Once Upon a Wig

by Elena on October 9, 2012 in Cancer,Inspiration

The feeling of mesh as it touched my fingers sent an invisible shock to my brain. The webby feeling triggered silent alarms in my brain, and my heart.  It was immediate. Unexpected. Visceral.

The blue wig symbolized being fierce. Knowing that you can conquer anything, and a future of empowering other young girls and women to believe that they too are fierce.  But in that moment, with that touch, my entire body was anything but fierce.

My first reaction, after taking hold of the blue wig at the Clever Girls Collective Fierce Foundation table at Blogalicious, was that there was no way I could place the sparkly blue wig on my head.  The appeal of the shiny strands and wild looking mane was gone, and it was all I could do to hand it back to my friend. Deciding that my reaction was ridiculous, I forced myself to put it back on. “It is just a wig,” I told myself. Synthetic blue hair that represents moving forward and a hopeful future. Of course I could wear it.

Once Upon a Wig | Ciao Mom

Except that as I walked away, I knew it was more than juts a shiny blue wig that looked fun and symbolized a mission to empower women. For me, that wig, represented the elephant in the room that takes advantage of moments where my insecurities are running rampant to remind me…of my days of wig wearing and feeling anything but strong.

I still cannot put words to what happened that afternoon, and for the days that followed. Instead of feeling empowered and strong in my convictions, suddenly everything was a looming question mark.  A cloud of doubt followed me, with a little voice that turned well meaning comments by friends and acquaintances into warning bells and fire alarms signaling that I was on the wrong path. Tears flowed for no reason, as I brushed my teeth, as I tried to sleep, as I walked down the long resort hallway. It was as if I had become that patient from so many years ago again…except that this time the optimism and strength that I relied on each day to make it all bearable, had evaporated leaving only doubt and fear.

Once upon a wig | Ciao Mom

Two days later, my eyes still wore the signs of too much crying and fatigue.  My thoughts were still wrapped in a cloth of insecurity and trepidation.  It was not until I stood before something else that was fierce….the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Southern California, listening to the deep tones of the breaking waves that I remembered.

Once upon a wig

Photo courtesy of @techsavvymama

And then…this happened…

Once Upon a Wig | Ciao Mom

Photo courtesy of @techsavvymama

Taunting the spray of the waves, I emerged from the waves of the ocean. I laughed. A lot. Out loud. As in from my belly. It felt… great…exhilarating even.  Just like that, a weight was lifted and I was able even if for just a moment, to remember the why, the how, and what of what being fierce meant.

Each of us has something fierce within us.  But also? Each of us has an elephant in the room….that waits until just the right moment to rear its ugly head.  It is ok to let it impact us…we are human after all. We cannot immunize ourselves from all fear and doubt. In fact, the fear and the doubt help feed our resolve and commitment. The trick, for me…and I would suggest for most of us, is to force ourselves to laugh. To breathe. To live.  To wear blue wigs. To surround ourselves with loved ones and friends that see in us things we cannot see for ourselves. Because that feeling of strength and fierceness…it is inside.

Ciao Mom


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Andrea (Lil-Kid-Things) October 9, 2012 at 8:33 am

I love this post and that picture of you laughing in the waves is simply beautiful.

hchybinski October 9, 2012 at 8:57 am

THIS. . .is beautiful.


Shell October 9, 2012 at 9:33 am

Love this! :)

Leticia- Tech Savvy Mama October 9, 2012 at 10:00 am

Nothing was better than seeing the smile on your face as the waves hit your feet especially knowing some of the inner turmoil of the previous days. xo

Amy B. October 9, 2012 at 10:18 am

You are such an awesome person. I’m glad I know you.

Corey Feldman October 9, 2012 at 10:41 am

In am always changed and touched by the ocean in some magical way. I think a blue wig looks cool.

Kelly October 9, 2012 at 11:18 am

What a magical moment. Thank you for sharing.

Catherine October 9, 2012 at 11:58 am

Truly lovely.

Lizz October 9, 2012 at 1:16 pm

Oh, my sweet, gorgeous friend. I love you so, so much. You inspire me daily.
Thank you. XOXO

Grace {Formerly Gracie} October 9, 2012 at 1:37 pm

Your strength is amazing. Truly, truly amazing. I love having you in my life, Elena! Thank you for sharing your story with us.

Holly October 9, 2012 at 1:41 pm

Wow, that was powerful. Thank you.

Kristi {at} Live and Love Out Loud October 9, 2012 at 1:52 pm

Beautifully written. I’m so glad that you were able to laugh and let go and have fun and find a new appreciation for life.

Glennia October 9, 2012 at 1:56 pm

Simply and truly gorgeous. I feel so blessed to know you.

Elena October 9, 2012 at 9:56 pm

oh my goodness Glennia–the feeling is mutual. xoxo

Jennifer Bullock October 9, 2012 at 1:58 pm

Go you!!! I am so proud of you, you are an awesome, strong woman and I have a lot to learn from you. xoxo

JenniferG October 9, 2012 at 2:05 pm

How wonderful. How magical. So touched and happy for you. You are such a great writer!

Elena October 9, 2012 at 9:55 pm

That moment at the beach was truly magical–I knew the minute my feet touched the water that I would feel better.

Fadra October 9, 2012 at 3:43 pm

I knew I wanted to comment but somehow find myself at a loss for words. You are so inspiring. And I’ll just leave it at that.

Elena October 9, 2012 at 9:54 pm

Thank you Fadra…..so much.

Missy | The Literal Mom October 9, 2012 at 10:12 pm

So beautiful, Elena!

Sandra Laflamme October 11, 2012 at 12:38 am

Beautiful post . . . thank you so much for sharing your story. You are a strong woman!

Miz October 11, 2012 at 5:35 am

Each of us DOES have an elephant in the room…

Melissa @ Live, Love, & Run October 11, 2012 at 11:25 am

This is absolutely BEAUTIFUL!!!!!! Thank you so much for sharing this!

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