What I Would Tell My 18-year-old Self

In the fall of 1980, as I left New Hampshire to go to Ithaca College in upstate New York, one of a handful of students in my class who would leave the state for college and the first of my siblings to pursue a four year degree, I wish I had the certainty to have known the following:

  1. That deeply loving women and being a lesbian is a magical, powerful, loving, brave, acceptable way of being in the world no matter what anyone says to you or how isolating it may feel at times.                                                                                                                                                                                             
  2. That the love you have for basketball, competing and being the coach on the floor will place you in settings you could never dream of to promote women athletes as leaders and to help shape the women’s sports movement.                                                                                                                        
  3. That owning your confidence as a ‘spiritual jock’ and a coach will drive your success in board rooms, as an entrepreneur, a leader, a partner and as a speaker for and about equity, gender and money.                                                                                                                                                                       
  4. That keeping a journal and writing your goals, prayers and ideas down is a healing activity for a busy, bold mind and will guide your success in unknown ways.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              
  5. That having a spiritual practice of moving your body, meditating and being in nature may not seem ‘normal’ but who cares; it will serve you through the deaths of your parents and loved ones, many health challenges and other unimaginable losses and heartaches that come your way.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  
  6. That learning happens with real time exposure to people, conversations, countries and challenges.  Books, degrees and good grades are important but real life lessons will be found when you get out and share your authentic curiosity and explore new arenas.                                          
  7. That unconditional giving and being generous and compassionate with others leads to sustainable happiness and immense self-satisfaction.