NOTE: This is the first of a series of blogs I've been working on with the theme of feminism interwoven throughout them. I'm including various shout outs to some bomb ass females, and exploring a couple new thoughts I have regarding women in today's society. Stay tuned for more throughout the week!
On two separate occasions in my life I’ve had friends give me something with an Eleanor Roosevelt quote on it. Now, I’ve already mentioned one of them in an earlier post: the magnet that reads "do one thing every day that scares you," but I failed to speak of the other quote. In order to understand the significance of it, I must share the following story with you.
In the fall of 2011, I found myself unemployed, sleeping on my friend’s couch, wondering if I had made a huge mistake moving to New York. I had just lost my apartment and my job as a nanny (and most of my belongings) due to bed bugs. Having already moved three or four times at that point, I was feeling very lost and confused, and desperately wanted to feel at home somewhere. I spent most of those days on her couch, applying for jobs online, while the sounds of reality TV shows played in the background. After a couple weeks of this, I emailed one of my college professors who lives in the city and asked her if she could recommend either a therapist or a psychic for me to see. I was in desperate need for any sort of guidance.
A couple days later, I ended up going to a psychic she recommended for me. It was on a whim. I didn’t make an appointment. I showed up and there was a time available to see her in about twenty minutes. So I waited, and perused the bookstore which she was located in. I found a book that had a detailed description of each horoscope sign. When I read my own, it said that the cities I should live in were New York or Amsterdam. I thought that was strange, and even stranger when I found it again in another book. Trying not to read too much into it, I went in to see the psychic. Before I even said anything, she told me that she could tell I was having doubts about New York, and that I would be living here for a while longer. She said I would receive a temp job, move into a friend’s apartment, and be able to support myself. She also said I would rekindle a relationship with someone back in California, and that unfortunately it wouldn't work out for us. All of it seemed too good to be true (except the relationship aspect of course), but I listened and asked questions about what else I should expect. She told me that everything she said was just one of countless possibilities of what could happen. It was up to me to decide what path I wanted to take.
That night I sent in an application for a temp agency. I received a temp position the day I went in for my initial interview. A few days later, a friend of mine called and said her roommate was moving out and that there was a room available if I wanted it. When I went to L.A. for New Year's, I was able to confront an old flame and officially end things between us.
All of this could have been one giant coincidence, but I don’t think that’s the case. I believe that I made a conscience decision about what I wanted and allowed things to fall into place along the way.
While all of this was going on, I started writing a new play and was having a great time staying with my friend. We had nights of mac 'n' cheese, margaritas, and watched old childhood movies. I began to feel more at ease that things were lining up, and I was making the initiative to see things through, instead of just sitting on my ass hoping something would magically land in my lap. My friend saw me through a great deal of highs and lows during the time I spent on her couch, and I am eternally grateful for her generosity. The morning I moved out of her place, I found that she had left me a card on her coffee table. I opened it, and read the following on the cover:
A woman is like a tea bag
When I first read that quote, an overwhelming sense of empowerment came over me. "Holy crap," I thought. That was seriously the best card to receive after all that I had been through, and it quickly became my new favorite quote. It was crazy. After all the moving, the multiple jobs, and the struggle of living in New York; I was still going strong. I wasn't allowing any obstacle to hold me back from what I wanted, and that quote from Eleanor was just the push I needed to remind myself of that.
Since I received that card, the kinship and respect I already had with Ms. Eleanor immensely grew. Now, when I least expect it, she turns up and reminds me that I am in fact strong enough to take on anything that comes my way. She serves as a reminder for me to be brave and challenge myself to become the woman I aim to be. I find her to be a large role model in my life, and provide me with constant guidance when times seem tough.
In all honesty, I don't think it's a coincidence that I continue to receive objects with her quotes on them. I don't think any of this is a coincidence at all, but that could just be me. I believe that this is all part of the path I've chosen to follow, or the destiny that's already been paved out for me. Regardless, I am grateful that a woman like Eleanor Roosevelt continues to inspire and motivate me along the way. Maybe she really is trying to speak to me with messages on magnets and greeting cards. Who knows. (Probably not, but that could be a great idea for a play or movie!)
Epilogue: The card is now framed in my room, and resides next to my Eleanor Roosevelt magnet and my Rosie the Riveter pin.
This is a photo of Eleanor and I in Washington D.C. last spring. She was quite tall...