Don't Miss Humans of New York

The Days of Awe, starting with Rosh Hashanah and ending with Yom Kippur, are a time for reflection. We ask ourselves: was I the best person I could be, and, how can I be better in the coming year?

With Covid, civil unrest and a divisive election, it's hard to imagine finding the strength to improve on yourself when it feels like every day presents more challenges. We're all struggling to simply get by.

But when you dig in to history, it's clear that we've marked the Days of Awe through countless hardships. And moving forward, while this sometimes feels like the end of the world, there are always upsides to living through hard times. We will get through this.

During the downtime of fasting and reflection yesterday, I stumbled on an amazing story that beautifully illustrated a life well-lived despite so many things working against it. I've always loved the Humans of New York Instagram feed. It presents lovely snapshots of the lives of New Yorkers. And, like so many businesses right now, HONY has pivoted. Instead of featuring a different New Yorker in each post, they've focused the past 32 posts on the amazing life of one woman named Stephanie.

The New York Times reported on it yesterday, but the story actually started nearly a year ago. HONY first posted Stephanie's story last November. Since then, Stephanie, a burlesque dancer who went by the name of Tangueray in 1960's and 1970's Times Square, has fallen on hard times. So HONY picked her story back up and started a GoFundMe campaign to raise money so she can live out the rest her life without the burden of financial insecurity.

The New York Times reported that they've raised nearly $1.5 million, but when I donated it exceeded $2.5 million. So cool!

Take the time to read Stephanie's story and donate if you can.

She escaped to New York from an abusive family compounded with an unwanted pregnancy and a stint in prison. She ran with gangsters, prostitutes and porn stars, but lived her life with grace, humor and dignity. Like the super fun Golden Globe-nominated HBO series, "The Deuce," set in the same gritty period, there is something beautiful and exciting about cheering on the anti-hero of a time and place that's since become Disney-fied.

We're all doing our best, and sometimes we need an escape from our reality to see that everyone is going through something and the world will never stop throwing us curveballs.

I'm striving to be better this year. And a nice first step was to donate to Stephanie.

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