“A penny for your thoughts.” What if we donated a penny for each Tweet or Facebook post we put out there? Let’s ask people for a penny in exchange for their thoughts on a topic; politics, the Gulf oil spill, Afghanistan. Think of the money we could raise. Just think of the good you could do. We could provide books to every child. We could feed the hungry. Amy Ferris leaves an indelible mark on anyone who listens as she shares her life, her ideas and her hopes of a better world.
Amy grew up on Long Island, with a brother ten years older than she, who never got over losing his ‘only child’ status. She had the typical hard-working father and picture perfect gorgeous mother, who adored her husband, but knew little about nurturing a spindly little girl with a quick wit and vivid imagination.
Amy dropped out of high school and hitch-hiked from California to a hippie commune where she could feel unburdened from rules and expectations. She soon found that there are rules everywhere. Amy got expelled from the commune for shaving her legs. Amy felt a lot of shame back then: she was rebellious, she got involved in drugs, and she did things that symbolized her lack of self-love.
Life’s passages are filled with realizations, awakenings, and coming to terms with who we are. Amy firmly believes that the road she traveled is the road that got her to the wisdom she possesses today. Sharing Amy’s journey, allows us to see that life’s journey really does provides opportunities for real metamorphoses.
Always a writer, Amy let herself be completely uncensored in her memoir:
Marrying George Clooney, a heart wrenching and at the same time humorous trip through The Change. Yes, Amy started out writing about her journey through menopause, but another life changing event, happened along the way; she lost her mother through the brutality of dementia and the finality of death.
Through the journey, Amy came to recognize and appreciate those parts of herself that were also her mother’. She came to truly love herself, all of her, the bad, and the ugly, along with the good and the beautiful. In the middle of a sleepless night, Amy passed a full-length mirror and glimpsed her mother looking back at her. She had become the woman her mother always wanted to be: Independent, feisty, creative, complicated.
Amy’s advice to young girls: Love yourself. Really love yourself. Find something that you can honor and celebrate and treasure. Do not give away anything so that someone will like you. If someone doesn’t like you, probably they won’t, no matter what hoop you jump through. Choose wisely and love more. “If someone told me to love myself more and others less, I just wouldn’t have understood that. We weren’t nurtured that way. Remember our difference is what makes us so unique. “
As Amy puts it, “Menopause is about giving birth to yourself,” and “we no longer have to punctuate any single part of our lives with a F***ing a period.”
With that in mind, let’s get out there, be courageous, generous, and beautiful. There’s no need to wait for menopause; there’s no need to wait for someone to get us organized. Let’s start collecting pennies right now. Just think what we can accomplish.
Amy Ferris blogs at: http://marryinggeorgeclooney.com/blog/
Marrying George Clooney and A Greater Goode, Amy’s 2002 young adult novel, suitable for 10 year-olds with great suspense and a happy ending, are available at your local bookstore and at Amazon in print and for the Kindle (my favorite way to read.)
Amy Ferris is an author, a screenwriter and an editor. She is on the Advisory Board of The Women’s Media Center and is a member of New York Women in Film and Television. She writes about all things women (and girl.) She lives in Northeast Pennsylvania with her husband, Ken, who seems like Amy’s very own version of George Clooney.