I thought getting married and having kids was my dream before I left college. Then I cancelled our long-distance engagement three weeks later. I knew I had to go out on my own and find me before another found me.

Now I see young people working crazy hours just to go to school and it is inspiring. I worked crazy hours back in the day, as well, to make my portion of college tuition. Summers, only sanctioned by parents; during college I volunteered for the development office and hung coats or gave out name tags and the Director would take us out afterwards. At the event we got extra food they didn’t need in the kitchen that was way better than the cafeteria. Afterwards we used to go to a diner and have french fries and coffee at midnight. Always me and my roommate.

I am so happy to hear of opportunities for young people striving for success and looking to learn to get there. The same year, my mother and I graduated. I was Dean’s List, she was Summa Cum Laude. Go figure. I didn’t have to work hard during college, but I wanted to do so and did in several areas. Dean’s List.

It was not until I got my first “real” job that I worked my heart out. Long hours, lots of brain work, writing and taking care of two other staff people’s jobs to get it done, all while they each got paid three times my salary to “work” two days per week, the lawyer and chief of staff.

Sunday mornings at seven sitting on the floor re-compiling files so I could start fresh on Monday. Pre-286 computer. 750 bills by hand, catching, filing, re-numbering, tracking. And writing reports on each. I had the biggest bill load alone, Ways and Means and Judiciary had staff. All for peanuts. The lifelong education took on a life of its own and it gave me, me.

Moving and moving on take a lot out of a person, I’m no different. But when a young person tells me s/he has an opportunity I am the first to embrace it. You’re leaving us? Congratulations supermarket checker! We’re so happy for you. Yes, I am a cryer at times. But if anyone who knows me professionally has an opportunity to step up the ladder, go for it! We’ll miss you but you’ve a life to live. Someone to marry, kids and schools……

It is heartfelt to know that there are still opportunities for good people. Dee


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