a long overdue book. But this album and song spoke to me. More than Madonna or the British performers, who jumped onto the music scene, the intimacy of this song caught the attention of the lost little soul that could not and did not fit in anywhere in the world and has held it ever since. So, when I heard Pink’s Live Cover last weekend, the loop closed on the circuit of my life and the related innumerable trips I took on my own to Sloan Kettering’s Urgent Care, after prepping a 3-day bag to get through my repeated bouts with neutropenia.
When I heard this song again, I was that 8 -ear-old girl, that lone survivor, that little misfit who’s managed to look after herself in ways no person should ever have to, but I had.
My latest relapses revealed an acute bacterial infection due to exposure to Campylobacter, a new hernia in my colon wall, gastritis, polyps, a Freiberg’s Infraction in my right foot and goodness knows what else yet to be revealed.
But somehow, I knew I’d be just fine. These were just new hiccups in the ever-repeating loop of a life less ordinary. And whatever happened next, I’d manage.
Hearing this song again, as performed by Pink, also revealed an entirely new meaning to me. Rather than seeing it as an intimate love song to a partner or former partner, it was a love song to myself. To my little, still broken inner child. To slow down. Take stock of everything I’ve achieved, managed and done. Entirely alone. And to be Gentle, Loving, Patient and PROUD of myself. And ready to take a break. I’d pushed so hard for so long after my second round with cancer in 2016 — running for office twice to right the wrongs of the Old White Men problem we have in politics, and the corporate sector, save New York from itself and tried to invest my money in fixing what I couldn’t on my own. Even moving overseas during Covid to try to do it for others.
But this time, I’m taking the message to “Go Slow” seriously. I’ve survived more than should be humanly possible, and the gifts keep coming… Like this new boot.
So, as this year and period of seemingly unending challenges and hurdles comes towards its close, I hope you too can take some time off and reflect on what you’ve overcome and achieved in the face of the impossible and remember that it’s just as admirable at times to go slow and look after yourself when the struggles and demands of the world tug at you.
Holly Lynch is a 20+ year ESG and DEI communications veteran, board member, strategist and investor who has helped individuals and companies tackle the toughest challenges, transitions and transformations in their worlds. Having survived countless life setbacks and two rounds with terminal cancer, while seeing the country-wide collapse of the systems and safety nets for the most vulnerable in and outside our communities, she is now shifting her life and career trajectories to focus on coaching and consulting with those facing down fundamental shifts and transitions as they try to adapt to change while rebuilding their lives and businesses during these unprecedented times.