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Breaking The Glass Ceiling

Just the other day I was having a long talk to my 12 year old son about school.  Specifically we talked about middle school and how hard it can be, how cruel the other kids could seem, and how hard it is to know where you “fit in”.  I think one big reason for that is no one knows.  Not only where they “fit in” but you they are or want to be as a person.  They don’t understand how complicated they are or how complicated life will be for them as they get older.  One thing I could tell him for sure though, was that years from now, it wouldn’t look anything like it does now.  The “nerdy” kid could be the one hiring and firing the “jocks”.  The “tall gawky” girl could wing up being a model.  Even the “geeky” kid who never really liked school could wind up being a morning radio personality.  You just never know.

Today I realized how very true that is.  I remember this girl in my class named Beth.  I didn’t know her that well, but I knew she was smart, and sweet and pretty quiet.  I guess if you made me pick future careers for people back then,  I would have had her in an office environment, accounting  or maybe a pediatrician.  Again this is judging solely on appearance.  She was small , thin and not at all demonstrative.  If you asked me today I would say ” Oh yeah, I remember Beth Whitman, she was really cute and quiet.” What I would not have said is , “I bet she will be New York State’s first paid female Fire Chief.

And that would have been the accurate guess.  I  just read in the “Leader Harald” newspaper  (the local paper in Gloversville where I grew up) that she indeed is getting sworn into that position tonight.  I also read that she has had many commendations in her career of over twenty years.  One of which meant risking her own safety to save a life in a fire, and another administering medical support in the case of a heart attack.  That, my friend’s is real life hero stuff.  Who woulda thought?

So there you have it.  You just never know. And you should never judge a book by it’s cover. Actually, you really should try to  not judge at all.  The fun thing about life, and people is they are always surprising you.  Sometimes for the good, sometimes for the bad, but it does keep moving.  And if you learn to not try to put everything in a box, maybe you can actually just enjoy the ride.  And never let anyone tell you what you are, or what you should, or what you can be.  Ever. I’m sure there are more than a few people that are glad Beth wound up doing what she does.

In closing, and on a personal note, if Beth winds up reading this blog, or you know her and can relay the message,  I want her to know I’m proud of her.  I have the utmost respect for people who follow their dreams and never give up.  And it’s nice to see that person getting rewarded for those efforts and dedication. Go G.H.S. class of “85.  (ouch, that was a long long time ago) Do great things.

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