It is September, and we Quills decided to write about risks. Specifically, each of us will share about a risk we’ve taken that paid off. I'll go ahead and then share the stories of my fellow Quills.
I have a confession. In truth, I’m not much of a risk taker. That said, there is one risk I took that ultimately changed the course of my life.
To fully appreciate what I did, it’s important to understand my roots. I was one of eight girls—yes, eight girls. The world has changed more than some might like to think in the past few decades, but back when I came of age, women still didn’t have all that many options. More accurately, options were opening, but it was quite unusual to do something out of the mainstream. Add to that the fact that my parents expected a single type of future for their eight daughters: that we would all be at-home moms, and not more. They did not encourage education and, in fact, tried to talk me out of it.
I had no college educated family around me, no encouraging support for what I wanted to do, and no financial support. Perhaps most significant—I had absolutely no idea what I was doing.
In any case, contrary to my parents’ wishes, I decided to go to college. Since my family was not about to assist me financially (or in any other way), that option was off the table. So I worked, and I saved through high school, and eventually, I moved from home to campus, a couple hours away, to live in the dorms. I had my savings account (which wasn’t much)—and no safety net. Since the avenues used for getting financial assistance required family input, that wasn’t an option for me. Eventually, I ran out of money and had to quit for a time, but I kept the dream alive, and some (six) years later, I quit my job so that I could return to school. While wrapping up with my undergraduate degree, I looked into the option of law school. Eventually, I took the LSAT, submitted applications, received acceptances, chose my school, and then moved so that I could attend. The move wasn’t out of state, but for me, it was significant.
My law school experience was an eye opening time for me. I worked extremely hard and in the end, because of how well I did, options opened to me for employment, that were open to very, very few. I took one of those options and the rest is, as they say, history.
So there you have it. I took a big risk and in doing so, I experienced a dream come to fruition.
I know that Robin Lythgoe, author of As the Crow Flies, has experienced profound changes of late. No doubt, she also knows a little something about taking risks. Well, Robin? What have you for us today?
I’m not much of a risk-taker.
I am perfectly happy to stay home and quiet without any spikes of adrenalin or pounding pulse, thankyouverymuch. My husband frequently called me a houseplant. He was the adventurous one.
Now and then, though, I break out of my pot and try something crazy. Like spelunking…
Last, but by no means least, P.S. Broaddus, author of A Hero's Curse, has known risk. Take it away, Parker!
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