My father saw no ceilings for his daughters or sons. His wife who sat directly across the dinner table from him had a different trajectory. My mother’s choices post-highschool were limited to gender-specific roles: teacher, nun, nurse, secretary, or wife.
Like a champ, yes, that is how I feel this morning. As if I ran a relay race in record time last night, with friends and family cheering my team and me on, all the way to the finish line. This morning’s quote about the absence of fear nailed this morning’s mood.
It is your year, too. So enjoy it. Own it. And by God, do what Oscar said, “Be yourself. Everybody else is already taken.”
On this last day of the year, I could focus on the worst parts of 2017, but that’s foolhardy. Who wants to look at life half empty, when it is so full of promise? Not I. For that reason, I’m going to say goodbye to this year with love and admiration for the friends and family who brought me so much joy, so that I could return it. As I look ahead to 2018, I know in my heart and mind there is nowhere to go but up.
Some 28 years later, I was working as the Obituary Editor at the Chicago Tribune when Pat Carroll died. That morning I was not faced with my own mortality, but my own existence. What if my mom never became a nun and never met Pat? Well, like death, life is certain, too. I wouldn’t have been born, let alone working at the Tribune.