As you might know, I'm not thrilled at being bald. Nothing to do with looks... my husband just affectionately called me "punk" lol. No, I don't like the FEELING of being bald. The cool air flowing over my head makes me cold. The wig is scratchy. Constantly wearing hats makes me hot. The scarves are my best bet right now, but it's still hard to regulate temperature.
But this story IS about looks. I wanted to tell you about when I really stepped out of my comfort zone and zapped that criticizing little devil on my shoulder. The devil that says... "you can't let anyone see your bald head, it's funny looking, they'll laugh."So here's the story:
Last week Monday I went to a program that's put on by the American Cancer Society called "Look Good, Feel Better." People kept telling me about it, nurses kept asking me if I'd gone. I tried to go to the January one but I ended up with my 2nd port surgery that night. So I signed up for February. It was the most crowded the folks running it had ever seen. Full house... about 25 women, about 3/4 with some type of cancer, some brought support peeps. Some people were just diagnosed, some people were just starting chemo, one was ready for hospice. Amazing ladies with amazing stories. All sorts of cancers, from breast to lung to ovary to abdominal... it was very empowering to hear the stories and be in a room full of so many warriors.
But I digress. The program teaches you how to take care of your skin during chemo and radiation treatments, how to put on flattering makeup that will make you feel pretty, and how to deal with the hair loss with wigs and scarves. Each participant received a big bag full of makeup that was donated by cosmetic manufacturers, based on skin tone. And not sample sized... everything was full retail sized products. It included eye cream, moisturizers, foundation, , powder, blush, eye shadows and liners, brow liner, mascara, lip stick and gloss and liner, sun block and self tanner. A big thank you goes to Mary Kay, Estee Lauder, Avon, Clinique, and more for their generous donations for this cause. I went naked faced (my first trip outside the comfort zone!) and just wore a scarf on my head. I walked into a room full of already gorgeous women who hadn't lost their hair yet or were wearing their neat wigs and full makeup.
Okay, back to the program. I learned how to put on make up with an aesthetician's help. The most amazing thing was filling in the eyebrows. I've always hated my unruly eyebrows, but they thinned out a lot and now looked really good filled in with a brow pencil. Very subtle. And eyeliner really popped the eyes. Well, can I say that I looked good? And my table mates concurred. And then... the lady in charge asked me if I would be the model for the scarf tying demonstration.
Oh. My. Gosh.
She wanted me to take off my scarf and show my bald head to a room full of people? YIKES!
I hesitated about 5 seconds and blurted out "sure!" and then thought.... crap. This is TOTALLY out of my comfort zone. But you know what? If there's one thing I've learned from all my art peeps and friends, is that it's GOOD to step out of the zone once in awhile. So I went to the front of the room and sat in a chair facing away from the crowd and whipped the scarf off. The lady took a while to explain what she was doing but finally tied a scarf on in a creative way... and viola! I turned around to model and there are about 20 camera phones pointing at me taking my picture!! (Some of you know how much I HATE getting my picture taken!) Someone joked that I would be in a you tube video (!) Everyone oohed and aahed and said how great I looked and that my makeup looked really good and I was a great model and I started to lift my chin up and stand a little straighter. And it was a totally surreal experience. Because some of you know I HATE being the center of attention, LOL.
But it was all cool. I stepped waaay out of my comfort zone and I didn't die! No one laughed at my bald head (because they all knew they looked the same under their wigs, or will soon look the same!) And I felt physically pretty, which doesn't happen much lately. (OK I admit, never happened much in my life!) I don't judge beauty by what someone looks like, but once in awhile it is good to FEEL beautiful on the outside too.
Now I need to look up those you tube videos because with all my anxiety about being the model I've forgotten all the cool ways to tie those scarves!