I found this entry written on a pre-blog of mine about a year before I found out I was pregnant with Fly.
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Within the past week, two people have asked me to recommend them or their work for their latest endeavor.
One is a professor at a university who wanted to know if I would please read her current book and then read her forthcoming book, kind of like a peer review, I guess.
As if I were her peer.
The second is a person who is not only soon to be a lawyer but is also a PhD candidate in archeology. On top of that, she's an intern journalist for a well-known newspaper. She asked me to write a recommendation letter for her application to an environment fellowship.
And why wouldn't someone like me recommend someone with that kind of education level?
I'm honored, of couse, just to be asked. But I just can't believe that, with my lowly B.S. degree, I'm the one doing the recommending for these brainiacs. Like, why would anyone put worth into what I have to say about these women's capabilities?
I was advised a few times to become a lawyer (and I got an A in a media law class). But 70-hour workweeks don't sit well with me.
I was once really interested in genetics, especially gene therapy, but my biology grades weren't good enough to continue far down that path.
I wrote my first computer program for fun at 12 years old, but became bored by it.
Now I've written a book, but it's not the Great American Novel that will get me on Oprah, or any bestseller list, or even on a reading list for high school English classes.
I just haven't tried hard enough, or haven't been ambitious enough, to reach the level of these women.
So maybe it's my lot just to be the person who encourages and supports others to attain what I couldn't.
And there's value in that.
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I'm posting it today because recently, I've had three people talking with me about books they are working on. It reminded me of this post, so I dragged it out. Now that I stay home with my boy, it is still very true that I am in an encouraging/supporting role -- for Fly, for JP, for the people I know working on books, for my friend Guinevere who is finishing her degree and for various other people in my life. And it is still very true that I believe there is value in being the helper, the cheerleader, the aide, the sounding board.
I may not be accomplishing great things for myself -- one person. But if I can help others -- several people -- with their accomplishments, isn't that an even greater crop of achievement?