It’s Wednesday, and time for the Wickeds to have a conversation. Since tomorrow is July 4, let’s talk about independence–yours. Wickeds, when did you stop following the pack, and follow your own path?
Barb: I’m a pretty conventional person and I’ve led a pretty conventional life. I think my life branched off the main path when I spent almost my entire career working for start-ups. I loved that what I did mattered. I can’t imagine working at a place where it didn’t matter if I came into work or not. And I loved the opportunities little companies gave me as they grew. If I wasn’t always sure there would be a paycheck, it was a price I was willing to pay for the excitement of coming to work everyday and the possible upside.
Edith: Oh, man. I love what Barb says about the excitement of doing work that mattered, but that’s not what drove me. As the youngest and shortest in my class, a double Scorpio, and third child in a family of four, I’m not sure I’ve ever followed the pack. I followed my passions into auto mechanics (a girl in the early seventies), living abroad, a PhD in a largely impractical field, organic farming, childbirth education, tech writing, and finally my best, last, and favorite career: writing crime novels.
Jessie: What an interesting question. I love picturing Edith sliding out from under a car on one of those wheely boards! A couple of answers come to mind for me. The first is that I married a man from abroad and have experienced some things about life differently than other members of my family or my group of friends. The second is that I chose to have a home birth with my youngest child. It was certainly not the norm by the standards of today.
Edith: I planned home births with both my sons, Jessie. Have we ever we ever talked about yours? We should!
Sherry: Like Barb I think of myself as pretty conventional — well, maybe not during college. But even then my non-conformity was within the bounds of sorority life. I’m not much of one for doing things that are out of character for me. Wickeds, if you can think of any examples share them! I did earn my independence and learned to stand on my own two feet after a divorce when I was young. I worked for a small financial planning company and started as an administrative assistant. As the company grew so did I to Director of Marketing and Assistant Vice President. And like Jessie I married a man who had an unconventional background.
Julie: Sherry, you are the president of Sisters in Crime, and doing a lot of work to support women crime writers in addition to driving change. That feels like it defines independent to me! While I have outwardly appeared conventional for a lot of my life, I’ve developed an independent streak a mile wide. I stayed in Boston after my sophomore year of college, pursued a life in the arts, and found my path in writing and teaching. As I get older my independence morphs into stubbornness, but that’s another blog post. 🙂
Readers, how do you define independence for yourself?