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Ada Lovelace and the Year of ‘I Can’

By Eleanora Morrison
Photography by Melissa Delgadillo

January is the month that always creeps up on me. It feels as though I wake up on the first and all of a sudden, in what has seemed like a flash, we transition from the slow nostalgia of the Holidays into the energetic “now” of a new year…and here we are in 2019. After a restful, much needed three-week hiatus, it feels good to be back in the saddle–recharged and filled with a fresh perspective on the promise of this new year and the projects that lie ahead.

At some point on one of the legs of our air travels from one family visit to another over the Holidays, the popular phrase new year, new me kept bouncing around in my head at 30,000 feet. I am turning 30 this year, and I have found myself in a state of existential contemplation out of anticipation for this milestone that, for some reason, signifies so much for so many of us.

This concept of reinventing oneself every January with resolutions and a fresh start used to be something I subscribed to in my younger (and much more confused) years. In reality, what I think we should all be striving for is new year, old me. Why are we all working toward being a new image of ourselves that we are contriving in our minds, instead of bringing back our natural-born qualities and competencies that make us unique, and hone them until we present our best and attract opportunity and authentic, hard-earned success? I have decided that I am declaring 2019 the year of I CAN–personally and professionally–and I encourage you to do the same.

January 2019

We all have limiting beliefs. They are the little voices we pick up along the way that have been shaped by our experiences, for better or for worse (mostly for worse) and they form our personal narratives. One of mine: I can’t do math. Another? I can’t teach myself things that connect both sides of my brain. Obviously, I picked these up in school throughout my childhood because of a teacher or a circumstance that made me feel lesser–but I have allowed them to remain a part of my narrative, and that’s on me. I think all of us do this in at least one or several pillars of our lives. Ultimately, our limiting beliefs are the only oppressors that prevent us from living our best lives. We are all so many things–we have the potential to become so many things–far beyond the labels we learn in our childhood. The historic woman whose legacy proves just that, and whose visual story is the heart of our January 2019 issue is Ada Lovelace, labeled as the woman in Victorian-era England who invented the algorithm. The woman mathematician who gave birth to the digital age, centuries prematurely.

Production family photo: Melissa Delgadillo, Rahm Carrington, Wendy Bowman, me and Melissa Unsell-Smith (our Ada Lovelace) on set.

Candid–caught behind-the-scenes and mid-sentence on set of our Ada Lovelace production. Film photography by Rahm Carrington. 

In reality, while Ada was a mathematical revolutionary, she was also an artist in her own way. Her father (although fairly estranged) was a poet–the poet, Lord Byron. Ada loved to write, she loved to create, and was ever-inquisitive of the world around her. To put it into buzz terms that we hear today, Ada wasn’t just STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics)…she was STEAM (science, technology, engineering, ART and mathematics). I think we all are. We have just been pigeonholed and labeled to believe our skillsets and potentials are dichotomized into right brain or left brain to meetcertain expectations in our society. Those distinctions end up guiding us down paths that dictate the rest of our lives, and most of the time our untapped potential is left on the table because of it.

Personally, a major life course-correction came unexpectedly near the end of 2016. Since then, it has been a daily journey of exploration and discovery. In 2017, I came out as ‘a creative.’ In 2018, I honored my inner artist and wore it on my sleeve to the world. Now, in 2019 (and in the spirit of Ada), my goal is to push myself to solve my own problems. To learn things that are difficult. To overcome the limits of my own mental narrative about how I see myself, how the world sees me, and throw it all out the window to be revolutionary, whatever that means for ELEANORA.

Throw it all out the window.
Photography by Melissa Delgadillo 

Be revolutionary.
Photography by Melissa Delgadillo 

See Also

May we always remember this…

There is no place to go,
To compare with your imagination,
Living there, you’ll be free,
If you truly wish to be.

–Gene Wilder

Wishing you a year of being who you truly wish to be,

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