Thursday, May 3, 2012
BlogHer Book Club: You Have No Idea
You Have No Idea is a Memoir by Vanessa and Helen Williams. It starts with an episode of Vanessa crashing on her bike and quickly goes into the Miss America crowning and dethroning. Perhaps it was good book strategy to get the scandal out there from the get go. Each gives their own account of different events throughout Vanessa's life and career. The part of the book that struck me the most was Helen's reaction to the photos- while most of the world stared at a nude body, she stared into her daughter's sad, confused eyes. Her mother could see that she was uncomfortable and out of place. Who will ever know us better than our own mothers?
"If you give your children the tools they need to survive, they can overcome anything- even a Miss America scandal." Helen Williams
When I was in my early 20s, I was young, trusting, vulnerable. I landed myself in a difficult situation here and there- when the voice in my head was telling me, "something isn't quite right". Maybe it was my own intuition, or maybe it was the voice of my mother. At that age, maybe my mother's voice in my head was my intuition. She was the example I grew up following. Don't do this. Don't do that. Try this. Try that. I followed her rules and when I left home for college, I tried it my way on a few occasions. Sometimes it worked, sometimes it didn't but my mother was always at the forefront of my mind. She let me make some of my own mistakes and has been there to pick me up and dust me off and try to better understand me as an adult and mother.
As a mother, I wonder what will speak to my daughter. Will she listen to my advice? Will my voice echo in her head when she is faced with a difficult decision or if she winds up in a compromising situation? I sure hope so.
You have no idea of your capabilities until you put yourself out there. You have no idea of your capacity for love, until you put yourself out there. If you think you know Vanessa Williams, You Have No Idea. She is more than beauty, talent and grace. She is determined, accomplished and real.
*I was compensated for my participation in this BlogHer Book Club review program. The opinions of the book are my own. You can join the book discussion on Blogher here.