It has been a whirlwind of a year! I moved my family 3,000 miles across the country, sent my 17 year old son back to finish high school in Ramsey, New Jersey, lost my Mom, and tripped over so many hurdles that I will be scarred forever.
During this process, I kept reminding myself that with great change comes great sacrifice and pain, but also: growth, appreciation, and a huge serving of “humble pie.”
I have attempted this enormous task many times in my life, however; I realize that the universe needed to “approve” before granting my wish. Oh, my wish was definitely granted and I was not prepared for everything that came along with it!
At the end of this daunting process, I headed back to New Jersey to see my eldest son graduate and grow into a man that I am proud to call my son, and to humbly thank the families who took care of my son after my Mom passed away. It is true, it takes a village to raise a child—I just didn’t realize that this village was 3,000 miles across the country.
I do believe that everyone deserves a second chance, and after taking my own advice, I happily became closer to someone that I didn’t give a “real” chance to before. I refuse to be delusional when it comes to myself and my “shortcomings”, and I am thankful that I was allowed to clean off my slate and start again with a wonderful woman who introduced me to her fabulous family.
We all broke bread together, and during that process a special bond was formed (for me). I enjoyed sitting at the head of the table and every once in a while glancing around at the beautiful people who freed up their busy schedules to spend time with me.
I think one of the things I truly love about women is the knack of finding a common ground when it comes to our looks and the “Barbie doll” syndrome. Don’t get me wrong, I played with Barbie dolls and also had a Ken doll. They of course got married, lived in a three-story penthouse, and Barbie went on to keep her figure even after having many children (minus the cosmetic procedures)!
I have taken a stroll down the cosmetic procedure lane, and I realized that in order to help others and release them from their demons, I needed to stand naked in Times Square. By that, I mean I needed to release my demons and be truthful with others so they can help themselves on any level they needed to.
I am certain that if more women “exposed” their secrets, there would be less mudslinging between us!
During the course of our 3 ½ hour dinner (which took place at a fabulous restaurant in Park Ridge, New Jersey called Valentinos), http://valentinosrestaurantparkridge.com/ we talked, yelled, laughed, and shared “secrets” with each other. I think at times we surprised ourselves as well as each other. I absolutely love those moments! How many times have we had “real” moments with once strangers, sort of acquaintances, now family?
We talked about eyelash extensions, Ultherapy, www.ultherapy.com eye lifts, breast augmentations, liposuction, tummy tucks, laser hair removal, Brazilian hair straightening treatments, makeup and of course fashion.
I was surrounded by amazing women, ranging in age from 11 to let’s say over 60. I personally sat between an adorable 15 year old girl who loves fashion as much as I do and an amazing God sent woman who I personally want to adopt as my stepmom. Even with the vast age difference, both women sang the same tune when it came to all things girls like, dislike, cannot live without and would like to quickly forget! Once again, I was moved by the moment and surprised that regardless of age, the little girl in us lives on until death do us part.
Even though the evening was choc-full with enough stimuli to take down a rhino, there were certain things that stood out to me from each woman:
• The young beautiful Julia to the left of me: her shiny hair, beautiful eyes, and adorable Coach Shoes.
• The intelligent, striking Amanda: her classic beauty and beautiful eye makeup that propelled her eyes (in a good way) and drew me into her youthful soul.
• The lovely, striking Joyce, whose hair was beyond gorgeous with long, loose, soft curls and her delicate flawless skin that could light up NYC all on its own.
• Daniella, who shocked me when I first saw her (she has changed so much in one year); she’s got an awesome, strong, personality and her height rivals the greatest models with her striking features. I was taken by her beauty and self confidence at such a young age.
• I will never forget the youngest, but well established Alani. I never remember being well understood at such a young age. She was sweet, stood on her own two feet, looked fashionable and adorable and her light and appropriate makeup could not compete with the compelling bone structure of her face. Her smile lit up my soul.
• I loved Belki…a strong, funny woman who with every word left me wanting to hear more and her facial features were well defined. I kept thinking this woman needed no trip to any surgeon—she was born that way and extremely lucky (and I was jealous)!
• Tammy was someone I could talk to for hours. She makes me laugh, says what’s on “my mind” and her beauty surpassed any boundaries. She’s a gorgeous woman inside and out with a fun flirty personality that left me thankful for my second chance.
• Last but certainly not least was Marta. I feel that she was a gift for all us women to learn from. She was stylish, wore jewelry that I wanted to take off her, and showed me that as we age we can still hold onto our beauty. I was left knowing that she would be my role model when it came to humor, intelligence, beauty, wisdom, kindness and independence. She was the VIP (Very Impressive Presence).
My take away: age—no problem and looks—all different and perfect in their own way. Intelligence was not limited to the elders. Concerns crossed every generation and the strength of a woman – unattainable by any man!
Carry on ladies, and continue to do what we have and will always do – carry on!
Proud to be a woman…xo, jo