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#72181 - 01/12/05 09:08 PM Re: Prill Boyle, Defying Gravity: A Celebration of Late-Blooming Women
mrsmuzz Offline
Member

Registered: 11/05/03
Posts: 113
Loc: Orange, Texas
Prill,

Please don't change a thing! I really enjoy reading your posts.

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#72182 - 01/12/05 11:20 PM Re: Prill Boyle, Defying Gravity: A Celebration of Late-Blooming Women
Prill Offline
Member

Registered: 08/24/04
Posts: 201
Loc: Connecticut
TVC15 & Mrsmuzz-- Thank you so much for your kind words, but if anyone disagrees and wants me to keep my postings shorter, don't hesitate to say. I'm sure I can find a balance.

A few days ago I said that I would pass along the advice the women in my book shared last summer at the request of a journalist who was writing an article entitled "Secrets to a Richer Life." It's too much to digest all at once, so I'll give it to you a little at a time. The following piece of advice is from Linda Bach, who became a medical doctor at age 50.

She writes: "Tom Conway, my sixth grade teacher in Springfield, Ohio, said to me: 'You can do whatever you decide to do in life.' His words gave me the confidence in my abilities to be able to reach for the stars—in my case, to go to medical school. His belief in me helped me to ignore all the people telling me from age 12 on that girls were nurses and boys were doctors; to ignore male classmates in my pre-med courses who thought I must be dumb since I was a blonde; to ignore the professors in college who said I would get married, have babies and never practice medicine, and that a precious medical school slot would be wasted on me; and, finally, to ignore my own doubts that perhaps a 46-year-old brain was really too old to learn the volumes of material necessary to get through medical school and that a 46-year-old body could not sustain the insult of multiple sleepless nights-on-call. These words, given to me at such a young and formative age, become part of the fabric of my being.”

Isn't it incredible how one sentence--a statement of praise, a question--can change one's life? I'm curious as to whether any of you have had this experience.

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#72183 - 01/12/05 11:23 PM Re: Prill Boyle, Defying Gravity: A Celebration of Late-Blooming Women
Dotsie Offline
Founder

Registered: 07/09/08
Posts: 23647
Loc: Maryland
Prill, I always say that you just have to put yourself out there. Connect, connect, connect, but also encourage, encourage, encourage, and support, support, support! I haven't found a better way. That's why those are the keywords for my site/project. [Wink]

I don't know if you are willing to share this, but I'll ask. Do you have a favorite story from your book? One that resonates with you because of something you've lived through?

I've been asked this aobut the stories I've received for BWS. I definitely have favorites. Some have brought me to tears. One was about a mother, and the others were about abortions, adoptions, birth parents, and being sent to a home for wayward girls. I HATE that term.

The story about the mother spoke of how the mom was an awesome woman who put her kids first and NEVER followed her dreams because of her family. I would have loved to see my mom follow her dreams. She was an awesome, loving, caring, brilliant woman who ALWAYS put her family first. The things she could have done if it weren't for her passion for her family. I cried for what Mom could have been when I read that story. Though I thought she was pretty awesome as she was.

My husband and I went through 4 years of infertility before adopting two wonderful children from Korea, and got pregnant while waiting for our daughter to arrive. I love my family, but am very sensitive to all the issues that involve infertility, adoption, abortion (had my children's birth mother aborted...then what? Sad, but true), and wayward homes of the 60's-70's. To make a child assume another identity for months while living in one of those places without a soul knowing where they were, or being made to think they were with relatives in another state sickens me. [Frown] All for the sake of saving face for the family pride. [Mad]

Anyway, do you have a favorite, and why?

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#72184 - 01/12/05 11:51 PM Re: Prill Boyle, Defying Gravity: A Celebration of Late-Blooming Women
Princess Lenora Offline
Member

Registered: 11/11/04
Posts: 3503
Loc: Colorado
"But the nurturing doesn’t end just because the umbilical chord has been cut." Prill, that is a great way to make the point! Dotsie: that is amazing that you got pregnant while awaiting adoption! I've heard that several times. Everyone here has so many good points. I enjoy the discussions! Thank you for noting the book publishing and college graduating post. Dare I say that I was also going through breast cancer at the same time? I like "The Passion Project" and the way Prill avails herself to the projects you believe in. Love and Light, Lynn

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#72185 - 01/13/05 12:47 AM Re: Prill Boyle, Defying Gravity: A Celebration of Late-Blooming Women
Prill Offline
Member

Registered: 08/24/04
Posts: 201
Loc: Connecticut
Lynn, I can’t believe all you’ve been through and accomplished. Breast cancer at the same time that you published a book and graduated from college. I hope you see what a light you’ve become.

And Dotsie— Connect, encourage, support--I couldn’t agree more and, like you, haven’t found a better way. This is why I keep telling people about your site. Feel free to ask me anything. There’s very little I’m unwilling to share. I don’t know if anyone wants to hear more about my life, but I love hearing other people’s stories and gaining insight into what moves and motivates them. Your comments about your mother, Dotsie, remind me of Polly’s experience with hers. (See my first posting this morning). How interesting that both you and she are actively using your gifts, following your passions, and working to make a difference. What a wonderful legacy both your moms gave you--and, by extension, all of us.

In terms of my favorite story, I honestly don’t have one. Every story touched a different chord. Each was my favorite as I was writing it. That said, there are two, for very different reasons, that resonate with me more than the others. The first is Patricia Symonds’. The other is Rainelle Burton's, which I'll save for another time.

Like Pat, I always felt stupid. Pat’s teachers, a group of nuns in Liverpool, England, convinced her that she wasn’t smart. My father did the same to me. She and I were told this again and again to the point where we believed it so deeply that nothing we did and nothing anyone could say would prove to us otherwise. My estimate of my intelligence was so low that I dropped out of college. Pat’s was so low that by the time she was in her 40’s, she still didn’t have a high school diploma. (Note that there were other circumstances & factors surrounding my leaving school and that Pat grew up in England under a different educational system, but the emotional gist of what I’m saying is true.) Then Pat turned her life around and in her 40's earned a GED, B.A. and M.A. In her 50’s, she spent two years living in a bamboo house in the mountains of Thailand studying Hmong culture. At age 60, Ph.D. in hand, she was hired by Brown University, an Ivy League college, to teach anthropology. She just got promoted again last year at age 70. Needless to say, the nuns were wrong. She's extremely bright.

Anyway, the kicker for me is that at age 38, as I was finishing up my Master’s degree, I was considering going on to get a Ph.D. But I thought I’d be an antique by the time I finished my dissertation and that no would want to hire me. In reality, I would have been in my mid-40’s, which doesn’t seem that old to me now. Then I met Pat, who never even considered whether she’d be hired or not. She just followed her passion. That’s when I started to realize that I was writing Defying Gravity not just to help other people come into their own, but to help myself.

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#72186 - 01/13/05 12:52 AM Re: Prill Boyle, Defying Gravity: A Celebration of Late-Blooming Women
jawjaw Offline
Da Queen

Registered: 07/02/03
Posts: 12025
Loc: Alabama
I don't know about you all, but I want to be Lynn when I grow up. Have you ever? Good Lord woman...I wish we had some sort of award to give you. Congrats on all three counts. You are to be admired...and admired...and admired...

Prill, does this Passion Project have a web presence?

And finally, we love your post and may not comment but it doesn't mean they are too long, it means we are sitting somewhere reading them again and again. Absorbing.

Course if you want to throw something in there every now and then about how cute and loveable I am, it won't hurt my feelings either.

What? okay...okay....tough room.

JJ

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#72187 - 01/13/05 03:44 AM Re: Prill Boyle, Defying Gravity: A Celebration of Late-Blooming Women
Prill Offline
Member

Registered: 08/24/04
Posts: 201
Loc: Connecticut
JJ-- You, cute and loveable? You bet! [Wink]

Every time I read one of your postings, I just want to hug you. You can tell from mine how intense I am--I'm not apologizing for it, just calling a spade a spade--but I love how you lighten me up. Even when you're talking about something serious, you make me smile.

Here's the web page for the Passion Project. Polly's still working on it. She used to have her whole story posted, but it's no longer there. Don't know why. web page

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#72188 - 01/13/05 05:08 AM Re: Prill Boyle, Defying Gravity: A Celebration of Late-Blooming Women
meredithbead Offline
The Divine Ms M

Registered: 07/07/03
Posts: 4894
Loc: Orange County, California
First of all, can I quote myself here? From the intro page of my poet website (see below for link):

"Life is full of people with great ideas, who sit on their butts and do nothing. Then they die."

Which brings me to answer your question about the gutsiest thing I've done --

BECOME THE POET LAUREATE.
Which involved pitching (and doing mega reasearch for) an idea which largely produced the reaction: "Huh??"

Which involved pitching this idea to a City Council which had no idea what a Poet Laureate was or did, and a Library which not only had never done anything remotely like this, but had absolutely no money to do it (and for that matter, NO library in the United States had ever independently appointed its own Poet Laureate)

and presenting this to umpteen committees with umpteen+ questions, when I'd never spoken in front of a committee before

in a conservative suburban town not known for innovation

in a conservative Orange County which was not known for promoting poetry, and which had never had a poet laureate AT ALL. For that matter, neither has neighboring Los Angeles or San Diego. (Tujunga, 60+ miles NW of here and part of LA County, does. But none in LA proper)

even though I had been barely published

even though the prevailing "poetry cliques" of Orange County were either indifferent or outwardly hostile to my efforts (and many still are)

even though my closest friends including other poets were highly doubtful that I could pull this off, and told me "Don't get your hopes up"

I knew I could do this.

And I knew I'd never forgive myself if I didn't try.

And I did it.
[Big Grin] [Big Grin]

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#72189 - 01/13/05 05:18 AM Re: Prill Boyle, Defying Gravity: A Celebration of Late-Blooming Women
smilinize Offline
Member

Registered: 11/08/03
Posts: 3512
Loc: outer space
Meredith,
YOU ROCK!!!

You are an inspiration to us all.

smile

P.S. Hey, I think I will start a new topic about the bold stuff we've all done. I bet we're all a bold bunch of boomers.

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#72190 - 01/13/05 06:29 AM Re: Prill Boyle, Defying Gravity: A Celebration of Late-Blooming Women
Prill Offline
Member

Registered: 08/24/04
Posts: 201
Loc: Connecticut
Let me second Smile's comment. You are one outrageous woman, Meredith! My jaw was agape from the first line of your posting to the last. At the end, I practically stood up and cheered when you said, "I knew I could do this. And I would never forgive myself if I didn't try."

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