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SHIFTING GEARS . . . GET OUT OF AUTOMATIC TRANSMISSION!
I was recently in a little rear-ender fender bender. So I left my car in the shop and went to pick up the rental car. When I arrived, the selection was very limited (it was a Friday so the weekend warriors had cleared out the inventory), but there in the middle of the lot was a sexy muthu-shut-yo-mouth all-black shiny, new Mustang GT. I was apprehensive and in my typical pragmatic mode. But Stan the salesman could see the gleam in my eye as I looked her over. “You deserve it! When else would you treat yourself to driving this kind of car?” he said. (How did he know what I was thinking?!?!)
My brain was on fire! I was torn between practicality and adventure. I even felt shy, like the cute boy I always had a crush on just invited me to sit with him at lunch. I literally blushed and giggled at the thought of driving this car. I was having an Existential dilemma at Enterprise Rental Car! After some deliberation (and a little haggling on the extra cost), I silenced the resounding “responsible” voice and went with the gleam. YES, I’ll take it!
Within 5 minutes of driving my newly rented Mustang Ford, I was completely transformed! I was utterly giddy being at the helm of this powerful machine. I laughed with glee like a kid on her first solo bike ride sans training wheels careening down the thankfully empty street. I felt like I was flying — not as on a plane, but like I was an eagle soaring high in the air, majestic and powerful, wild and free. And I felt the need . . . the neeeed for speeeeed.
I was nervous as hell, too, the way it feels to be on a horse that decides to trot just a bit faster than you think you can handle. Invigorated, terrified, and unremittingly overjoyed. I felt like a completely different person!
I spent the next six glorious days with Sally (yes, corny as it is, I named my Mustang “Sally” for the duration of our temporary custodial companionship). From the beginning of our time together, a sense of wonder and adventure filled my spirit. Everyday activities were punctuated by an impatience and eager anticipation for the next time I’d get to drive that car. We took pictures together. We blasted music and sang together. We ventured onto freeways in the traffic-less twilight hours just so we could really open ‘er up and VROOOOOM! WOOHOOOOOOOOOOOO!!
It was one of the best weeks of my life! And I still can’t believe this flurry of emotions was all because of a car! But life-changing or awakening perspective can come in huge or infinitesimal packages. Maybe it’s cancer. Or maybe it’s just a Mustang.
This particular experience got me thinkin’ (of course!) about identity and story. The stories we tell ourselves about who we are. The stories we tell other people about who we are, and the ones they tell us about how they want to be seen. And how so many of these stories are really just “histories” that too often become mantras that can lock us into one path or one particular direction. We live out a carefully forged habitual life in the safety of our comfort zones, often ignoring opportunities to spice it up a bit or do something “out of character” simply because “Oh, that’s just not ME.”
The thing is, all of it is part of who we are. It may not be the everyday ongoing thing or a long-term change in direction. But it’s vital to explore new things, to re-activate a passion or interest that we set aside, even if only a small part of it, to create a spark of fresh energy. Give the voice in us that may not often be expressed a platform to dance and shout it out.
Strum a few chords on the guitar sitting in the corner, put on that dress you bought 6 months ago but were waiting for a “special occasion” to wear, take an improv class, a cooking class, a yoga class, take a sick day and go read in the park, write a poem, hug a stranger — live like a tourist in your own life, bring a sense of awe and adventure into the everydays.
Let’s not compartmentalize ourselves. All of it is one big YOU stew! And any chef will tell you, for a deep, rich, flavorful stew, it’s vital to stir it up a bit from time to time to let all the ingredients shine!
Don’t text and drive! And enjoy the ride! diggit.
I’m honored to be the host of the documentary The Whisper: The Silent Crisis of Ovarian Cancer for PBS, premiering on New York’s WLIW21 on September 24 at 7:00pm! There are additional air dates of Sept 27 at 10:30pm & Oct 1 at 11:30pm, after which we hope the national affiliates will pick it up so our message will be heard across the country (but 5 million of my lovely New Yorkers is definitely starting with a big bang!).
Tune in, turn on, shout it out!
Click here to see the 3-minute trailer!
Click here to see a powerful 30-second snippit featuring radiant & beautiful o.c. survivor, Chana Garcia!
Click here to see a 30-second snippit featuring me, your humble Bald Is Beautiful o.c. warrior!
You can also view the entire documentary HERE (if it’s locked, the password is: baldisbeautiful).
I’ve been selected to be part of Lifetime Television’s “Remarkable Women” campaign! The 30-second spot with run the week of Sept 17–23, at least once a day, and it will be on the Lifetime website forever and ever and ever (with a live link to this site, to boot)!
Click here for the Lifetime TV link!
Here’s the spot:
That’s right, lovelies: the Bald Is Beautiful Revolution WILL be televised!
On Monday, June 28, I made my network TV debut on Fox TV’s Lie to Me, starring Tim Roth! I’m in TWO scenes as the dedicated and caring MRI Tech at the VA Hospital — in the top 7 minutes and in the last 5 minutes of the show, with on-screen co-star credit in the end titles, to boot! My name in Chyron! Yahoooo!
Fast forward to 1:33 in my acting reel below to see my two scenes!
“I’d like to thank the Academy . . .”
I’m honored to have been bestowed the prestigious Lily Tartikoff/E.I.F. Hope Award at the 2010 National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship Rays of Hope Gala in Washington, D.C.! YAHOOOO! The other honorees for the evening were Ted Kennedy’s autobiography, True Compass (which was accepted by his children, Ted Jr, Pat, and Kara), and Abbe Raven, head of A&E Television Networks. A pretty darn esteemed group, eh? Cheers to the other Rays of Hope, and extra special thank you to Lily Tartikoff, one of my all-time heroes, for personally extending this honor to me. And here’s to the NCCS for all of the incredible work they do to support cancer patients and their families.
My acceptance speech was lovingly captured by my twin sis, Elisa! Check it out below:
Here are a few memorable pics from the evening . . .
* With Ted Kennedy Jr. and Lily Tartikoff.
* S’more Getty Images/Wireimage pics from the step ‘n’ repeat (move cursor over the images to see ’em bigger)!
“Well I’ve never been to Spain / But I kinda like the music . . .” so the song goes . . . but now Bald Is Beautiful is heading to SPAIN!
In early November, I will have the honor of speaking as part of a beautiful program in Spain called LO QUE DE VERDAD IMPORTA (WHAT REALLY MATTERS). The programs are geared towards young people, mainly late teens, to let them hear from ordinary people with extraordinary stories about finding positivity and empowerment in what most consider a devastating or traumatic life experience. LQDVI is about inspiring attendees to create their lives with purpose and confidence and a sense of, well, what really matters in life! I will present in Seville and in Madrid.
Thank you, especially, to Maria, Carolina, Pilar
I had the most incredible experience presenting at these “congresos” in Madrid and Seville! I spoke to two main groups, totaling about 7,000 youths, including a 1-hour presentation followed by a wonderful Q&A in which attendees were invited to write a question on a card at the beginning of the evening and the moderator selected a handful of them to discuss at the end. As I left the stage in Madrid, the entire room erupted in cheers and the kids chanting (in Spanish accent): “Charon! Charon! Charon!” It was awesome!
After the congresos were done, I spent a whole week in Spain
Click HERE to see my page on their site and an edited video of my presentation!
Click HERE to peruse the whole site of other inspiring speakers over the years (it’s in Spanish, but you can allow browser to Translate if you wanna)!
Spring is here and things are lookin’ green! And . . . one (two, actually) of my favorite days in the whole year is comin’ up once again! On Saturdays, May 2nd (NYC) & May 9th (LA), I will be participating in the Annual Revlon Run/Walk for Women in New York & LA-la-land!! You can join me in the fight against women’s cancers by making a pledge or donation on my behalf.
Last year marked my 5-year cancer-free anniversary and now I march steadily towards my 10-year milestone (yahoooo!). Every donation will help bring us one step closer to a cure. I know that the economy has challenged all of us, and so I humbly ask for whatever financial gift you can manage for this very important cause . . .
Thank you, again, for your continued support, encouragement, and for being YOU.
Ciao 4 now.
Peace & love.