ORIGINALLY POSTED ON SEPT. 4TH 2014:
I’ve had this Joan Rivers post on my to-do list since last year and have kept putting it off and putting it off. I did not want to write it since she had been admitted into the hospital as I didn’t want to even consider the thought that she wouldn’t make it through. But, today, with a heavy heart, I’m taking the time to reflect on some of the things that made me admire Joan Rivers ever since I could remember. I was first introduced to Joan Rivers in the 90s when she appeared on Oprah Winfrey’s talk show and remember Joan saying something about, “I’d rather see a new face come out of an old car than an old face coming out of a new one.” And there, even though I was maybe around 7 years old, my lifelong friendship with Joan Rivers began. Ever since, Joan had always been someone I turned to when I needed a laugh or some light-hearted yet poignant advice. For years, her face — or faces 😉 — have graced inspiration boards + collages as a reminder of what a hard-working woman can achieve and that it’s never too late to succeed.
LAUGH IT OFF
Joan Rivers’ husband and father to her daughter, Edgar Rosenberg, had committed suicide. This was a very difficult time for both Joan and her daughter, Melissa. Part of Joan’s coping & grieving process was to include jokes about her late husband’s suicide in her stand-up routine. I learned through this, from very young, that if you want to create distance between yourself and a horribly painful event, find a way to laugh about it. Nothing that has happened to me in my life is off-limits. I joke and laugh about it all. My motto is: if you don’t laugh, you’ll cry.
No matter what anyone says about Joan Rivers, no one can deny the fact that she was a hard-worker. I remember catching Joan, just a week or so before her death, on QVC and just being in awe of how she was able to do it all with so much energy, without missing a beat, even at her age. Her work ethic is legendary. When you want something, don’t be afraid to work hard and go out and get it.
SPEAK YOUR MIND
Like Joan Rivers, I was born without a filter between my brain and my mouth. As Joan once said, “I succeeded by saying what everyone else is thinking.” In truth, I’ve found that saying what you’re thinking is an efficient way to connect with others because they are usually thinking just the same thing as you. On another note, don’t be afraid to tell someone off and defend yourself either. A little bit of sass can go a long way!
NEVER APOLOGIZE FOR A JOKE
This one is more comedian-friendly, but if you apologize for a joke you’re inviting people to ask you to apologize for everything else you’ve ever said or will say. Sometimes, you have to take risks and you can’t waste your life apologizing for every move or decision you make. Everyone will say and do things you won’t agree with. Let people have the freedom to be themselves and allow yourself to be just as free.
NOTHING IS PERMANENT
I wish I could find the interview, but I remember watching a Joan Rivers interview a few years ago where she discussed how life is like a wheel. Sometimes you’re up at the top and sometimes you’re down at the bottom, but life goes on and you can still find yourself at the top again. Just keep working hard, keeping pushing, and keep on keeping on. Joan NEVER gave up.
SOME OF MY FAVORITE JOAN RIVERS CLIPS:
*UPDATE (SEPT. 4TH, 2015): Earlier this year, Joan’s daughter, Melissa, released Book of Joan, a light-hearted but informative look into her memories being raised by (and sometimes, doing the raising) the comedy legend. If you’re a fan of Joan Rivers, it’s a must-read or listen. I listed to Melissa Rivers’ narration on audible. (This isn’t a paid plug. Joan would be so disappointed! LOL)