SMW’s Duchess Digest: Nom de Plume

“It is never too late to become who you might have been.”

I love this quote. It was the first thing that came to mind when I thought of motivating and inspiring women. However, as I wrote it down from memory I South Farm, Arbury Projectrealized I wasn’t certain who wrote it. George Eliot? T.S. Eliot? Something or other Eliot (I felt sure of that part). So I Googled it for the sake of citation and discovered that it was George Eliot. But what I hadn’t realized before is that George Eliot was a nom de plume for Mary Ann Evans. I was captivated. Who was this Mary Ann Evans? Turns out she was a Victorian novelist and poet who lived an open and intriguing lifestyle (living with a man she never married, traveling around Europe alone, being the Editor of a literary powerhouse and eventually marrying a man twenty years younger – a Victorian cougar!). It goes to show that if a woman had the courage and boldness to live her most authentic life in Victorian England – we can too!

To have the kind of spirit Mary Ann Evans had in her day makes me realize I can do a little more each day to be working toward my own goals and dreams. A few years after college I woke up to the realization I wasn’t living my own life. I had been floating along looking for answers and direction from others. I was also not very happy. I finally put two and two together and realized only I could know what was best for me. I made some bold changes in my life. I left behind the emotional and financial security of an unhealthy long term relationship and the comfort of a town, friends and community I’d known for nine years. I left to strike out on my own, in a new city, and to start the career I wanted to have, despite having no experience and no idea how to pursue it.

But this isn’t a “Happily Ever After” story. I can’t give you a cliché kind of antidote that I left it all behind and now everything is perfect. There has been a lot of growth – and through that growth some serious growing pains. But what I can tell you is that it is worth it. I love what I’m doing. I love the woman I am and I continue to become every day. So I can tell you that it’s never too late to become that woman you’ve always wanted to become. I’m doing it right now. I believe this is the part where “Happily Ever After” begins!

Jill Brown - Duchess GuideJill Brown is a Los Angeles, California based Life Coach and Writer. She earned her Bachelors in Humanities and Sociology from USU and is a member of the National Association for Conflict Resolution and the Ladies Who Launch Network. She is the founder of “The Duchess Guide” a website dedicated to helping women become their most fabulous and unique selves. She is an avid outdoor enthusiast, traveler and health nut. When she isn’t writing or working on Duchess, Jill loves spending all her free time with her Labrador – Betty. For more on The Duchess Guide or Jill visit:

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Join SMW for “The Thrill of the Heel”!

Thrill of the Heel

Location: E & J’s Designer Shoe Outlet, Pima Crossing Shopping Center, 8666 E Shea Blvd., Scottsdale, AZ

Thursday, October 23, 2008, 6:30pm-9pm

• 20% of all Shoe Sales Benefits Homeward Bound

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