As I listen to the morning news anchor discuss ways to avoid frostbite – it is 8 degrees here – I evermore am looking forward to a very quick trip west tonight. A few weeks back, The Ricky Lake Show contacted me about appearing in a show dedicated to sexual assault, telling various women’s stories and learnings. I was very busy with work and felt the trip would be too much for me and for my tired body. Don’t get me wrong, I would have loved to have gone because I know more now than I ever have about the crime. I understand it so much better and have access to better information, and therefore, have more to say to women that I think will connect with them.
Sometimes, things come back around again – or maybe they never really leave – and you just know that there’s a reason. Late last week, the show’s producer reached out again to tell me they are now making the topic of sexual assault a two-part series and again desired my presence. The producer wrote, “I can’t help but feel that this was meant to be.” And what swayed me, really, is that RAINN’s PR director whom I have worked with previously had attended the first show as an expert. She told me Ricki treated each survivor with dignity and genuine interest in the subject matter. Furthermore, I am a member of the RAINN Speakers Bureau and two other members participated in the first show.
So, here I am, scrambling to assemble a respectable ensemble to wear. And don’t think I take that lightly. People have all sorts of preconceived notions about what a sexual assault victim should wear and look like. They actually process that information to make judgements about the victim. But here’s the thing: That only makes me want to wear those super sweet heels in the above photo more. As I wrote in a previous post, those are my sassy victory shoes, and I am going to wear them to the show. They make me about 10 feet tall, but that is totally my prerogative and my little nod of rebellion.
The flight to LA and back will take about 17 total hours and I will be on the ground less than 24 hours. This reminds me of that epic midweek trip to Rome I took with the nine-hour layover in Brussels so that I could be in Rome just 46 hours for that awful interview with the prosecutor. I am terrified of getting sick due to dehydration and fatigue so I will combat it the best I can: with lots of water, comfy clothes, relaxing music and hand sanitizer.
Thank you to all my friends who are cheering me on and thank you for the well wishes about this latest trip. You guys know I said I would do this. That I would work really hard to make a difference and share what I have learned. So, here I go!