I'm afraid my last post might have seemed like a slam on Karen for posting the link about the models. It wasn't meant to be, and I apologize. Blogging is supposed to be a fun activity and I don't feel like I am in any position to be the arbiter of what is blog- and facebook-worthy. I'm really sorry, Karen, because I love your stuff and I definitely don't want to criticize you for following your passions and doing what you want to do with your life. You're actually my hero for taking time off from your work to pursue your dreams.
In fact, following big dreams was exactly what was on my mind but I let the post go the wrong direction. It feels like women and girls are still not encouraged to dream about much beyond being pretty, falling in love, getting married, and having babies. Those are all nice things, but if that is the only thing that you are good for, it doesn't leave much for the later years in life, especially if you don't have grandchildren.
Since I didn't have any children, the chances of grandchildren are pretty small. Even my cats have been neutered and are in their golden years.
I obviously did have other dreams, but I think I've always pulled back from them out of fear. When I was in grade school, I told my best friend that I wanted to either be an artist or a writer. She laughed at me and said that you couldn't just decide to be either of those, other people had to tell you if you were good enough. I think that in some sense, I believed that too. Somewhere in my head, I never thought it was worth the effort to write, especially, because I'd never be good enough to be published. It's funny, because one of the things I have to do as a professor is to write and publish. I was never sure exactly what held me back from going after my big dreams Then I listened to this TED Talk from Larry Smith, and I finally see why. He called me out. I thought that somehow I couldn't have my dreams (the big ones, at least) and be successful in my relationships too. Watch the video, if you dare.