REVIEW: Finding My Badass Self by Sherry Stanfa-Stanley
Fighting midlife inertia, Sherry Stanfa-Stanley chose to stare down fear through The 52/52 Project: a year of weekly new experiences designed to push her far outside her comfort zone. These ranged from visiting a nude beach with her seventy-five-year-old mother in tow to taking a road trip with her ex-husband—and then another one with his girlfriend. She also went on a raid with a vice squad and SWAT team, exfoliated a rhinoceros (inadvertently giving him an erection), and crashed a wedding (where she accidentally caught the bouquet). While finding her courage in the most unlikely of circumstances, Sherry ultimately found herself.
For midlifers, fatigued parents, and anyone who may be discontent with their life and looking to shake things up, try new things, or just escape, Finding My Badass Self is proof it’s never too late to reinvent yourself—and that the best bucket list of all may be an unbucket list.
Dear Ms. Stanfa-Stanley,
Wow, this might be one of my favorite books of the year. I’m middle aged too and far too comfortable in my comfort zone. To even contemplate half the stuff you did is enough to break me out in a cold sweat. So of course I had to read the book so I could (from my comfy couch) cheer you on.
All through reading about the 52/52 challenges, I kept changing my mind as to which was the most gross, the most fear inducing, the one with the greatest potential for public humiliation or which was the one told with the most humor. Eating the chocolate covered insects, getting shot into the void down a zip line, the nudist beach (because nothing is up where it used to be back in the day) and the stock car race finally won their respective categories. The Brazilian wax story was in a category all its own. Oh sweet mother of pain.
But honestly, reading about you stepping out and trying all these things was invigorating, hilarious – in a good way, and inspiring. You go, sister! A-
I came away from that trip discovering I was more independent, capable, and courageous than I ever imagined. We all are braver and more competent than we realize, if only we challenge ourselves.