Friday, March 10, 2017

Finding Her Own Path: Leaving the Farm


Because in essence what happened was that I have lived several different lives.  One of them is my farm life, in North Dakota.  And I wouldn’t trade that for anything.  Being able to grow up in the wide-open space, it does something for you.  Everyone was poor, but nobody knew it because everybody was the same, because that was just the way it was. It was just assumed [on the farm] that everybody worked.  The only reason you didn’t work is if you were too ill to do so, or if you didn’t have enough knowledge, and even then, those kids still had their chores to do too.  All of my life, work was just something that you did.  There’s a joy in doing a job and doing it well; and having challenges thrown at you and being able to respond to them—and do a damn good job at it. 

If I can get through Clark [University] for crying out loud, if I can get through an MBA over there I can do goddamned anything!  Get your education.  That, to me, is the most important thing.  After that, think about getting married.  Because you might still get married for the wrong reason, you’re trying to get away from home, you know you have some physiological needs or something, but at least you don’t have to marry somebody because you’ve got to have someone support you.  Why do you think I tell you that I got all that education I had?  I was divorced by the time that I started my master’s degree, but I divorced twice anyhow.  And I finally came to the conclusion that there was nobody out there who was going to take care of me.  Try to do things that build your self-esteem, and education can do that, so that you have strength as an individual, so that you don’t have to lean on somebody else.  Do the hard work because you want to learn.  And the more you learn, the better you are. 

Laurel Sanderson
from In Her Shoes