Resembling Gumption.

My roommate and I were watching “The Holiday” last night and I can never get enough of this movie. There are a few movies in life where no matter how many times you watch them, they just stick with you. 

One of my favorite lines comes from this movie. Kate Winslet’s character is out to dinner with the cutest old man on this side of the Mississippi, and she says, “You are supposed to be the leading lady of your own life!” It’s revelatory for her and her identity. 

Emily turned to me and asked, “Do you feel like you are the leading lady of your life?”

To which I replied, “Yes! I really feel like I am.”

I couldn’t believe the confidence that came out of me and the power I felt. 

I am the leading lady of my own life.

Naturally, I had to add self-deprecation of, “Well, I do think the world revolves around me…” I don’t think that is necessarily true of me. Sure I am selfish at times, but I think the real truth is that I have changed. I have grown. 

A few years ago I would not have said this, in love with the idea of people who were not in love with me, living at home, uninspired and tired. Watching from the sidelines as my friends lived their lives.

Then, I moved out, started dating more, and taking life up on all the lovely opportunities presented. 

When Kate Winslet’s character ends it with the Royal King of Scum, she proclaims that she has gumption-she finally has that gumption! Just like all those classic Hollywood actresses seem to have.

What is gumption, you ask? 


Gumption is sending your child to school when you are undocumented.

Gumption is jumping off the high dive.

Gumption is communicating “no” with your eyes.

Gumption is taking care of a sick relative. 

Gumption is giving that cute guy your number.

Gumption is going to the movies alone.

Sharing poetry that was written in the sacred spaces of your house.

It’s holding her hand on the first date.

Asking if they are “okay” when you know they are not.

Going to counseling.

Being vulnerable. 

Gumption is bravery. 

“Maybe making something of yourself is as simple as having the gumption to do something bigger than you could have ever imagined, of walking, no marching straight into the center of fear all while playing a horn, blowing your worries into sweet, bold, triumphant music.”-Tanya Lee Stone

Gumption is my older friend giving me a necklace that had been gifted to her during a difficult time. I had to have a conversation I did not want to have, one that would summon strength I wasn’t sure I possessed. The necklace reads, “With brave wings, she flies.” It’s one of my most treasured items that I will get to pass on to a younger woman who needs it one day.

Therefore, I’m declaring today a new holiday. The holiday will be called,” National Gumption Day.” or maybe “Forest Gumption Day,” the title is a work in progress, people! It falls between Christmas and New Years and it’s the time to be brave, face the fear, and living as leading ladies and gentlemen.

Gumption and courage look oh-so good on you. 😉

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