The first time I realized a woman could be more than one thing was revolutionary for me. I had gotten my Time magazine for the week, and the inside front cover was a picture of Jane Fonda (I think). It was an American Express ad that characterized her as a world traveler along with a big caption with a description along the lines of “Actress | Visionary | Activist.” I had known Jane Fonda as an actress. I knew she’d done all of these other things too, but had never thought of them as part of her identity. And yet, here it was. It put my own life into perspective as I was struggling to find my own identity. I wanted to do so many things, yet society had told me I needed to be just one thing. I had too many passions to do just one thing.
As I got to know Ratee Apana, I thought back to that ad again. In her case, it was: Professor | Founder | Activist | Entrepreneur | Consultant | Artist – and so much more. We sat down for our interview in her meticulous Indian Hill home – a place every bit as luxurious as I imagine the Umaid Bhawan Palace might look. Gorgeous oversized watercolor family portraits – which Ratee painted herself – and ornate furnishings and Persian rugs adorn the home. Everything is big and beautiful.
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The Home Away from Home series can be originally read at: womenofcincy.org