Saturday, 25 October 2014

'Caus It's a Worthy Cause

I was listening to my iPod-listening to a song over and over again, not because I loved it, but because I was practicing singing to it. I felt incredibly awkward and rusty. It was a horrible feeling. Once upon a time I sang...A lot. I didn't stop and people would tell me to stop. I remember after I saw The Phantom of the Opera when I was younger I was obsessed with the music and truly believed I was next in line to play Christine Daaé. I sang the songs from the play sooo much that students left a note on my front door kindly asking the phantom singer to halt her singing while they studied for their exams. At least it was comic and polite. When I was really young (around 4-6 years of age), I would wake up really early, sit on the balcony and sing at the top of my lungs "Put the Lime in the Coconut" or "Tomorrow" from Annie...Yeah, people frequently yelled at me to shut-up. Those were the days that I LOVED singing. It was my life, my passion and I felt like my life wasn't complete without it. That changed when I started to compete. To make singing matters worse, I haven't felt like belting it out in a heartfelt way since my mom died.

So here I am, years later, having just performed at a breast cancer benefit. I used to help a family friend out every year at her breast cancer benefit by singing. However, because I've been travelling the past few years, I wasn't able to attend. Now...Well, now I'm about to. Scared of sucking. Afraid of the crowd and feeling the pressure I'm putting on myself mounting. I have to remind myself that it's NOT about me. It's about a very worthy cause that I've supported since I was in high school. 

My mother told me once I started to make enough money, that part of my income had to go to a charitable organization. I was free to choose the organization, but money had to be given, so I chose the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation. It's not like I've ever missed the money. I'm all too happy to give it to a worthy cause. I encourage people to give back whether you donate time, money, goods, services, we all have something to give back :)

I love supporting breast cancer awareness and I think that artist, Bif Naked, aptly discusses it in the national Canadian newspaper, The Globe and Mail here: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/health-and-fitness/health-advisor/in-defence-of-breast-cancer-month/article21058022/
I would also like to link to the interview that my family friend gave CTV, a Canadian television broadcaster: http://london.ctvnews.ca/video?binId=1.1807099  Now Rose and Ed, and I will absolutely name them in this post because they 100% deserve recognition for what they've done, created an event that raises awareness and financial support for women who are and were going through breast cancer (via the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation: http://www.cbcf.org/Pages/default.aspx) and through a group that provides after care for women post breast cancer.

I dislike the colour pink, but what a night to wear it proudly! I was very fortunate to be among family friends: my mother's best friends, including a breast cancer survivor, their partners and their families. I may have been the only one up on that stage, but I was surrounded by love and support and let's be serious here. Who am I? No one. I didn't deserve to be up on that stage, but I felt privileged to be asked to partake in the event. I don't think that Rose and Ed will be continuing the benefit (this was their sixth year putting it on), but I'm thankful to them for allowing me to be part of it (3 of the 6 years it ran).

Lastly, it would be nice if one day cancer wasn't a health issue at all. I am a strong believer of preventative measures. These days it seems MANY health problems could be avoided by simply taking care of ourselves. Being healthy isn't difficult and by doing so, we're sending out a clear sign that we respect ourselves (yes, I said WE. I'm guilty of eating junk food and sitting on my bottom when I should be outside enjoying fresh air and exercise!). Please take a glance over these awesome articles I found while browsing the Good Houskeeping magazine:

 From the October 2014 issue which dedicated part of the health section to breast cancer.
Why do people hate exercise so much? There are DEFINITELY days when my bed just seems so much more appealing, and yet once I'm done exercising I feel so incredible!

P.S. I think that Londoners (and those who are in London often enough) need to know this: someone once told me that the best dry cleaning spot in town is Peter's Drive In Cleaners (on Adelaide just before Huron) and they were right!!! I somehow managed to get BLACK gel ink on my light pink dress (the one I was planning to wear to the breast cancer benefit concert!). My minor emergency was somehow fixed by the two incredible ladies running the show there! I will be eternally grateful for their help. They knew the dress was meant to be worn for a good cause and they managed to get it out!!! My thanks go out to them here!