Day 251: What it’s all about

I mentioned our women’s event at work on Wednesday, and said I’d like to get back to it. As I took notes, I realized I may come back to this event a few times before I exhaust all the nuggets that I picked up from 3 pretty powerful ladies. The first one is the aunt of a coworker, and she is the producer of Nashville, as well as the writer of Thelma & Louise. Her name is Callie Khouri, and she’s married to a famous music producer, T-Bone something. Callie was a funny lady, and I enjoyed her sarcasm and her matter-of-fact way of speaking about her life: “Someone told me there’s only one way to do it. So I did it!” she said of writing Thelma & Louise. It’s as if she pulled that script out of the air. One of my favorite things that she said was a quote she saw on a bathroom stall: “Recognize your limitations, and sure enough, they’re yours.” I don’t know who that bathroom stall philosopher was, but they were brilliant.

The second lady was Mayor Megan Barry, Nashville’s first female mayor. Mayor Barry seemed like someone who would be in your book club or who you might go out to lunch with. She seemed down-to-earth, yet confident in herself. She didn’t start out as a politician. She got involved in her child’s school PTA and then joined the City Council. She said if someone told her even five years ago that she would be Nashville’s mayor, she would have laughed at them. My favorite quote from the Mayor was, “Walk through any door that opens for you. But don’t forget to reach back and hold that door open for those coming behind you.” That was encouraging, and inspirational. Who knows what I can be in 5 years?

The third lady was Pam Tillis, a country star in her own right, and daughter to Mel Tillis. Here was another lady who was very friendly, and not at all full of herself and her success. She was a Southern Belle, but also a bit sassy. When our CEO joked with the woman helping him draw door prize names: “Hey, you’re taking my job!” – Pam piped up and quipped, “That’s what this event is all about!” The room erupted in laughter. Pam and Callie have been great friends from their early 20s, and Pam told her friend of her : “It’s a good thing you weren’t reasonable. Sometimes we start with reasonable expectations, and tell ourselves that since we got over that first barrier, maybe we can do more. But how much better it is when we aren’t reasonable at all!”

Each woman was self-assured and had already learned that it’s ok to not be perfect. They said they didn’t let things define them. I didn’t believe in every ideology that they held, but it didn’t matter. They were good examples of this journey that I’m on to just be who I am, the way I am, and to live fully. All three are practicing their talents on a daily basis and it was great to listen to their stories. I probably have enough to talk about this one more time, so I’ll close for tonight.

DAY 251 HOMEWORK: Let me encourage you to think through the suggestions these women gave. Don’t put limits on yourself. Walk through every open door (but reach back to help someone else along the way). Don’t be reasonable. Dream big.

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