Preach, Eleanor

I grew up in Hyde Park, NY — home of FDR. Middle school field trips included school-bus rides down the road to a Mansion perched above the Hudson River, which we drove by every day on our way into town. Nestled between a somewhat abandoned shopping center and ordinary motels, the Roosevelt estate was just another landmark. A fixture in childhood that we totally took for granted. We would also visit FDR's childhood home, as well as Eleanor Roosevelt's own home across town. Eleanor's pad was quite modest (in comparison), although charming and beautifully preserved, of course.

She intrigued me. I'd read through the history textbook in my lap and then walk down the hallways she once walked — past the closet where she'd store Christmas presents in July, and the rooms where she'd breathe and think. She had such strength and influence and independence, and she chose to live in what was essentially my backyard. There was unfathomable history in the Roosevelt Mansion, but there was humanity in Eleanor's Val-Kill Cottage.

And her words have really stuck with me, especially when I was grappling with big life changes or intense self-doubt. Maybe you'll feel the same?


"Don't be concerned about whether people are watching you or criticizing you. The chances are that they aren't paying any attention to you. It's your attention to yourself that is so stultifying."




What are some quotes that have helped you through rough patches?