My first encounter with Ms Joan on television, nearly had me writing a complaint letter to the show producers (if I had the balls or time to actually see it through) but I didn’t. At first glance she appeared to be an old woman who had obviously been under the knife one too many times or only as Joan would put it:
“I’ve had so much plastic surgery, when I die, they will donate my body to Tupperware.” -Joan Rivers
Not only did her look not appeal to me but also, her attitude seemed so off. Who was she to critique other celebrities about their style on E! Entertainment’s show, Fashion Police?” I just couldn’t wrap my head around this old lady.
This old lady however, taught me something. She taught me not to make judgements based on appearances, life choices blah blah blah and the biggest lesson of all learnt from Joan was that she doesn’t care about what I think or what anyone thinks of her. She spoke her mind and didn’t hold back, which would make her seem as though she was rude and a bit heartless towards the feelings of other people.
In most cases she wasn’t lying and if we think about it we all have horrible little truths in our mind about what and how we really feel about a particular person, event or experience. We just don’t say it! In most cases, we do something worse; we mask our true feelings and call it an act of maturity or taking the higher road. We sugar coat that truth with lies, in hopes of not getting into anyone’s bad books or trying to maintain relationships.
All these fascinating aspects about Joan’s character made me question my life because there have been times when I would have wanted to speak my truth, but the fear of what the outcome would be, stifled me. This fear still stifles me but as I am continuously growing, making mistakes along the way and learning, I am slowly discovering more bits and pieces about my character.
I had found that it is not going to be okay in the long run to stifle my thoughts and opinions. Sure, because of how I was raised, I do have to think about the other person’s feelings and try to do unto them, as I would want them to do unto me. But what good is all of this if all I am doing is putting a smile on someone else’s face at the expense of not being authentic with myself? Another great icon who is much younger puts it this way on managing herself and getting into tune with what she wants.
“What do you want to do? she recalls asking herself. Do you want to be successful at radio? Do you want to kiss asses? Do you want a career? Do you want to focus on your life?” –Beyonce Knowles
I’m not suggesting that we should be as overt about it as Joan was but we could really cut down on the fake behaviour and forced interactions with one another when it’s simply not something we are feeling 100%.
So here is to Ms Rivers, a life well lived and fully tapped into despite the constant critics and haters. Rest fabulously in heaven.