How Liz Henry Grew Up by Going It Alone

Today’s tale of finding the marbles is brought to you by the one and only Liz Henry.  One cannot spend five minutes with Liz without laughing out loud or being completely inspired.  Read on and you will see exactly what I mean…

There are many Found the Marble moments in my life, but this one includes the Marquis de Sade.

Okay, Geoffrey Rush playing the Marquis with Kate Winslet as a chambermaid and Joaquin Phoenix as a priest.

I’m sure you see where this is going.


I was 18 in 2000, which is when Quills was released. It was “arty” and I wanted to see it. My mother always used to take me to see independent pictures: Requiem for a Dream (where she said to me,”Elizabeth, I am so happy you do not have a drug problem“) and completely inappropriate for my age pictures like Born on the 4th of July (when I was 10ish). She also took me to see Rent and Dream Girls. Movies — the Arts in general– were our thing.

But going to the movies with your mother on a Friday night was, well, social suicide.

It’s also entirely possible that we weren’t on speaking terms. Because I totally would have went with her. Social suicide be damned!

But I wanted to see this movie. And no one else did.

No one.

This was the dilemma of my life: I wanted to go to [insert an activity] and no one would go with me. Whether it was an author reading, an arty picture, a concert, a documentary screening, hell, just WATCH a documentary, and it quickly turned into a fierce party of . . . one. And that one was always ME.

But back in 2000 I didn’t have a huge list of Things That Liz Must Do On Her Own. Instead I spent my time sulking about things I wanted to do instead of doing them because no one would join me. And then Quills happened.

It was showing in one movie theater at one time; and I went. The multiplex was mobbed because of a huge blockbuster and wanna be moviegoers were being turned away at the ticket window. Not me, though. I stood in line, said one adult (heh), and strolled through the corridor stoked that I was about to witness Kate Winslet get naked for the umpteenth time. But this time with Joaquin!

I sat down, pulled out my book and got comfy. This wasn’t so bad, I thought. What had been holding me back?

At 18, I realized what some people never master during a lifetime: don’t wait for anyone. Not prince charming, a white knight, a best friend, a parent. If there’s something YOU want to do, well, go ahead and do it! After Quills, I went to concerts and book readings and documentary screenings, diners, and writing workshops. You name it, I’ve probably done it by myself.

Before Kate and Joaquin, I was waiting for permission. For someone else to validate the things I love. What I want in my life. What makes me happy. My choices, so-to-speak.

If someone wants to share these moments with me, that is a glorious bonus.

But I found the marbles when I decided this woman waits for no one. I’m all the validation I need.

Liz Henry is the writer, mother and hellraiser behind SixYearItch, not to mention Editor/Social Media Strategist at Philly Parent Circle and an iVoices Correspondent for iVillage.  She also shaves her rogue chin hairs. Connect with Liz on Twitter @SixYearItch.

Photo/Graphic Credit:

Body Image vs. Self Esteem: Is There an Answer?

Raise your hand if you look at yourself and think you would look significantly better if you lost a few pounds. Ok, then. We are starting this off at the same place.

Why oh why are body image and self-esteem directly related? If you read my last post you know that I am on a quest to feel healthier, which definitely includes getting my weight back into my comfort zone. I am working on getting more sleep, more exercise and eating healthy foods. If I do those things, the rest should fall into place. It is time for me to feel confident in my skin again.
Many of us have difficult relationships with our bodies regardless of our dress size or they way others see us. We want to like ourselves at any weight. We really do. Then comes the body image versus self-esteem debate again.

In truth, as we get older we get better at accepting ourselves at our weight. We understand that society pushes thinness on us. We really do.
Yet we continue to torture ourselves each time we gain a few pounds and we truly envy those who love themselves regardless of their size. We really, really do.

Will those of us who are critical of our bodies ever get to a place where we are truly happy regardless of the reading on the scale?  Who knows, but we sure can try, right?  If we are eating healthy foods and exercising now and again, our self esteem should improve regardless of our body image.  Shouldn’t it?

Here is a fabulous perspective on body image from two amazing bloggers; Liz from @SixYearItch and Christine from @TheAumsMama.  On Saturday, July 16th at 10 pm EST, Christine and Liz are having a Twitter chat about women, body image and self-esteem. To join the discussion simply follow the hashtag #geekher.


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