Emily & Jen: The Background
Julia Child had a pen pal who became her dear friend. In her day, correspondence was primarily composed of letters sent via postal service. In our modern times, pen pals take on a variety of forms. So, when Jen first visited fellow food lover Emily's blog, a friendship based upon blog comments and, later, thoughtful emails, was established.
Over the past several months, Emily and Jen both have moved, left previous lives behind, and are currently in the process of forging a new existence. When Jen emailed Emily recently, suggesting a blog collaboration, Emily jumped right on board.
As partners in this blogging adventure, we hope to inspire ourselves to delve deeply into topics that are affecting our lives and share them in a creative way with our readers (in hopes of inspiring you all, as well).
Our First Collaborative Post: The Inspiration
When we began thinking about our first collaborative post, we quickly came upon the idea of empowerment and what it means to us. As individuals, we have different ideas and ways of feeling empowered yet, as women and like-minded friends, some of our ideas are the same.
As such, our first post explores our personal definitions of empowerment and how we each feel empowered in our daily lives. The lyrics below serve as inspiration for this post, as the idea of making a life saving vessel out of only one's own scraps resonated heavily with us.
by: Laura Veirs
Clogging on her wooden board
The tattooed girl took up her swords
And plunged them down deep into the earth
A twinkling tide filled up her eyes
And poured out to the lawn
Made a raft of the scraps from her skirt
And sailed 'til dawn
When I think about empowerment, I think about running. Particularly, I think about running during my weekend long run. In my mind, I’m always at a specific point in my route where the road turns and takes a gracious downhill slope. I’m less than a mile from home with a little over seven miles behind me. My legs are tired. My breathing is fast. And I’m listening to Laura Veirs sing her song, Wandering Kind.
Like most of Laura’s songs, Wandering Kind fills me with a sense of power. I’m lit up and inspired. It makes me feel strong. In it, I’m told the story of a woman who ‘weaves a raft from the scraps of her skirt and sails until dawn.’ She is of the wandering kind. Someone who, using only what she has, makes her way.
The reason, I think, that this image is impossible for me to evade when contemplating empowerment is that through recently taking up long distance running again, I have realized my power; power that was there all along and just not realized. Looking back, it is of no coincidence that on the day I decided to train for a half marathon, I also decided to take control of my happiness by striving to make a true life for myself in Massachusetts. Due to fear and a misguided attempt to not lose my past, I had held myself back from really exploring my potential here. Ultimately, I was getting in the way of my own happiness.
Taking on a half-marathon is something that many people do. While most of us love the feeling of exhilaration that running gives us, it is inevitably so much more than that. It is deciding to take this race on; to set the goal of finishing 13.1 miles and preparing for them appropriately. It is giving yourself the power to do something that is scary and hard. It is realizing your own potential and forgetting about why we shouldn’t or can’t do something.
The term empowerment, much like running, is so much more than just a word, or action, (and I LOVE words). It is a feeling of exhilaration. It is sailing, full breath in your lungs and wind at your back, to something bigger than you at this moment. It is deciding that you deserve happiness and reaching your goals, no matter how difficult or uncomfortable it may be. It is realizing that you are the key to your own happiness and fulfillment – and that you have all the tools you need to get there.
I always feel as if the simplest concepts in life are the most difficult to execute (and often the most beautiful, once attained). Empowerment is definitely one of those concepts. Do you guys have a story to tell about your own empowerment? What makes you feel empowered?