Updated: Feb 20, 2018
Let me start by saying that I have always wanted to be a grown up. As a child I couldn't wait to get older, to have responsibility, to make my own rules, to be independent. I certainly enjoyed my childhood- but really, I just wanted to be a boss. Now, as a model and small business owner, I take on a lot of personal pressure, financially and otherwise. But I truly love the pressure. In fact, I thrive on it. This is why being a grown up suits me. One very grown up thing I do is sign contracts. Contracts usually mean business, money and workflow. Through the course of my modeling career I have reviewed and signed more contracts than I can count. And through our consulting work, the goal is always to help our clients obtain and sign talent contracts. Those contracts call for celebration. But lately the contracts I have been tasked with signing come with a slightly different tone.
Perhaps nothing feels more grown up than signing your own living will and DNR.
My prognosis is good, so I don't plan on using these documents any time soon; they are requested, as standard protocol, by my medical team. As much as I dread the idea of these contracts, there is some comfort knowing that things are being tended to before they are needed. So when a perfect stranger approached me in the hospital the other day and asked if I wouldn't mind signing her wills as a witness, I jumped at the opportunity.
Her name was Gloria. She was a gentle, older woman who had recently endured a stroke. She was getting her affairs in order, but she was alone and needed two witnesses to stand before the notary to make her final wishes official. The postman (her other impromptu witness), myself and Gloria became fast friends as we stood there in a small room, taking our oaths and putting pen to paper. When it was all wrapped up I felt like we should make a toast or something. But then I remembered that it wasn't that kind of contract. Nonetheless, we all felt good about what we had done. I certainly hope that Gloria won't be needing those documents anytime soon. And I am honored that I was able to help her do something that will make her end of life wishes come true. I guess that's just what grown ups do.