Walking down the High Line with my friend Ashley, I spotted it - the Diane von Furstenberg shop in the Meatpacking District of NYC. “Can we go there? Would you mind?” I asked her. “Of course!” she said immediately!
A cute store clerk, Lee, greeted us at the door – surprisingly not turning me away with my Forever21 shorts and shoes on! I truly had no intention of buying anything – maybe a scarf? – but definitely not a DVF wrap dress.
Ashley runs over to the sunglasses and puts them on my face. “You need these!”
Next thing I know, Lee is grabbing dresses and they are telling me to try them on.
I walked downstairs to a private fitting room with Ashley and Lee, and next thing I knew I was trying on DVF dresses with hot coffee waiting for me in the dressing room. Who did I think I was? This was FABULOUS!
I put “her” on. Pink. Long. Floral. Wrap Dress.
This sounds crazy, but it changed my life. I opened the curtain, and immediately Ashley’s eyes filled up with tears – “Fuck! That dress is everything! You deserve that dress!”
Next thing I knew, I was walking around the dressing room, looking at myself in the mirror trying to convince myself why I shouldn’t buy the dress. Plus, it was all about being #INCHARGE! It’s expensive – yes – but I have been through a lot. I fought for my life. I have battled through heartbreak. I am thriving on my own. I have a fur baby, Archie, and he’s doing great! I am working two jobs. Damnit. Ashley’s right – I do deserve that dress! I AM IN CHARGE!
After hugging Lee, buying the dress and the sunglasses (Ashley bought sunglasses too!), we decided we need to celebrate “her.” So we went to The Standard Hotel, and ordered a bottle of rose of course!
Here we were sitting pretty with our DVF bags, bottle of crisp pink wine (fitting, I know!) watching all the beautiful people smack in the middle of New York City – about 2300 miles from home.
It was right then, that I got teary eyed. I was sitting with my best girl, Ashley, a friend that I only made in the last two years. But a friend that got me through one of the hardest times of my life. She became my family when my family was far away. It was at that moment, that I looked around at the young 20-somethings that I realized at 36 years old.... I beat cancer. I fell in and out of love. I started an organization to encourage women to fight – to empower them to feel strong and beautiful when it’s hard to do so. I have a wonderful career in marketing and have many incredible relationships, friendships and more.
It was at that moment that I realized, I am the woman I want to be.