I had an entirely different post written and planned for my spotlight. But something happened this week that I feel compelled to share on this platform in particular.
For the last three years, I’ve been producing the documentary, Head to Head, about the human hair industry and women with hair loss who must face their biggest secret every single day and choose whether to cover it up or put it out into the world for all to see.
I’ve talked to hundreds and hundreds of people about the film and everyone who hears our story perks up and leans in. They’ll say “I got the chills as you were talking,” or “I can totally relate to that [insert very personal story],” or “I had no idea. How can I help?” These conversations are daily affirmations that this work is necessary and important and the sacrifices are all worth it.
And yet, in an instant, hundreds of “yes’s” disappeared as two “no, thank you’s” from two film grants in one week popped into my inbox. Gone, just like that. I immediately jumped to the conclusion if both of these respectable institutions don’t think our story is worth the investment, then why would anyone else?
So, today, after a couple days of feeling defeated, I started to write about why these two deflating “nice try’s” outweighed a truck-full of enthusiastic “keep going’s”. And as I write, hundreds of yes’s float to the top again.
I think about the 12 strong women who have delicately placed their incredible hair loss stories and their formidable confidence in our hands.
The 10 fierce women who are dedicating their free time to help us plan an amazing crowdfunding party in August.
My Women Belong tribe who constantly reminds me great things happen if I simply ask for it.
The 154 Kickstarter backers who believed in us before we even had a camera to shoot on.
Our social followers who consistently like and share our story.
Then there are my sisters, Andrea and Jenny, who have been on this roller coaster ride with me since day one. As this is our first independent film, we basically blindly stepped in queue for the tallest, steepest roller coaster. Then at the front of the line, when the train pulled up with janky lap belts, I said, “Don’t worry, I’m sure it’ll be fine.” And we sat down and buckled up. And then the loud speaker announced, “We are not liable for any injuries that take place on this roller coaster.” We nervously looked at each other and said, “There’s no turning back now.” When the train jolted forward, both our hearts stopped with a rush of excitement and anticipation. Andrea asked, “What have you gotten us into?”
It’s been a three-year-long thrilling, scary, blurry, exhilarating, exhausting ride. We’ve been jostled and bruised for sure. But at this moment, I can see ahead to our fundraising event. I think it will feel like that moment when you reach the platform and get off the ride where all the people are cheering and excited and strangely bonded over this exciting shared experience. Everyone is yelling, “Let’s go again!” because, hey, you didn’t die!
It helps to know that I’m not on this ride alone and that everyone experiences the doubts at the beginning and everyone experiences the highs and the lows and everyone feels their stomach drop while free falling. But it’s that mutual elation and bondedness at the end of the ride that makes it easier to get back in line again and again.
I hope you also have someone sitting next to you who you can death-grip their hand when you feel like hurling. With the ongoing support from my sisters and my community, I’m feeling prepared to throw both my hands up in the air for this next ride.
If you want to celebrate the joy of accomplishment and thrill of anticipation for what’s around the next loop-de-loop, come join us for our live crowdfunding event on August 23 at the historic Colvin House in Edgewater.
Contact Katy for more event details.
Content provided by Women Belong member Katy Osborn