Feeling inspired. That's what my Facebook status should say.
Saturday morning, my TV is on the fritz and I'm bored. Twitter, Faceook, even Instagram bring nothing of note to my day.
I remember hearing about Makers, a PBS and AOL mini documentary and how great it was. I figure, if I can't watch TV on the actual TV, I guess I can watch on my laptop. Thank goodness for technology!
Wikipedia describes Makers: Women Who Make America as a "2013 documentary film about the struggle for women's equality in the United States during the last five decades of the twentieth century."
Great, a feminist, bra-burning, we-hate-men soap box. I aim to close the browser.
But then, I catch a glimpse at the women listed: Oprah Winfrey, Barbara Walters, Judy Blum, Ellen Degeneres, Diane Von Furstenburg... Damn, those are good.
I want so badly to close out, but with nothing to do until my partner-in-crime rises from his slumber, I decide I might learn something.
There are tons of videos, so I decide to start from the beginning. One by one, I watch three to four-minute videos. I'm embarrassed to say that I never knew half of these women existed.
After about an hour, I'm addicted. Susan Wojicicki inspires me to consider buying a house and renting out rooms to strangers. Ann Wojiciki makes me want to go to a "spit party" and Oprah just makes me cry.
I'm inspired and I'm not even a quarter of the way through the Makers profiles. I'm about ready to call my girls and ask them if they want to devise a plan to take over the world when Oprah tells a story (I won't spoil it for you, you should probably hear it for yourself). As all Oprah stories go, they come with a punch, a word of wisdom, a moral. "My father told me, this was my second chance," that's all it took. I cancel my bulk order of customized shirts that read "girls rule, boys drool," and realize this message was for me.
I once wrote about how I had dreams, a bucket list and how I made three of them a reality. Well, I'm sad to say that once those three came true, I was at a standstill, like my life was complete.
My family and friends spent months asking me when I would write again. I'm certainly not a Pulitzer Prize winner, but they knew having this opportunity to write was a dream and they couldn't believe I had just let it go.
I continue to watch the videos, completely obsessed and enthralled.
The first woman to run the Boston Marathon; the first African-American Ivy League President; founders of numerous non-profit organizations; CEO's of Fortune 500 companies; politicians; writers; athletes and more who started out a lot like you or I, as an intern, a small fish in a big pond, a stay-at-home mom, someone with a dream.
These stories are not about women who took no for an answer; they're about women who had dreams, who found a passion for something and went with it. They are women just like you and I, who were tired of just waiting for something to happen. They wanted change, they had a goal, and they were going to make it happen with their passion and determination.
In a world where women are often stereotyped as too soft, too emotional and not strong enough to be in power, it is wonderful to see us celebrated. he message isn't "girls rock, men suck," but a sense of unabashed confidence: "I worked my ass of to get here. I deserve it. You can do it too."
I have yet to get through them all, there are just too many to just simply watch and move on. Three to four minutes just isn't enough, you want to watch all clips within their profile, you want to learn more about who and what made them who they are. You want them to adopt you, to be your mentor. Just by listening and watching, you cannot help but be inspired, if not by one story, then by them all.
Oprah, Reshma Saujani, Ruth Simmons, Marian Wright Edelman, Hope Solo and Esta Soler, just to name a few, force me to pick up my notebook and place it on my nightstand and hope that tomorrow or one day soon, I will wake up with even the smallest bit of courage these women have to one day myself become a Maker.
"Everybody loves you when you're easy. Everybody hates when you're a bore. Everyone is waiting for your entrance so don't disappoint them..." -Sarah McLachlan, Black & White