A few months ago, a friend of mine told me about a really cool blog called The Eleanor Project. The idea behind the project is to show the beauty of all women, not the airbrushed, unrealistic fantasy that hollywood and media portrays. They named it the Eleanor Project after Eleanor Roosevelt, one of my favorite people in the world, because she exuded beauty, vibrancy, elegance and intelligence throughout her life.
Every few days or weeks, someone is celebrated on their blog as an Eleanor, and the best part is that any woman can be an Eleanor. You just have to send a little email with an introduction and answer a few questions.
My friend, who told me about it said "You should totally be an Eleanor!" I thought about it for a bit. And then I thought about it some more. I read about all of the other Eleanors on the blog. I liked their Facebook page. I got updates in my newsfeed from The Eleanor Project, imploring me (and all the other women who liked the page) to join the sisterhood.
So one night, as I was wrestling with insomnia, I decided to take the chance. I opened up my email, typed up a bunch of stuff, pressed send, and then immediately second-guessed myself and wished I hadn't done it. Even though I have a blog and seem relatively easy-going around others, always quick with a joke, I really hate being the center of attention. That, and I suddenly felt inferior to all the Eleanors who preceded me. Their bios and their answers to the questions seemed so much more thoughtful and intelligent.
And the next morning, I got a gushing thank you in my email inbox, asking me for my photo (of which, I have about three that I like). So I got excited, and I couldn't believe that I was going to be featured on this really cool blog that celebrates really cool women. Me! I started to get excited.
I visited the blog every day, sometimes more than once (OK, probably about once every couple hours), anxiously anticipating my face, smiling from the page. The week seemed to drag on, as I talked myself out of my worthiness of being an Eleanor, because that's what I do. And let's be honest, this is what we all do at one point in our lives. And this is what the Eleanor Project is working against.
So this afternoon, when I checked the page, my heart almost stopped when I saw myself smiling at me from their page. I read my post like it was the first time, and I found myself inspired by . . . me! And there was a comment, from someone I've never met, who said she wanted to be my friend. And someone else sent me a sweet comment on my blog. And here I am, gushing and blushing, and not quite ready to share this with all my friends on my facebook page. But I'll share it here, because you have to come here to find out about me. It doesn't shove itself into your face and jump up to the top of your news feed with every like and comment. Because, while I'm still an introvert and rather shy, I'm still pretty damn proud to be an Eleanor.