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August 01, 2011


This is lovely, Whitney. I think the more we working contemporary parents share how we stuggle, make decisions, model strength & grace and even how we fail are all important to give our children permission to struggle as they find their own quest for a meaningful way to both contribute to the world at large and also make the most important intimate decisons of their lives.

Lots of food for thought here... I had a young, ambitious self. Then life intervened, as it always does. My nephew is currently at the University of Cambridge, a school I attended nearly two decades ago. It has been sobering to realize I haven't conquered the world, nor have I (yet) fulfilled all the promise others thought I had. But I do have four fabulous children and two decades of fascinating experience. When I feel the tug of those youthful dreams, I remind myself that I chose my current situation, because the alternative (paying someone else to raise them) was too painful. I still hope to find a way to fulfill that early promise. I have no regrets, but that will not remain true if I do not reignite those latent dreams. I have always assumed there would be time enough to have it all (or at least most of it) over the course of a lifetime.

Lisa, first of all, thank you for sharing this with us! What a lovely gift you have for capturing your insightful experience in such concise wording.

I especially connected with what you said about choosing to "remain defeated by the obstacles life put in my way, rather than be determined to get around them." During my commute this morning, I was pondering about the obstacles in my path right now (some which have been there for years and years) and lamenting that I couldn't see any possible way around them. The heavy weight of defeat continued until I read your words...and I allowed myself to remember that I have more power over my life than I usually allow myself to exercise. Your post has given me a renewed determination to act instead of allowing life to just happen. Thank you!

And Whitney, thanks for having such a keen eye for stories that need to be told--and how they can help all of us dream and achieve more than we ever thought possible.

I'm still in the midst of feeling resentment/anger about a choice that I made together with my husband: suburbs and SAHM versus city and a beloved career as a teacher. I'm still on the journey to seeing it as a gift. I'll bet I shriek a lot less once I get there!

Thanks to both of you for sharing this piece. Wonderful.

Wonderful. Thank you for this.

Insightful and inspiring. Thank you.

Thank you for all the lovely feedback. I had been writing that article for a while and I'm grateful to Whitney for giving it a proper home. I'm also grateful to my mentor, a publishing consultant, who helped me see that I used my insecurity about an interrupted education as an excuse to not move forward.

I guess that's what they mean by 'getting in your own way'! Good luck to everyone pursuing their dreams.

This is a great post. I too was "lucky" to attend the WE Festival and felt a reawakening of sorts connecting with so many amazing women.

This is a powerful line: "The day you realize that you’ve always had, like Dorothy's ruby slippers, the power to get where you want to be is sobering."

I also think you shouldn't be hard on yourself about feeling stuck or resentful. You were dealt a few blows and those feelings are natural. Granted, picking yourself up and not wallowing in that resentment is key (and great that you have done that!), but I wouldn't call it immaturity to feel those things as a burden. I don't think it's mutually exclusive - perceiving it to be a burden OR a gift. Sometimes it's a burden AND a gift. Or sometimes it's a burden THEN a gift.

Thanks for sharing your story!

Thanks Barbara! That's an important point - to not be too hard on ourselves for feeling what we do. I'm going to look at the WE site to find you.

Lisa --
I so appreciate your sharing your story with us -- and I appreciate all of the many thoughtful comments!


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About this blog

  • When I took a sabbatical from Wall Street to pursue a different dream and help others live theirs, I learned that women in the U.S. may be placated, even pampered, but because we aren't dreaming, we are also desperate and depressed. Drawing on a variety of sources, ranging from academic studies to pop culture, dare to dream encourages us to dream. And then to act on our dreams.


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