Welcome! My name is Christine. I grew up in a quiet Massachusetts suburb about 45 minutes from Boston before moving to Long Island to attend college. I developed a passion for writing, photography and web design while pursuing a degree in journalism from Stony Brook University. I had always been an avid reader and my education only reenforced it. We were taught how important it was to read the news every day and to understand what’s happening in the world, but also to become fascinated by different topics and people and think critically and live and breathe curiosity. At some point along the way I started following several blogs, blogs written by strong and honest and funny and creative women who were all at different stages in their lives. Checking in with them became a happy and inspiring part of my morning routine. Eventually I decided that it was time for me to try my hand at blogging, too.
WHAT’S THIS BLOG ABOUT?
Well, everything. Sometimes it’s about what I’m reading, cooking, eating, buying, wearing, making or inspired by. Sometimes it’s about a place I traveled to or how I spent my weekend. Sometimes it’s about love, friendship and family. Sometimes it’s about what I’m feeling, good, bad or silly. Sometimes it’s about puppies. Really, it’s just my own little corner of the internet. I hope you’ll hang out here with me.
WHAT’S WITH THE NAME?
The name of this blog comes from a commencement speech Nora Ephron gave in 1996 at her alma mater, Wellesley University, that really resonates with me. In the speech, she talks about the progress women have made societally since her college days, but cautions that there’s still a lot of progress to be made. She talks about how messy and beautiful life is, how you can never really know what’s going to happen next, how we sometimes let ourselves be put in little boxes– or worse, put ourselves in them. About how sometimes in life you feel safe and sure and then suddenly nothing makes sense. About how you can have it all and to stop letting people tell you that you can’t. About how you’ll make mistakes, but you’ll fix them too. About how you’ll evolve as a person and it will be okay and good.
I highly suggest that you read (or watch) the witty and inspiring speech in its entirety and take her words to heart, but I’ve pasted the crux of it here for you.
Above all, be the heroine of your life, not the victim. Because you don’t have the alibi my class had—this is one of the great achievements and mixed blessings you inherit: Unlike us, you can’t say nobody told you there were other options. Your education is a dress rehearsal for a life that is yours to lead. Twenty-five years from now, you won’t have as easy a time making excuses as my class did. You won’t be able to blame the deans, or the culture, or anyone else: you will have no one to blame but yourselves. Whoa.
So what are you going to do? This is the season when a clutch of successful women—who have it all —give speeches to women like you and say, to be perfectly honest, you can’t have it all. Maybe young women don’t wonder whether they can have it all any longer, but in case any of you are wondering, of course you can have it all. What are you going to do? Everything, is my guess. It will be a little messy, but embrace the mess. It will be complicated, but rejoice in the complications. It will not be anything like what you think it will be like, but surprises are good for you. And don’t be frightened: you can always change your mind. I know: I’ve had four careers and three husbands. And this is something else I want to tell you, one of the hundreds of things I didn’t know when I was sitting here so many years ago: you are not going to be you, fixed and immutable you, forever. We have a game we play when we’re waiting for tables in restaurants, where you have to write the five things that describe yourself on a piece of paper. When I was your age, I would have put: ambitious, Wellesley graduate, daughter, Democrat, single. Ten years later not one of those five things turned up on my list. I was: journalist, feminist, New Yorker, divorced, funny. Today not one of those five things turns up in my list: writer, director, mother, sister, happy. Whatever those five things are for you today, they won’t make the list in ten years—not that you still won’t be some of those things, but they won’t be the five most important things about you. Which is one of the most delicious things available to women, and more particularly to women than to men. I think. It’s slightly easier for us to shift, to change our minds, to take another path. Yogi Berra, the former New York Yankee who made a specialty of saying things that were famously maladroit, quoted himself at a recent commencement speech he gave. “When you see a fork in the road,” he said, “take it.” Yes, it’s supposed to be a joke, but as someone said in a movie I made, don’t laugh this is my life, this is the life many women lead: Two paths diverge in a wood, and we get to take them both. It’s another of the nicest things about being women; we can do that. Did I say it was hard? Yes, but let me say it again so that none of you can ever say the words, nobody said it was so hard. But it’s also incredibly interesting. You are so lucky to have that life as an option.
Whatever you choose, however many roads you travel, I hope that you choose not to be a lady. I hope you will find some way to break the rules and make a little trouble out there. And I also hope that you will choose to make some of that trouble on behalf of women. Thank you. Good luck. The first act of your life is over. Welcome to the best years of your lives.