I don’t have many friends who are models or on television. I do have a handful of friends who I sometimes get a get the opportunity to see unexpectedly, like when I’m waiting for a route canal and open a magazine at the Dentist’s office. This never becomes dull – I get excited every time. I still think it’s cool when we see our friend Craig peddle pretzels in commercials on television or notice my friend Sang’s cousin, Gene, on the Tempur-pedic brochure at the mattress store. In fact, I am pretty sure the reason we bought a Temper-pedic bed was because Cousin Gene looked like he was having so much fun on it. In a PG kind of way, of course.
The other person I see from time to time is my friend, Jennifer.
THIS is Jennifer.
Every once in a while I’ll open a magazine and see that beautiful face smiling back. Every time, it’s a wonderful surprise.
Jennifer and I met almost 12 years ago when were being whored out for charity.
Ok, well, not exactly. We were in a “Buy a Date” auction to raise money for Multiple Sclerosis. So, not “technically” whored out, but yeah. Pretty much.
Jennifer moved out to Los Angeles about 7 years ago. We’ve stayed in touch, mainly so I can tell her how excited I am every time I see her in a magazine or on T.V. (“Hey, that’s my friend Jenni! I KNOW her!”). I love her perspective on racial identity, feminism and just, you know.
I wanted Jennifer to share something with you today. She is on an amazing journey – one that she is documenting to share with women everyone.
Check it out.
I don’t remember exactly how Kiran and I got roped into the “Buy a Date” auction. I do remember that some blonde chick convinced us it was for a good cause so we agreed to do it. Now that really I think about it, I agreed to do a lot of crazy things in my mid-twenties.
Wearing a red strapless gown and a “Hello My Name Is” sticky badge with a number instead of my name, I watched as The Ballroom filled with people. I was seriously regretting my charitable contribution.
“What the hell was I thinking? I can’t do this.”
Thank goodness for Kiran. Looking completely amazing in her black slinky dress, she oozed the confidence I longed for. She gave a quick pep talk and I was almost convinced I’d survive the evening. We made a pit stop at the bar for a couple shots. Now, I’m ready.
“Let’s do this.”
As I watched Kiran sashay her way across the stage, I admired her fearlessness; it gave me the courage to attempt to do the same for my turn on stage.
Honestly, after the MC announced my name, I don’t remember one second of my time on stage. The only reason I know I came out from behind the curtain, didn’t trip over the hem of my dress and fall flat on my face is because someone gave me a picture a couple weeks later. Yes, an actual Kodak piece of paper. The photo showed me, with a real smile not the terrified one I imagined, standing tall center stage.
I’m so thankful to have a friend like Kiran. Her beautiful spirit has inspired me in more ways than she probably knows. She’s a thoughtful, supportive friend and a loving, hard working mother who dares to share her authentic self, which is one of the boldest things anyone can do.
I am honored by her invitation to contribute on Masala Chica. Here goes nothing:
After ending yet another relationship, shortly before my 35th birthday, I had a serious freak-out moment. Actually it was more than a moment. It was like a panic month…or three.
Talking to my therapist about marriage, babies and all the grown up stuff people do, I felt behind, like time was running out.
You know that scene in When Harry Met Sally where Sally is in her bathrobe crying and saying, “And I’m gonna be 40…Someday.” Well, that blubbering chick might as well have been me. Forty was five years away, but looming.
The cold hard truth: My biological clock was ticking, ticking so loud that everyone around me could hear it. I had to figure out a way to slow it down.
After weeks of research and soul-searching, I decided to freeze my eggs.
Recently having its “experimental” label lifted, egg freezing is technically known as oocyte cryopreservation. It’s a break-through technology where a woman’s eggs are extracted, stored and frozen indefinitely.
Unlike men, a woman’s fertility begins to decrease significantly after the age of 35. In other words, as a woman ages so do her eggs. Women over 40 have a two out of five chance for a successful pregnancy.
You know what I find the most fascinating about this information? I didn’t learn it until I was 35!
Women spend the majority of their lives practicing pregnancy prevention. It’s just what we’re taught. No one talks about FERTILITY until they’re the position where it has drastically diminished. So the question becomes – how do we get women to start the fertility conversation sooner?
To get and keep the conversation going, I decided to share my egg freezing journey in a documentary film titled Chill. The goal of the film is to empower and inform women about the reproductive options science and technology have made available today. Unlike our mothers and grandmothers, we are no longer strictly limited by the time frames of nature.
I know egg freezing isn’t for everyone, but it’s important for women to know it’s an option. I chose to do it because I didn’t want to feel pressured to find a partner just so I could have a family. I also wanted to preserve my chance to have biological children. By freezing my eggs, I’ve extended that possibility.
There have been some notable changes since my eggos went into the freezer. First, I learned more about fertility in the last year and a half than I have in my entire life…Did you know our ovaries have follicles? Yeah, well, I didn’t until about a year ago.
Seriously, most of the changes I’ve noticed are emotional. I no longer feel rushed to choose a partner. Most of all, I have less anxiety about what the future holds for me when it comes to family. I’m so grateful to have taken this journey and I look forward to sharing it with you through Chill.
To read more about my egg freezing experience, check out the Chill blog at http://www.chillthedocumentary.com. If you’re interested in spreading the word and supporting the film, check out our Indiegogo Campaign. Thank you!
I am glad I got to bring you Jenni today. I think it’s amazing that she is documenting her experience to help other women who might be going through this as well. Help her voice get a little louder and the documentary get more support by sharing this.