I was listening to the radio today, and the local station was interviewing Jane Fonda regarding the premier of her new movie with my Top-5 member, Michael Vartan. They discussed the Red Carpet Premier here in Atlanta tomorrow, I drooled openly when they mentioned that a walk-on role in Alias was part of the silent auction (don’t think I didn’t head to my floundering checkbook to see the feasibility of a bid!) and then the conversation turned to her new book – “My Life So Far.” And, with all due respect to Mr. Vartan and his amazing hunk-dom, that’s where the conversation turned interesting.
Now, my knowledge of Jane Fonda is somewhat limited – I know she was/is an actress, was in “Barbarella”, was married to Ted Turner, lives in Atlanta, and there was some incident back during the Vietnam War. (I’ve since done a bit of research to find out more, but for sake of this article, that’s where my knowledge was previously.) What I found to be so interesting in hearing her talk about this book wasn’t that it was her memoir, which I assumed from the title, but that her reason behind writing the book was to provoke others – specifically women – to reflect on their own lives and relationships.
In the interview, Ms. Fonda continually mentioned not feeling ‘good enough’ for the majority of her life, and the interviewer asked her what changed, what happened to make her realize that she was. Jane’s answer? “I finally realized that ‘Good enough’ was ‘Good enough.'” Not overly prolific, mind you, but when you think about it, it’s the very acceptance of yourself that makes it – makes you – ok with who you are. And I’ve seen in too many people, myself included, that this isn’t always the case.
I think many women, once they reach the age that they feel comfortable enough to look back on decades of their life, discovering patterns, want to help the next generation, afraid that they’ll see themselves in the young. In fact, when my Mom called me at work about a month back to tell me that I should get this book, I didn’t think that much of it; after all, this occasion happens at least once a week, usually after a viewing of Oprah or Dr. Phil. But hearing that statement today on the radio – well, I think my Mom may have been right. Perhaps I DO need to read that book – perhaps so do my friends and other girls around me who, without meaning to, without intention, find themselves questioning themselves and their actions at the very time they should be embracing them.
While they say that jealousy rears its ugly head, insecurity is much more subtle, peeking out slowly behind an otherwise innocuous facade. It doesn’t come out with a bang; instead, it’s littered in innocent statements, often without your knowledge, but added up, conveys something much stronger even than jealousy – that perhaps you’re not really where you think you are. That ghosts – or relationships – from the past might not actually be vanquished. That time might only heal some wounds, but not all. That although we should learn from our past experiences, we shouldn’t be so wary that we’re – in essence – recreating them without meaning to. That sometimes we have to pick up, move on, and let good things happen without constantly looking for the other shoe to drop. Because you’re not ever moving forward when you’re constantly looking behind you.