Glorious Living

We are a product of our environment, we cannot change.  

th

Our circumstances have been set in motion from the beginning.

We are failures.

We are stuck.

We are worthless.

These sentences are belief systems. They are only real by the conviction that our own minds have set for them. But they are figments of our imaginative minds that lack true imagination, yet ache for invention.

To change our made up voice that thinks these negatives, we must only look inside our own truths that exist underneath, that are drowning, that are aching to be seen.

Try hearing the self that speaks to you quietly, under the loud voice that screams these false beliefs and see how quickly your life becomes alive.

True courage comes from hearing the whisper of your own voice emerge through the sea of the negative rattle.

Today become alive.

See what happens.

It is glorious.

 

 

When Did You Lose Yours?

dscn1745

We are fortunate to have Marianne R. Klein’s artwork included in this essay.  About the artist- A holocaust survivor, Marianne was born in Budapest, Hungary. Her art collection is a series of acrylic on canvas impressionistic and figurative works that depicts a symphony of colors.  She also enjoys experimenting with different mediums and techniques. Her screenplays are currently under consideration. When Marianne is not painting, she is busy writing.  Her recently published book entitled “All the Pretty Shoes” is now available on Amazon.com and can be viewed at www.alltheprettyshoes.com. Marianne’s artwork will be exhibited on February 4th-15th 2017 in Santa Monica, California at the Bergamot Station, Building G – Room G#8  starting @ 5:00 p.m to 9:00 p.m.

 

When did you Lose yours?

Was it the first time you heard the whisper of death creep into your wake?

Did you lose yours upon seeing illness?

Or was it upon feeling betrayal?

Did you lose yours the first time you lost love or the moment you noticed shame?

Mine was lost at the age of 2 and then again when I turned 22.

I’m sure you can remember the exact day you lost your innocence.unnamed

The exact moment you no longer saw the world with the same black and white colors. Like a baby adjusting to the light, as the tinge of grey began creeping into your vision, when you suddenly saw that veil lift as a crystal clear unblemished truth began to change you. Not at first. But soon. And the truth invaded your body with realism and cynicism and confusion. Not right away. But eventually.

Some lose their innocence when they are children. I lost mine at the age of 2, I was too young to understand how it impacted me. Then I lost it again at  age 11 and began to understand how the impact was informing my decisions and my fears. Then when I turned 22 I lost it completely. Gone forever like a shadow muttering my name before I even had one. That impact made me remember how my innocence was something I wished I could hold onto. I began to resent my innocence and looked at it with distrust. I used to close my eyes and pretend I was preserving my innocence longer, wondering what it might feel like if it stayed in tact. If I had lost my innocence older, would it have  mummified inside, making the ability to see truth that much more burdensome? Would truth have been more difficult to recognize? Or would it have been easier to adjust to? 

Learning truth after innocence fades feels like squinting at first, like the light is so large and so colossal our brains are unable to interpret the full scope of the information pounding down the pavement.  I wish I could look at truth with a sort of unadulterated awe. Instead it has become quite loud and colossal and very disruptive. I have a hard time accepting truth. It is not a construct I like very much. Yet it is necessary. It is affirming yet alarming. Discerning yet indifferent.

We are very crafty. We can look at the large mountain of truth and still find a way to completely avoid it’s rearing head. For years we can pretend reliable information is false. We can build strategies that allow truth to lie under the bed just a little while longer. We can even become brilliant at alternate reality storytelling, because the hurt, the betrayal, the realness of it all is just too much to bear. It is just too much.

unnamed-1

As we get older new stories, new revelations, new shocks can seep into our system. And one day we finally look into the mirror, like deeply look, and really stare and suddenly our own truth looks foreign to us as well. We do not know our own truth anymore, so we begin wearing other people’s eternal verities. We adopt new garments of information that become our own and fixate our bodies into these threads of perceivable isms until we forget who we are completely. We can’t even feel our bodies anymore. I have done this quite brilliantly. Ignoring body parts, suppressing pain became a habit I had not even recognized I was doing until it became too difficult to rely on any longer.

We can do pretend for many reasons, but mainly because truths, which become to difficult to swallow have the ability to prevent us from feeling everything and gives us permission to go on autopilot. The danger in this mechanism is that it can allow illness take over, because the blocks in our bodies become huge gaping  holes for the feelings of dis-ease to settle into. Discomfort, disbelief, and our own disconnection with power can become unrecognizable and alien. Our voice is lost at sea, our consciousness asleep, our bodies rejecting truth becomes the exercise we cannot stop without intervention.

But imagine if we stopped that train from heading down the reckless path before the illness set in. How do we stop it?

By asking questions of ourselves. By noticing the patterns, how losing that innocence has affected our daily living routines.  By feeling ourselves suppress our convictions and emotions hiding behind the decay. By noticing our bodies and how our bodies are reacting to the loss. By seeing, not just looking. By feeling, not just touching. By listening, not just hearing. By literally smelling the damn roses for once. For just once.

Before we become too despondent maybe we can reawaken that glimmer of hope that still simmers on a low flame. Before it leaves us slowly extinguishing into a prolonged termination.

Before we layer. Layer with outside labels and immerse ourselves with exterior stereotypes. Before we create ideas that become more external ideas so as not to have to face the person who lives under the truth. The person who hides behind the realism that relies on falsehood as a mechanism to find truth. It is quite startling, really, that we have the audacity to  search for truth using pretend. As if the pretend wills the truth away.

Truly, we don’t want her to leave,  the hope. If we are honest with ourselves, we want her to stay, to re-infuse our souls and re-install our vibrancy. We want her to bathe our cynicism  and doubt into submission. But in order to do that, we must have  enough trust in ourselves, in our voice, in our power to will that into being.

If we are honest with ourselves, do we not want to get to that place where truth lives and thrives? Where the veil is no longer casting that shadow only to find us awake? Not the awake where we tease ourselves into a living that looks pretend, but the sort of living that is rooted in the deepest layers of soul. Because our soul, the instrument that keeps us awake and opens our heart, refuses to live in falsehood and has been catching us from the beginning.  It has been activated and operates on unwavering authenticity- and paradoxically on loss of innocence.

And while there are still moments we catch ourselves still aching and longing for that time of falsehood when innocence still lay intact, we are better for all of our innocence finally leaving on the whisper she flew in on. Yes, truth is more complicated, yet it is also more defining and the birthplace of creation. The creation of our new  more powerful, more beautiful, more compelling, persuasive intact new self we have finally allowed ourselves to meet.

 

Naked Perfect

So I did something REALLY LA stupid. I signed up for Equinox for a three day trial. If you live in Kansas, this means nothing to you. It just sounds like I signed up for a new app or a place that sells foreign objects. So if you are living in Kansas and reading this, (why are you reading this?) then I will explain what this outter space sounding planet is.

Equinox is the gym of all gyms in the coveted land of celebrity vanity here in Los Angeles. It is literally the gym athletes flock to in their perfectly coiffed blown out hair extensions wearing nothing but LU LU Lemons ( you know who you are). It is the place all Gods and Goddesses work out, tone and oh ya, relax in. Personally I only did it for the soft towels and the Eucalyptus Steam room. Ya, I said it. And of course for the free parking, I mean who can resist that combo? They offered me a “great deal” at $205 a month to use their soft towels everyday, but I Amazon Primed a $5 bottle of eucalyptus oil instead and said thanks but I’ll only be here for 3 days- no Equinox membership for me. No one was very happy with me except for Arturo the parking attendant who seemed to be the only friendly face I experienced the entire time I was there- Oh well there was “Francis” the personal trainer who wore all black except for his tortoise shell aviators. That friendly convo almost cost me $9,000 in personal training sessions- but I was wise, I dashed to the yoga room before he had a chance to give me the Pilates room tour- F that. I know I am sounding cynical, but to be honest, I am sort of sick of the Semi friendly agenda driven faces I see daily in LA- and I guess I just want someone to invite me to their gym because I’m nice and not “in need of a total body makeover” “Shut up blonde girl who kept staring at me while I hit the treadmill and thought I might need her “Friendly hints” on getting that “perfect physique.” Have you seen my gene pool? It literally has heart disease no matter how well I eat written all over it!

So am I happy I went? Yes- because I learned a huge lesson on the ability to age gracefully while not caving to the depravities of vanity this city clearly holds so dear. AND I REALLY REALLY LIKED those cold minty towels. (no i did not steal one.)  (I thought about it though, OHHHH I thought about it.)

I’m at the gym changing in the locker room  when in comes two 20-year-olds chatting and encouraging each other on their minuscule diet plan that consisted of caffeinated coffee, green tea, a bunch of vitamins I’ve never heard before, CLA, IRS, BM’s (probably breath mints) and of course a ton of bubbly water (to keep their hunger pangs away). On the outside they appeared to be “the perfect LA female specimens”. Perfect as in untouched from human life experience, lacking any scars,  disfiguration or trauma from the escapades of worldliness. They were the perfect combo to off set an ” I’m not good enough nor will never be like them” rant most women in the locker room clearly had running in their unspoken bubbles hanging above their heads like a terrible comic. In this case I was clearly the big orange Garfield standing between the Victoria Secret Angels.

They spent a good twenty minutes comparing their perfect non-abs quipping about how they plan on having “these flat bellies forever-” bc i guess they are “just that freakin DNA blessed” or delusional possessed. In between my eye rolling, eavesdropping, note taking and letting my flab hang out on purpose so they would know what to expect should a baby ever invade their “perfect concave tummies” (cue LMFAO’s-“Girl look at my body, I work out” soundtrack) I spotted another woman blowdrying her hair.

There in all her glory peered a woman a few years ahead of me. She was desperately trying to hold onto her youth with a fresh face of botox – but her warm eyes and familiar nod had me realizing we were on the “same team.” This female specimen had the body of a warrior female who flaunted with grace and dignity her share of battles- her naked left breast had been clearly maimed from what I assumed was cancer and radiation treatment. And I could tell she was listening very intently – hanging onto every word of the other girl team’s convo. When the youngins were finished- after I tucked my own cellulite into my underpants- the woman with the scar turned to me and said “what did those girls say- I tried to listen but I didn’t hear everything – sounded like they really knew something-” Hoping I would be the messenger to reveal the secret of youth- I spouted-  “Really?- after their first baby, Mammogram, and uterus exam will any of it really matter?“

The irony of reality hitting our adult selves could be cut with a scalpel. No amount of time, age or plastic can change the one thing we all inevitably become victims to- nope, its called adult-ing (notice I don’t use the term aging- that my friends is a BS term 20 year olds made up to convince us that our human scars of life are odious embarrassments vs the Medallion of Honor and Grace that they ARE.

You know what those two girls said? They said nothing, they said absolutely nothing. They said that they know little of the pains of childbirth, stress and clawing our way to the feminine tower. They said little of how much work it takes to make our female bodies contain life, then rid of it, then react to the changes because of it, then morph, grow and transform in spite of it. They said very little of the tears we shed when we are trying to conceive, the tears we lose after our growing bellies expel all the muscle and leave you with stretch marks. They said very little about the power of our breasts feeding life only to turn on our own lives. They said so little, that I wondered how on God’s Green Earth women knee deep into adulthood with all of the brilliance, understanding, knowledge and redemption they have acquired could possibly even for one moment listen and hope to hold on to even a sentence- yet an entire conversation of such naive words. While Adult-ing is not always fun, it does take bravery, whit and a hell of a sense of humor. I’ll take that over concave non-existent ab talk ANY DAY.

After that the woman with the half boob and I put on our sexy lingerie that reveals and half covers our feminine scars, we high fived each other and headed outta there with only one goal in mind- to eat a cookie while dancing on a rooftop. I bet that other girl team never thinks to do THAT. (Cue Lady Marmalade Soundtrack here)

 

Your Critics Don’t Count

 

To say that I love Brené Brown, is comparative to me saying I love Chocolate, I love tequila, I love thai massages and I love getting all three of those joys ALL AT ONCE. I literally get a hard on for this woman every time I read her books (yes buy ALL of them and then read each of them 5 times like I did) or watch her talks.

Last year I came out with a very daring and creative music video I was commissioned to make to help raise awareness for the state of Israel. It was everything I wanted to say and put me in front of the camera vs behind it, which is not my favorite place to be. It was daring and vulnerable and caused those creative sweats and nightly “Oh my Gawd, what am I doing??” moments. And then I posted it, and hello Secret Deodorant, there was NOT enough of that shit to make my pits feel normal after it went up on the big wide blazing internet.

Every single- and I mean EVERY single frame of every single film I make is mulled over, thought through and has a reason. I spend hours in post after I create a project, and a lot of the times, especially when I am making music videos, each and every frame has a particular story to tell. I think everything through very cautiously and very deeply. So I was sort of surprised to hear from an old friend with her “constructive criticism” exclaiming her distaste for the project.

Let’s just say the word “Gross” was tossed around, and this friend thought I needed to hear about it. The truth is, I knew that deep down she was coming from a sincerely loving place, but it made me think a thing or two about how we as artists react to destructive- I mean “constructive” commentary we open ourselves up to.

I love to be pushed by my producers and by my colleagues who know what I am capable of and who are willing to give me guidance. I take notes dubiously and am the first to admit when I am off the mark. But in this particular case, the film had already been debuted, I had yet to receive really positive comments and I hadn’t the faintest idea what impact this film had created. The only feedback I had up until that point, was this person’s bold reaction, which caused my fear to run RAMPANT. It felt like My Fear was running up and down Walmart like a 4 year old and waving his arms at me with a banner that said “YOU SUCK YOU SUCK YOU SUCK!” Truth was, I was scared to make this film and in that moment I heard these comments, that little ole’ ball of fear was there standing there pointing at me, laughing hard and saying, “See, I knew this would happen- never create anything EVER, lets just hang out together in your bedroom and suck on bon bons and never play in the world again you hack.”

Yep, my fear was in full swing and really loving every minute of this exchange.  Fear was really getting my goat and it was having a party at my expense. It was LOVING how awful I felt and how it was enjoying EVERY SINGLE self doubt. This whole thing felt dirty. BUT  then I heard this talk by Brene Brown and all became right with the world and little ole’ fear was put in its place.

I love this talk that Brené gives, because she really gets what an artist goes through when we create something. And the best line in this talk that not only changed my life but also kicked my fear to the curb was :

“IF YOU’RE NOT IN THE ARENA ALSO GETTING YOUR ASS KICKED, I’M NOT INTERESTED IN GETTING YOUR FEEDBACK.”

Told ya she’s the bomb!

In that moment my fear looked like the Witch’s big green puddle on the floor and all I could hear now was him saying “I’m shrinking, I’m shrinking….I’m shrinking…” Take that you Mother- F’n FEAR. My cape had been reclaimed!  It was at that moment I realized that it didn’t matter what feedback I was getting, the film was already out, there was nothing to be done but celebrate my accomplishment of having an idea, creating it, and then birthing it forward. Sure that would have been enough, BUT then the universe called and made it even better, because that is what happens when you give acceptance to your creative life, it pays you back ten fold.  A few months had gone by after I had deeply accepted my accomplishment without any reaction but my own, when the Executive Director of the non profit that commissioned me to make the film told me the film was so widely well received and it ended up raising close to $80,000 towards the  purchase of one new ambulance for Israel. SO really, you can say this one little music video potentially saved thousands of lives. Suddenly “Gross” started to feel “GOOD”.

As Brené says- if you’re in the “Cheap seats not putting yourself on the line”, than please please don’t think your words matter to me, because they never will. To all creatives out there who are getting naked and putting themselves out there, please never stop daring, never stop risking all of your notions, never listen to your critics, stay in the arena, and keep on CREATING! (I am saying this to myself so I don’t pass out everyday from all the crap I’ve exposed myself with on the big bad blazing web.)

I’ve broken down her talk to a few quotes that I think you should memorize or at least write in lipstick on your bathroom mirror:

“Not caring what people think is its own kind of hustle”

“Reserve seats for the critics you lock out of your arena… take the critics to lunch, and to simply say when I’m trying to innovate, say I see you, I hear you, but I gotta show up and do this anyway…. I’m not interested in your feedback.”

“If you’re going to spend your life showing up…. you need a clarity of values….if courage is your value you have to do this…..you gotta have one person who’s willing to pick you up and dust you off when you fail….if you’re not failing than you’re not really showing up.”

“How important can you be….I’m looking for a stranger in the mall, that’s who I’m trying to win over.”

“The critics are there whether you show up or not.”

“The people who have the most courage and who are willing to show up are willing to look at their critics and say I hear you, but I’m not buying it.”

“One of these seat needs to be reserved for you. When we look up and we are putting an idea, art, design etc, who is the biggest critic? Yourself! Definitely ME- so give herself a seat please.”

“Design is a function of connection.”

Now Get Real Or Go Home!

 

 

 

 

Get Lost

image

This was me before I got lost. Notice how clueless I look.

The only way to expel fear is to recognize you are not alone.

A few years ago I spent a day in France. I was excited to tour this beautiful romantic city, even if for just a few hours. My friend, Rochel and I landed super early and planned more than we could fit in, but because we are super human- we managed to see pretty much everything important in just 8 short hours.

In between hitting the Eiffel Tower, sipping an espresso in a cafe (of course one must get to France and experience that) downing a baguette, and hitting up the Jewish quarter in the 3rd and 4th arrondissement we ended up splitting up for what was supposed to be a short period of time. Within several minutes, every building and street began to look exactly the same to me, and I got lost.

This has happened to me before. I tend to pay attention to detail, which causes my imagination to wander, which eventually causes me to lose direction. Like the time I was 14 and had wandered off in Fresno while I was on a student getaway weekend and ended up walking the streets of Northern California until five in the morning.  Why they never set up a search party for me, still pisses me off. I guess the teacher in charge figured he’d have one less annoying mean-ager to make a warm soggy tuna sandwich for on the bus ride home.

It happens.

Okay it only happens to me.

But the time I got lost in France was different then getting lost in Fresno.  I was in a different country and unable to understand the language. AND MY PHONE DIED. (not that I had a phone in Fresno either, it was shabbat and also they didn’t have phones back then.)

Here’s what happens when you literally get lost.

You Panic. (check)

You Fear being Kidnapped. (check)

You wonder what it will be like to be trapped forever and what new name people will start calling you.  (Oh is that only me?)

Then You pray.

It was in that moment in prayer, while I wandered the streets of France, knowing my flight was to take off in 2 hours, and that I might miss it, and that my friend was probably panicking, that I realized no matter how alone I felt in that moment, I was actually not alone at all.  I had a guide and all I needed to do was ask him- “God, what direction should I head towards?”

So I was all, “Hey God, I could use a compass, right about now.” So God sent me into this adorable cafe where they spoke enough broken english and understood enough sign language to allow me to charge my phone and BAM- I was back on track.  I stayed with it and found my solution, but solutions don’t come in panic mode. Solutions don’t happen during fearsome episodes. Solutions only come once we surrender. I had to surrender if I was going to catch my flight, find my friend, and not end up as a sex slave. Hello “Taken” thank you for ruining trips to Europe for me forever.

Fear happens when we are not looking, but is conquered when we finally see.

That day it became clear to me that no matter where I go, I am not alone.  I have a Higher Power calling the shots. And I realized that Facebook is great for finding French Jews named Eli who got my friend, Rochel and I to the plane on time. Thank God for him, cause I clearly couldn’t find my way to a train if I was staring right at it.

Now you see why I need a tour guide wherever I go. I wonder if God has an app for that.

 

 

 

A lesson from a Scholar (Not Yoda)

A few years ago, I was privileged to produce a wonderful series called “The Search” where I explored the meaning of life with different celebrities, actors, big thinkers and even fellow filmmakers. One day my executive producer called and said he booked me an interview to learn about the meaning of life from one of North America’s most respected and popular poet-philosophers, Noah benShea. Noah is also known for being a scholar, theologian, long range thinker, executive advisor, speaker, and International Best-Selling author. 

Obviously I was about to get a lesson only few are privileged to experience on the meaning of life. It was by far my most memorable experience.

 

 

Once again, to give my readers an impactful experience on the wisdom of living courageously and on battling fear, we are privileged to have Noah benShea contribute to “Thelma & Louise.” If anyone knows a thing or two about kicking fear in the face, it’s definitely Noah!

NoahbenShea-699x1024

T&L: With the ever growing fear based society we live in, i.e., Terrorism, mass shootings, Isis etc..what is one practical thing we can do to combat fear based living and that will transform our society to an inspired one?

Noah benShea:  “PUT YOUR FAITH AND NOT YOUR FEARS IN CHARGE”

 

“Imagine,” said Jacob, “that your life is a wagon, and everything you know about yourself and everything that is yours, is in this wagon.

“Now to pull this wagon, you have been given a team of 10 horses.

“But because all of us have much more fear than faith, let us say that 9 of these horses are horses of fear and only one of them is a horse of faith.

“If you put any of the horses of fear at the front of your wagon, they will give you all the excuses you ever give yourself, or others have ever given you, for why you can’t do something. And the wagon isn’t going anywhere.

“But if you put the one horse of faith at the front of the team, the horses of fear will follow.

“Your fears will be a source of strength to your faith if you put your faith and not your fears in charge.” (Noah benShea, JACOB’S CHILDREN)  

T&L: Do you think fear is learned?

Noah benShea: Fear serves us in many ways. But what serves us can also enslave us. We do not have to learn to be afraid. Neither do we have to learn to be courageous. What we have to learn is when to put one rather than the other at our service. And to do this, learn this: Courage is not the absence of fear but how we struggle with our fears.

T&L: There are so many courageous people that surprise us. Here on Thelma & Louise, we often highlight their heroic approach to life. What is one thing you think makes someone courageous?

Noah benShea:   “WAGE FAITH”

“If you are depressed, you are living in the past.

“If you are anxious, you are living in the future.

“Do not wage war in the now to achieve outcomes out of your control.

“Instead, wage faith.

“And if you say, ‘yes but this takes courage,’ the answer is you are right.

“Now go and do the work.”  (Noah benShea, JACOB’S CHILDREN)  

 

T&L: How do you think fear is manifested? How is courage manifested?

Noah benShea: Almost every act in life is a transactional agreement, a quid pro quo, I give you this; you give me that. Fear is an insecurity based currency. Courage is a faith based currency. It all depends on what you are shopping for in your life, and what you have to pay for it.”

T&L: Who is the most courageous person you have come across, why?

Noah benShea: The most courageous person in my life…were two people – my mother and father. Against all odds and circumstances they were born into… they triumphed.  But in this way. Instead of a life of complaint and anger, they chose to give love, offer hope, and promise better for their children. They chose to be courageous and seed courage in their children. They chose to be loving and nurture loving. They put their faith in an ethical life and raised their three sons in a land where kindness was king.

True words to live by. Now go and Kick the Ass outta fear. We pass the throne over to you, the readers.

– Thank you Yoda…I mean Noah.

Happy Weekend to all!

 

*Noah also uses his insight to help many people on a spiritual journey and aid in their recovery to addiction. To learn more about his work head over to Heroes in Recovery– A place where incredible people are facing their fears and overcoming adversity every day.

 

The Big Victoria’s Secret Part 2

 

 

Thelma & Louise: Welcome to Part 2 of The Big Victoria’s Secret

 

“Victoria Secret” is a red head. So that makes her feisty and adorable. Two months ago I had the privilege of interviewing her in an anonymous fashion because she was in the early stages of learning her current predicament of getting breast cancer and didn’t want anyone to know yet. She was wonderful about using this blog to sort through some of her experiences and we were proud she had the moxie to share her story, for the sake of helping others, even though there were some key people in her life that she had yet to share it with. Today she has agreed to “Come out” of the closet (Not literally as in becoming gay- although the jury’s still out on that one….I mean she does text me like every day to tell me how much she loves me) just literally as in she’s willing to expose her real name. We are fortunate enough to have this sexxy (not tall but still skinny) “Victoria Secret-esque” “Thelma and Louise Bad Ass Courageous Diva of the Month” share her latest experiences in battling this horrid disease. Here’s her latest update- Stefanie Friedman, you ROCK!

FullSizeRender-2

Isn’t she gorgeous?

 

(PS we will still be referring to Stefanie as Victoria Secret because her husband really sees her like the tall skinny model in the photo captured below. As you can see, he’s even willing to walk next to her wearing scrawny wings to showcase his love.)

Victoria Secret

 

“Victoria Secret”: So what do you want from me now?

 

Thelma & Louise: Its been a full 2 months since we last interviewed you and we want to know what the hell is going on.

 

“Victoria S”: Do you think anyone read part 1?

 

Thelma & Louise: Probably not. So here’s a little recap for the 2 people that will probably read part 2-

Last time we spoke you had just gotten a pretty scary diagnosis. (you can read Victoria Secret’s first interview HERE) At that point no one knew you had breast cancer except for T&L and a few therapists. Tell us, where are you today in this incredible journey?   And please take us through every detail, We are thorough like that.

 

“Victoria S”: Well, in 10 fun-filled weeks I was diagnosed with breast cancer, had 2 surgeries, genetic testing, and now seem to be in pretty good shape! Tomorrow I go to my oncologist and talk about radiation/hormone therapy.  I don’t need chemo so it’s a good day!

 

 

Thelma & Louise: Wow! That IS a lot to happen in 70 days- I don’t think that much happens to most people in 10 weeks. I mean Gerbils give birth in like 26 days, but I think they’re the only ones who have that sort of turn around.

 

“Victoria S”: Wait, I forgot to add that I had a few MRI’s, 2 biopsies.  Can’t forget that fun time.

 

Thelma & Louise: Like I said- Gerbil excitement. Now please, Walk us through a few things, did you ever decide to tell your children about the diagnosis, and if so, how did that go down?And why were you hesitant to share it with them in the first place?

 

“Victoria S”: I didn’t want to tell anyone what was going on until I knew what I was facing.  The conversation could have gone one of two ways. Once I was told this was manageable and I wasn’t going to fucking DIE (at least from this!) I was able to decide how to tell the family.  I was so grateful that this was the conversation I was going to have with my kids.  Not saying good-bye.  Even writing that it chokes me up.

After I got results from genetic testing and didn’t have the gene that would have led me to a double mastectomy and removal of other lady parts, we decided a lumpectomy would be fine for my care. I found out the Monday of Thanksgiving and decided to wait until after Thanksgiving to share the whole story.  I didn’t want to ruin everyone’s holiday.

Thelma & Louise: Smart move

 

Victoria S: Smarter then a Gerbel?

 

Thelma & Louise: Let’s not push it. So how did that conversation go over?

 

Victoria S: I have two daughters ages 16 and 13 and a son who is 6 years old. So, one daughter broke down, hyperventilated and got under the covers.  The other one just took it all in and was very quiet.  The little boy was with his grandparents playing ninja.  He knows nothing.  Just mommy has a boo boo in her armpit and he can’t jump on me for a while.  The hysterical daughter asked 300 questions after she calmed down.  The quiet daughter was fine until the next day when she was getting out of the car to go to school.  She lost it.

OK. what else?  What didn’t I answer?

 

Thelma & Louise: Nothing, you’re doing great.

 What’s important to remember is how children process differently, and it sounds like both of your daughters definitely processed this in their own distinct way, and It sounds like you handled it great. How do they seem to be handling it now that the cat’s out of the bag?

 

Victoria S: I was very prepared.  I had and still have a wonderful (man) team of experts who helped me prepare for that moment. And I am almost 49 and I like gift cards. I REALLY like gift cards.

 

Thelma & Louise: For those of you reading this article, please take note…..GIFT CARDS can be sent to – where should we send those?

Back to reality….tell us what was the most difficult moment you’ve had  in all these 10 weeks?

Victoria S: You mean “Gerbel years”

 

Thelma & Louise: Correct

 

Victoria S: I would say getting the call from the doctor with the news and then not knowing if I was going to live or die was high up there on the difficult moments. I cannot even express how scary and painful that was. And I saw three different doctors before I was actually convinced that it was going to be OK. I didn’t beleive anyone!

(Please fix my spelling of believe!)☺

 

Thelma & Louise: (Will do) (funny I always misspell that word too. Fuck that word)

Victoria’s a model so she can’t spell. She meant to write “BELIEVE”. Now the spell mongers can shut it. Good?

Victoria S: Yes. Thanks.

 

Thelma & Louise: It sounds like you’ve been literally given a second chance at life, so what’s new on your bucket list now?

 

Victoria S: I am so grateful that I can finally breathe and FINALLY not get worked up over things that used to drive me insane and cause me stress.  And because of this, I seem to be much happier AND patient. So, now my bucket list is to enjoy everything I can, to learn to be in the present and enjoy everything. And just LIVE – don’t wait for things – don’t wait for the right time to get something done – it might never happen – just enjoy the little things. That sounds dorky.  Oh, and I want to go on vacation with my family like ASAP!!!!

 

Thelma & Louise: Where do you want to go? Our readers may want to send you…mine as well say it….

 

Victoria S: I don’t even care.  I just want to be with them somewhere – just the 5 of us – in a hotel fighting about who gets what bed.

 

Thelma & Louise: So like Motel 6 by the freeway?

 

Victoria S: That would seriously be fine.  I am not kidding. Even just a trip to Disneyland overnight…Legoland…. Hawaii…Mexico….

 

Thelma & Louise: So Motel 6 to Cabo. Wow that changed real quick.

We at Thelma and Louise (there’s actually no we, but I like saying that so it seems like “we” have a big company of people) So we at Thelma and Louise believe that everything that happens in our lives good and bad seasons us further to develop in to a better more aware human being. That being said, now that you have been “Seasoned” like a cupcake on steroids, we’d like to ask you to play a little game with us. You ready?

 

Victoria S: ok. Do I have to be naked for this game?

 

Thelma & Louise: I’m going to say a word, and I want you to write the first word that comes to mind. Here we go:

 

HUSBAND-

 

Victoria S:   LOVE

 

Thelma & Louise: HAPPINESS

 

Victoria S: JOY

 

Thelma & Louise: DEATH

 

Victoria S: SCARY

 

Thelma & Louise: ALIVE

 

Victoria S: EXCITED

 

Thelma & Louise: MOST IMPORTANT PRIORITY (that was 3 words, so shoot me)

 

Victoria S: FAMILY and GIFT CARDS (that’s two words)

 

Thelma & Louise: LOVE IT! That wasn’t a word….the game is done. You passed with flying colors

 

Victoria S: OK. Now I have a game for you. Ready?

 

Thelma & Louise: Hit me

Victoria S: What’s the first word you think of when you hear Victoria Secret? (me, not the tramps)

 

Thelma & Louise: I thought you were a tramp. I have more than one word that comes to mind….(Besides wings)

Strong

Funny

Sexxy ….no wait…

Warrior QUEEN

PROUD OF YOU

 

Victoria S: It’s weird.  I have to tell you, I do NOT feel like a warrior. I feel like there are so many other women who have this disease and have to fight so so hard week in and week out. I seemed to have gotten so lucky and I have no right to call myself a fighter or warrior or whatever adjectives are used to describe these incredible women out there battling this.

 

Thelma & Louise: I think a warrior is someone who lives graciously through difficult experiences, and I think you have done that valiantly. You don’t have to almost die, or be in a hospital bed, or have to have horrible life ending news to become a warrior. Everyone’s personal test is truly there’s to experience, and it’s how we experience these pitfalls that – like I said- season us. I remember visiting you right after your surgery, You never complained once, even though I know that you were in severe pain, (I would have milked it more) you continued to keep your incredible sense of humor through it all. I think that when life hits us hard- that is when our true character comes out. And I guess that’s why I think of you as a warrior. Because you battled, but never allowed the battle to get you – you got IT. AND that’s what makes you the “Thelma and Louise Bad Ass Courageous Diva of the Month.”

Victoria S: OK, you’ve convinced me

 

Thelma & Louise: Your trophy is in the mail.

VS bra 2 0001

Stefanie’s Trophy

 

 

Victoria S: Are we done?  I have to poop

 

Thelma & Louise: Yes. Thanks for sharing-

 

NOW GET REAL OR GO HOME!