Although baseball season is over, the Yankees Hat is still traveling and this time it went from one extreme to the other. I started off in sunny Florida where the temperature was 80 degrees, the sun was shining and I spent most of my time on the beach. I was covering a charity event with some Miami Dolphins legends
and then two days later, I ended up in South Bend Indiana with a massive snowstorm experiencing the wrath of Mother Nature and the polar vortex.
I hate the snow and cold but it ended up being a great trip because I had the opportunity to meet an amazing actress and activist, AnnaLynne McCord who spoke about a very powerful topic.
I had just arrived in South Bend from Florida. I was back in town for the Notre Dame Football game and also visiting some friends and family. I had a lot on my agenda but as I was reading through my emails, I came across an invitation to a campus event with AnnaLynne McCord. She was talking about her personal experience with sexual assault and forgiveness.
You all know her as a beautiful model and actress but I got to know her as a beautiful human being. She was funny, witty, charismatic and full of life. She was an incredible speaker and her words were powerful. She was not only honest, down to earth and real, but she is by far one of the nicest people you will ever meet. She had you laughing one minute and thinking about serious issues and life the next. She stayed afterwards to meet all of her fans and was there for over an hour talking and listening to everyone with a smile the entire time. I was truly impressed. I give her so much credit for being so cordial and generous and for not being afraid to speak about what happened. She is the voice for so many people who don’t have one.
When I met her I told her what an impact she had on my life and thanked her for sharing her experience so that others could learn, grow and heal from it. She was thoughtful and attentive. A true beauty on the inside and out. She genuinely listened to what everyone had to say and made eye contact throughout each conversation. She gave lots of hugs to every person that came up to her and it was obvious that she truly cares about people.
I was so glad I had the chance to meet her in person and hear her speak. I will support all of her efforts down the road and encourage you to do the same and learn more about her. If you ever have the chance to hear her speak at an event you will love it. She’s a strong woman who didn’t let what happened to her take over her life. I admire her for being so brave and opening up so that others could learn from her.
As I was trudging through the snow on my way back to my car, I had to ask myself why in the world was I even out in this cold. I knew the answer. I was meant to hear AnnaLynne’s message tonight and now I’m sharing it with you. I passed the Golden Dome which was covered in snow and the campus began to look different to me. I’m not a fan of the outdoors especially in the winter, but this particular night was actually quite breathtaking.
There was a purity to it...which is the word that entered my mind. The message I got from tonight was about becoming pure again. There is a bible verse about becoming white as snow. We can all become pure again and find our purity through forgiveness, redemption and healing. It was a symbolic night with the snow. One I will never forget.
Thank you AnnaLynne McCord. You inspired me to share this story and to think about my own life and struggles and to remember that no matter what happens in life, we all have the power and ability to free ourselves and learn from adversity instead of letting it take over our life and rob us of true happiness.