Over the last couple of months, my family and friends have repeatedly reassured me that Bald is Beautiful. While I appreciate the sentiment, I didn't believe them and chalked it up to everyone just being supportive and kind.
And then I saw Joan Lunden's picture on the recent cover of People Magazine.
To say I am in awe and inspired that Joan Lunden bared her head on PEOPLE— a magazine read by an estimated 43 Million+ people and seen my who knows how many more— is a huge understatement.
Asked about her decision she said, "It was such a tough decision. . ."And it wasn’t the comfortable decision — knowing you were going to be seen by everyone in such a vulnerable way — but I know it was the right decision. I knew I could be a voice for a quarter of a million women . . . and I wanted to show that your health is more important than your hair. Your hair grows back after you stop chemo, and then you have your life."
I wonder if in weighing her uncomfortable decision she grappled with all the reasons not to do it—if like me, she came up with a long list of what-ifs and buts.
There’s a saying I learned from my Scottish friends, Bella and Julie that goes something like—if ifs and buts were candy and nuts, every day would be Christmas. The first time I heard that saying, I had no idea what it meant. Now, I think it means we can— and often do— stockpile excuses not to do stuff—especially the hard stuff that forces us to face fears or risk being seen as vulnerable.
Before I actually lost my hair, I was sure I’d keep my head under wraps with everyone but Jim. I can count on one hand the family and friends who have glimpsed it. And, then, Joan Lunden showed the bravery and beauty to let People put her bald head on their cover. I had to ask myself, if she put it out there for the millions who read People, is it time to suck-up the fear and insecurity by doing my small part?
Unsure and uncomfortable, I talked it over with Jim. He asked me why, after being so private up until now, I’d want to take the risk.
The best answer I have is that the sooner I accept that being bald is part of my life right now, the sooner I take away its power and move on.