And all I am and all I’ve ever done has been because someone told me I could do it.
Yale, Harvard, full-ride wherever, community college if I wanted, whatever.
At 13: An intimidating advisor telling me she thought I would make a great class president. I never ran for anything without the word “president” again.
At 15: A chemistry teacher who read my responses to a syllabus quiz and said, “You love to write, don’t you?” I didn’t realize it until then but yes, yes I do.
At 18: A professor telling me to enter my research paper in a Phi Kappa Phi competition. You could do it, she told me. (You were head and shoulders above the rest, a judge told me.)
At 21: A church leader (former CFO and Harvard MBA) telling me there’s no one he thinks higher of. He might say that to everyone, but I could do anything with that endorsement.
At 21: A friend in a basement, a tight hug after a blessing pronounced: “You will be okay. You are okay.” I can do anything with friends who help the second you ask them to.
At 21: A mother who answers 5 am texts, a father who says, “I’m still so proud of you” after expressing discouragement about school. The fact of the matter is that my parents always told me I could do it.