January 31, 2018 / Lifestyle
Had a warm drink, explored the waterways and walked across an icy suspension bridge made for a FUN and exciting photoshoot. Lake Isanoura is a B E A U T I F U L place to see during winter.
Questions & Answers
1. Favorite scene from a favorite movie: I love scenes that capture a father’s love for his daughter. One scene that comes to mind in particular is from the movie “My Sister’s Keeper.” It’s the story of a young girl with terminal cancer and her family’s struggle on the road to acceptance. There’s a scene in the movie in which she gets the opportunity to attend a dance. With the assistance of a dress, a little make-up and a medical wig, she gets to feel beautiful and more importantly, “normal” for one night. She’s coming down the stair case to debut her final look, and she and her dad exchange looks. The rest of the scene around her is lost – her mother frantically trying to get the right picture, her younger siblings chattering and squawking in the background – and it’s just that moment between her and her dad that gets me. She’s not attached to a tangled web of IVs, or writhing in pain after her latest chemotherapy treatment. She’s not a cancer patient anymore. He’s seeing his daughter for the first time as something else entirely. She’s transformed before his eyes. She’s overcome her pain and struggles, she’s confident and she’s happy. She asks him: “Do I look pretty?” His eyes well up and that’s the only response he can muster, because she’s the most beautiful thing he’s ever witnessed and he can’t even put it into words. It’s awe, love, pride, gratitude and genuine happiness – in one look. It gets me every time.
2. The most interesting thing about you we wouldn’t find on your social media or resume? A story. And a very long list of imperfections. On my profile, you see the places I’ve been, but not what I’ve been through. You want to get to know someone? Ask them about the last time they were scared. Ask them about the last time they felt angry or the last person to make them cry. The really interesting things are found within those stories, not the pictures they choose to show you up front. People are a culmination of their experiences, the most beautiful of which may have been the darkest battles fought in a quiet room – never to be caught on camera.
3. Pick any person in the world, who would be the most influential? I’ve been sponsoring a little girl since 2009 through the same Charity my parents have used for the past 30 years. She lives in an underprivileged community in the Philippines. She was 7 when I started; she’s grown so much since. Every now and then, I get a letter from her to tell me how she’s doing. I’ve always thought it would be life changing to meet her in person. I want to know what her life is like now. Did I help? Was it enough? Was I able to make her life a little better? Is she happy? There’s no one else in the world I’d rather meet.
4. What are your top 3 books that you plan to read this year? I have no idea what I’ll read this year – I like reading books that people rave about; the ones they make a point to tell you about because it moved them so much. I think it gives you a little insight into their soul. This past year, my favorite was “When Breath Becomes Air.” a profoundly moving, exquisitely observed memoir by a young neurosurgeon faced with a terminal cancer diagnosis who attempts to answer the question: What makes life worth living in the face of death? What do you do when the future, no longer a ladder toward your goals in life, flattens out into a perpetual present? I burned through it in two days. I’ve never cried so much reading a book. It was recommended to me by someone I loved very much – and we talked about it for weeks. The author captures love brilliantly:
“When you come to one of the many moments in life where you must give an account of yourself, provide a ledger of what you have been, and done, and meant to the world, do not discount that you filled my days with a sated joy unknown to me in all my prior years, a joy that does not hunger for more and more but rests, satisfied. In this time, right now, that is an enormous thing.”
5. Name one issue that is a challenge for most women and how do you suggest women work through it? For me the most challenging experience was learning to find happiness on my own. I think a lot of women put too much pressure on themselves to find love and a relationship that evolves into marriage. I spent a number of years looking for it too and went through more pain that I care to remember when I failed to find it. But I can honestly say that my greatest accomplishment has been learning to find happiness without it. If there’s anything I could tell the 26 year old me, it’s that being single is a season – and a gift. There’s no greater thing you can create for yourself than a true love for yourself – and I think that’s something you can only do on your own. I tried new things, I traveled, I saw the world and met new people that challenged my view of it, I broke down and built myself back up again. There were a lot of lonely nights, but I survived them all. I learned a lot about myself. It takes longer for some than for others I suppose – but teaching myself to be genuinely happy and healthy – without the comfort of company or validation from others – is truly freeing and empowering.