Finish this statement 5 times: It's ok _____
- to not know the answer and admit it
- to cry
- to be human
- to indulge your impulse to sing when you absolutely have to, even if you can’t carry a tune to save your life
- to love with your entire self and not worry how it will work out in the end.
The first time I realized there was someone in my life I would run into a burning building for was: when someone placed my two-month old sister in my lap in a rocking chair in our living room. I had never before felt such complete and total love for anything or anyone. I was three years old.
The first time I realized I didn't have to have a good reason to say no to someone or something was: I don’t think I can recall an actual moment when this happened. Rather, it was a gradual awareness over time that my upbringing had been entirely too polite and I had spent the vast majority of my life anticipating the needs of others and disregarding my own. I do know that I was older than I wish I had been and I’m working desperately to help my daughters learn this as children.
The first time I scared the bejeesus out of myself and loved it was: when I started to date a 24-year old chef I worked with. He was incredibly sexy and funny and a hoot to be around, but I was only 16 and terrifically naïve and had spent my entire life being a “good girl”. We broke up several weeks later when I discovered he had lied to me and the empowerment I felt at ending the relationship as the younger one despite his apologies and entreaties to give him one more chance was intoxicating.
The first time I walked away from someone or something I finally realized was bad for me was: when I broke up with my boyfriend in college. I had “rescued” him from a rotten family situation in high school and allowed him to perfect the victim role to my savior. With him, I finally learned how overrated being the knight in shining armor is.
When I was younger I used to be: a ballerina. I went to a grueling ballet studio with an ex-Russian ballet dancer who worked us like dogs. I had a perfect turnout and performed in many stage productions and loved every minute of it!
And now I'm: still very flexible, but not at all toned like I used to be Which makes me: long to find a ballet studio where I can dance like an adult but not look like a complete doofus.
An insecurity I've never been able to shake: (but am working on) is that if I can’t do something perfectly, I have no business doing it at all.
Something I find completely disgusting: Eye surgery and belly buttons. I am not squeamish at all and spent several years as an OR nurse, assisting with all sorts of surgeries which I found fascinating. But there is something about cutting into an eyeball that freaks me out – I can’t explain it. Also, the first time I assisted a plastic surgeon during a tummy tuck and he injected local anesthesia right into a woman’s belly button, I almost passed out. My husband and children have no such issues, and can touch their own belly buttons and even clean them out with a Q-tip but just the thought makes me dizzy. My best friend’s daughter actually succeeded in untying her own belly button when she was a toddler (I am not joking, here) and I swear I had nightmares for weeks.