This daily #OneGoodThing was dedicated to celebrating extraordinary women I know last December. Many of the 31 bold, beautiful, brave women featured shared stories of perseverance after abuse, addiction, miscarriages, illness, and loss. They represent various fields and backgrounds, and I admire each for their passion and strength. The series was so deeply inspiring that I felt it needed to live on as a weekly feature in 2020. Each Monday, I’ll introduce you to another incredible superhero—including artists, businesswomen, union organizers, nurses, writers, teachers, movie makers, designers, reporters, and all-around badasses. It’s about finding the extraordinary in each of us!
Elysse Applebaum is a TV writer in Los Angeles, Calif. She grew up literally tens of miles away in Orange County and got her BA in Film and Creative Writing at USC (University of Southern California). Aside from writing, she enjoys rescuing dogs, dining out, travel, and baseball games… when there’s not a pandemic. For now, she’s “safer at home” in Silver Lake with her husband and adorable rescue poodle.
1. What did you want to be “when you grew up?” The answer evolved throughout my childhood, but for a while, the answer was “astronaut.” My bat mitzvah theme was outer space! But storytelling turned out to be the better fit… I can imagine what it’s like to go to space without having to pass any eyesight or fitness tests.
2. What makes you the most proud of yourself? My friends know that I use the phrase “let’s be real” a lot, and I’m proud that I tend to be straightforward and stick to my gut. I’ve been involved in efforts like unionizing assistants in TV writing because I felt it was the right thing to do, not just for me but for posterity. And I’m good at ordering food for the table!
3. What darkness have you overcome? How did you find strength? Pursuing a creative career, it’s hard not to internalize all the rejection. Gaining confidence is an ongoing struggle—it involves getting older and wiser, making the right friends, therapy… I find a lot of strength in humor, laughing at life’s indignities. Lately, I try to view rejections as necessary to the process, because after x amount of “no” there will be a “yes.” It’s just math.
Also, this year I dealt with pet-death for the first time as an adult (RIP Sam Adams), and I learned that it’s okay to cry in front of my friends… I worried about seeming weak, but in the moment I felt stronger for opening up. I realized I’m part of a “club” now—for every tragedy, there is a group of people that’s been there and gets it, and can be there for us if we let them in.
4. Where will we find you on a Saturday morning at 10 a.m.? Lately, shockingly, I might be doing an at-home Instagram Live workout. But in non-pandemic life, I’d ideally be at a farmers’ market or brunch.
5. What makes you smile the most? Hanging out with my husband, Sam, and our dog, Charlie.
Bonus: What advice would you give your younger self? It’s okay to veer off the path sometimes… don’t worry so much about staying on one straight road. (In general, the things you worry about aren’t the things that you really need to be worrying about.) And don’t care so much about what other people think!
Today’s #OneGoodThing is sharing this extraordinary woman and my friend from university, Elysse Applebaum, with all of you! We are stronger together, so let’s shine a light on our extraordinary sisters! If you’d like to participate or nominate a woman to participate, please send me a note or leave a comment! What was your #OneGoodThing today? Please share in the comments! Kindness is Everything.
On this day…