When I was young, I faintly remember I Love Lucy re-runs playing in the background of my home while my family and I went on about our daily activities. Some days, I was doing homework when Ricky Ricardo slammed through the door and exclaimed in his signature voice, “LUCY, I’M HOME!” Other days, I was taking on my dinner while Lucy and Ethel took on desert by stuffing chocolate in their mouths, hats, and anywhere else chocolate could be stuffed. Through my young eyes, the show was marked by the black and white visuals as well as Lucy’s antics and facial expressions. “She looks like she is always getting into trouble,” I would think to myself. I didn’t know it then, but this troublemaker would teach me a valuable lesson when I needed it the most.
As I grew into adulthood, I felt like my life was becoming clouded with negative experiences, but the truth was, my mind was becoming clouded with negative thoughts. When I decided I wanted to co-create my life by choosing my thoughts, a ritual I began implementing was an inspirational quote board. Each Sunday afternoon, I would reflect back and try to find the perfect words of encouragement that matched the lessons and mood of the previous week. On one particular Sunday, I found what felt like the answer to a riddle I’d been trying to solve all my life. The answer, simple yet powerful, was something I had been overlooking for far too long.
“Love yourself first and everything else falls into line. You really have to love yourself to get anything done in this world.” –Lucille Ball
I was eager to decorate my white board with these powerful words, so I grabbed it along with a few markers and began transcribing the quote in the prettiest cursive my hand could conjure up. I haven’t changed the quote since and that was back in March.
The queen of the quote, Lucille Ball was born into a tough childhood that included the death of her father at the age of three. Soon after her father’s untimely passing, her mother remarried and left Ball to live with her new husband’s parents, who were not financially stable. At age 15, she decided it was time to chase her dreams, so she went to New York City to study theatre. She was not met with much support, particularly from one of her teachers who claimed Ball was “too shy” and was “wasting her time”. Thankfully, Ball did not take her teacher’s advice to give up her dreams. She dominated in an array of areas including television, film, and business. During her pursuit of entertainment domination, she paved a nice clear path for those who hoped to one day follow in her footsteps.
Reasons I LOVE LUCY:
She did not compromise her vision.
Lucille Ball and then husband Desi Arnaz created, stared in, and produced the show that would launch Ball into icon status. Their production company, Desilu Productions, was created out of the desire to be in creative control of their passion project, I Love Lucy.
Ball went on to be the sole owner of Desilu Productions making her history’s first female studio head, proving that women could be independent in their business endeavors. Under her direction, Desilu went on to produce more innovative quality television, such as 1960’s Star Trek.
She was a pioneer in entertainment.
I Love Lucy was the pioneer show behind the use of film to record tapings. This decision is the reason behind the quality footage that allows the show to be re-ran to this day. Her show was also the first to use multi-camera shooting and include a live studio audience in their tapings, which can be heard roaring with laughter in the background of every episode.
She was not limited by the beliefs of others.
Lucille Ball incorporated her real-life pregnancy into her show by making her character pregnant, something that was unheard of on television in that time. We also cannot forget about the first depiction of an interracial couple on television, Lucy and Ricky Ricardo.
What was supposed to be a weekly inspiration board of different quotes quickly belonged to Lucille Ball’s beautiful words on self-love: something that can be so easily accomplished, but just as easily forgotten. Sometimes, when I’m down, the white board will subtly remind me of the answer to life’s big riddle, just as my computer once seemed to do on that Sunday afternoon.