Samantha Paige & Jeanne Marks
In this special Mother’s Day edition of Last Cut Conversations, Samantha Paige and her mother, Jeanne Marks, share about the evolution of their relationship over the years, but specifically open up about the deepening of their bond during this first year after Last Cut’s inception. In this honest and raw exchange, this mother-daughter duo dialogue about motherhood, the big life choices we make and learning how to respect and love one another as unique individuals. Jeanne opens up about details of her breast cancer diagnosis at age 31 and how she coped. This episode is poignant and sweet and speaks more broadly to the power of listening and learning from the important and key people in our lives. Happy Mother’s Day to all!
I have learned this year that motherhood, in its most stripped down state, is a conversation. As a relationship, the idea of a two-way street is what comes to mind. It is not about telling and being told. It is not only rules and regulations, but also reflections and respect. Motherhood is a dialogue about truths and values, love and guidance, change and tradition. As a mother myself, I have personally found this role to be a battleground for my greatest insecurities and my sweetest victories. I have danced with how best to be mother to my own daughter for nearly a decade, and in doing so, am reflecting non-stop on how best to show up for her.
Over this past year, you and I have been deep in conversation. We have uncovered and discovered. We have faced and revisited. We have remembered, forgotten and forgiven. From our first, rather rocky call about my explant surgery in January 2016, we have traveled to so many raw and vulnerable places on the emotional spectrum. All along, we stayed committed, like never before in our nearly 42 years together, to the back and forth and our love for each other. We held each other accountable to the communication, and our relationship is undoubtedly better for it.
As highlighted in our Last Cut Conversation (link above), initially my work with Last Cut was shocking to you. You are incredibly private and traditional. With my brother and me, you brought into the world two creative types who definitely push your boundaries over and over again! So, sharing such personal aspects of my life in such a raw manner publicly was outside the box for you. At first, even my actual decision to remove my implants was alarming to you, but we stayed in the discussion.
Through this honest exchange, often spurred by Last Cut posts and the soon-to-follow texts I would receive, we kept talking and evolved as a mother-daughter pair. We opened to the possibility that we could deepen the ways and places in which we respect and honor each other as individuals, regardless of how different our views or styles on any particular issue (or outfit or hairstyle) might be. We learned from each other. We laughed with each other. We cried together too, and we shared so much more honestly than ever before.
In the evolution of it all, you have become my biggest Last Cut fan. We moved from “You aren’t going to post naked pictures of yourself on the Internet, right?” to your happily sharing my naked torso in the Equinox “Commit to Something” ad to everyone you meet. I adore you more than ever before. I honor the intelligent, gracious, generous, kind and loving woman who gave birth to me. You have taught me volumes through your actions and words throughout my whole lifetime. Your may not speak publicly of your last cuts, but you are incredibly discerning and focused about how you live your life. You have modeled this to me. This year in particular, you taught me to have an open mind and be more patient.
Often we falsely believe that relationships are stagnant, that an old way of being will be forever. You and I have proven that we are only as much the same in our rapport with others as we (both) choose to be. We can grow, change and even expand our love for one another if and when we both show up fully present and ready to walk through the uncomfortable moments. Mama J, I am so grateful for your willingness to stay in the conversation with me. I love you dearly.