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AROUND 520 WORDS: In praise of go-getters

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Like lots of other kids, lots of other girls, I wanted to be an astronaut. But while the child-rearing conversation of the ’90s and early ’00s was littered with self-aggrandizing language like “Believe in yourself,” “You can do anything,” and the impotent classic “Everyone’s a winner,” my parents taught me that, though I could try for anything, my effort wouldn’t ensure success. I could apply myself to whatever interested me, but I knew that a natural lack of proclivity was just plain reality.

Competition is real and creates character. What may come effortlessly to some would require pure discipline, stubbornness, and determination in me to compensate for my lack of inborn talent. So while I seemed to hold my own pretty well in the humanities, I floundered in math and science. Not a great setup for an astronaut, so I pivoted toward a writing career instead.

I hadn’t heard of Pam Melroy........

© Finger Lakes Times

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