Claiming my accomplishments

I have been thinking about what I have to offer others and about the accomplishments in my life. I have a hard time giving myself credit for those accomplishments. I am working on changing that. I tend to brush away praise and minimize my contributions. This post is practice in letting myself stand in the light rather than the shadows. These are some of the things I have done in my life.

  • I have lived and worked outside of the US — in a least developed nation and war zone no less. I did this by choice and not because I was sent there by the military or some other organization.
  • I was an orphan before I was old enough to buy a drink. My mother died when I was 6. My father was seriously ill before I was a teenager and entered a nursing home when I was 17. He died 2 years later. I was running a household while in middle school and I finished high school living in my own apartment.
  • I earned a Ph.D. and my dissertation was named as the outstanding dissertation for my college for the calendar year in which I graduated.
  • My research has been presented nationally and internationally.
  • I have published more than a dozen scholarly articles.
  • I have worked on the ground helping survivors of major disasters including Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Irene.
  • I have marched for peace when it was unpopular to do so, been arrested to protest religious hatred, and helped domestic violence victims find safety.
  • Alone, I have picked up and moved several hundred miles to a new state where I knew no one — not just once but four times.
  • I overcame a profound fear of public speaking and have spoken comfortably to groups as large as 400.
  • I walked away from a a six-figure income and a successful career in a field that was toxic for me to spend a year as an AmeriCorps service member because I wanted to work for the greater good.
  • Though I seriously considered suicide during two different, very dark phases in my life, I chose life and found the strength to keep putting one foot in front of the other despite the pain (once physical and once emotional).
  • I have followed the calling of my heart even when the calling of my heart took me down spiritual and relationship paths that most don’t understand and that many vilify.
  • I have won awards for public speaking, writing, program management, community service, research, and baking.
  • I have spoken truth to power even when it cost me to do so.
  • Though my heart was breaking, I have said goodbye with grace and love.
  • I continue to believe in the good in people, in hope for the future, and in the power of love despite my encounters with the bad, the desolate, and the hateful. I remain enchanted by simple things (e.g., fireflies, chipmunks, the laughter of toddlers, the return of the juncos each fall).

1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Lis
    Feb 19, 2012 @ 16:27:47

    Shirley I love the layout of your blog. It’s so serene and lovely.

    Your path seems to have been filled with hard-won triumphs, and you should bask in them! May the way open before you as you continue onward.


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