STORY OF ELLEN DEGENERES | A Heartbreaking Motivational Video
As I mentioned before, some of the most devastating
things that happen to you will teach you the
most. The way I ended up on this path was
from a very tragic event. When I finished
school I was completely lost. I really I had
no ambition. I didn’t know what I wanted
to do. I did everything from I shucked oysters,
I was a hostess, I was a bartender, I was
a waitress, I painted houses, I sold vacuum
cleaners, I had no idea. My girlfriend had
been in a car accident and I was uh, we were
living together at the time. My brother’s
band was performing and uh, we had broken
up. We fought a lot. She was trying to get
me to come back home, I acted like I couldn’t
hear her because the music was too loud. I
was planning on moving back in, I just was
trying to teach her a lesson and I was staying
with some friends. So I just acted like I
couldn’t hear her and I was being really
just dismissive of her. She had left before
us and as we were driving home, we saw a car
and it was split in two and we heard sirens
behind us so it had just happened. Nobody
was there yet and we just kept going. And
I found out, shortly after that it was her.
And I was living in a basement apartment.
I had no money, I had no heat, no wear, I
had a mattress on the floor and the apartment
was infested with fleas and I was soul searching.
I was like why is she suddenly gone and there
are fleas here? I started this path of stand
up and it was successful and it was great
but it was hard because I was trying to please
everybody and I had the secret that I was
keeping that I was gay and I thought if people
found out, they wouldn’t like me, they wouldn’t
laugh at me. At the time you told your dad,
he was with you know his new wife, right?
And your step-mother, and what happened? Well
actually he told me, that he figured it out.
I was upset about something and he kept saying
“did you a bank? Did you somebody?” And
I kept saying “no I just don’t wanna tell
you” and finally I told him and actually
he told me. And uh, then they asked me to
move out of the house. Mmhm. Because? She
had two little girls that they worried that
it would influence them. You know still everything
was fine, it was just they didn’t want me
living in the house the two little girls which
really hurt because I loved them, you know.
I finally decided that I was living with so
much shame and so much fear, that I just couldn’t
live that way anymore and I decided to come
out and make it creative and my character
would come out at the same time and it wasn’t
to make a political statement, it wasn’t
to do anything other than to free myself up
from this heaviness that I was carrying around,
and I just wanted to be honest. And I thought,
“What’s the worst that could happen? I
can lose my career”. I did. I lost my career.
The show was cancelled after six years without
even telling me; I read it in the paper. The
phone didn’t ring for three years. I had
no offers. Nobody wanted to touch me at all.
Yet, I was getting letters from kids that
almost committed , but didn’t because of
what I did. And I realised that I had a purpose.
And it wasn’t just about me and it wasn’t
about celebrity, but I felt like I was being
punished and it was a bad time, I was angry,
I was sad, and then I was offered a talk show.
And the people that offered me the talk show
tried to sell it. And most stations didn’t
want to pick it up. Most people didn’t want
to buy it because they thought nobody would
watch me. Really when I look back on it, I
wouldn’t change a thing. I mean, it was
so important for me to lose everything because
I found out what the most important thing
is, is to be true to yourself. Ultimately,
that’s what’s gotten me to this place.
I don’t live in fear, I’m free; I have
no secrets and I know I’ll always be ok,
because no matter what, I know who I am. For
me, the most important thing in your life
is to live your life with integrity and not
to give into peer pressure to try to be something
that you’re not, to live your life as an
honest and compassionate person, to contribute
in some way.