I visited with a new client yesterday afternoon and as she told me her story, I realized we have much in common, but really are living in two completely different times. From a young age she’d known that she would pursue a degree and career in journalism. And, after receiving her education, she sought out positions with the local newspapers, realizing quickly that while she possessed the same qualifications as some of her male counterparts, as a woman she would be hired as a “journalist” by title only, and would spend her days fetching coffee, answering the phone, and filling the role of secretary or receptionist, instead of writing the hard hitting news stories she so yearned for. Thus she pursued a career in education, becoming an elementary school teacher, and later a reading specialist.
Flash forward to myself, a single female, 60 years later, who’s decided to press pause on her technical education after receiving her Associates Degree, and instead of pursuing book smarts in the form of an astronomically priced Bachelors Degree, is earning her education through the school of life – working a few months as a freelance reporter for the local newspaper, a monthly columnist for a local entertainment magazine, published in a magazine that holds as an institution in most American homes, and all the while writing whatever I’d like, about whomever I’d like, with the dream of having a book of my own resting on the shelves of a local bookstore.
Thank you, to those that have come before, Virginia Woolf, Emily Dickinson, Sylvia Plath… Those who faced the struggles they met head on, because of you, I’m able to do me.