Remembering our successes

We tend, especially we women, to focus on the negative so much that we forget our personal successes. There could be a number of reasons why, but that’s not the focus today.

I’ve been beating myself up particularly viciously for not being more consistent here, and in my personal goals (working on my novels, physical and mental health). And I really need to put an end to that bullshit.

This morning, I sat down and wrote out a list of personal successes. I’m sharing them here as a reminder to myself and an encouragement to you.

Achieved Childhood Dreams

  1. Became French
  2. Bilingual
  3. Moved to a foreign country with no friends or family and started a new life. (still going after a decade)
  4. Wrote my first novel
  5. Got my BA and MA without my parents paying for my studies
  6. Left a toxic, abusive relationship
  7. Living in a healthy relationship
  8. Became part of a new family
  9. Changed careers successfully, using skills I taught myself
  10. Forgave a parent and started an adult relationship
  11. Learning to trust and care for myself


The last one is particularly difficult. It’s a work in progress that I imagine will take the rest of my life.

I feel like I should say something else – add a thought provoking conclusion of some sort. But really, the only thing left to do is add an encouragement. Why not take a couple minutes to do the same for yourself today? Every success, no matter how big or small, no matter if you feel that it’s complete, or still a work in progress.

Make a list and put it up somewhere you’ll see it from time to time. It’s so easy to thtink negatively about ourselves. It’s worth the effort to focus on the successes from time to time.

Angela’s Story



Ask three people about Angela Davis, and you’ll probably get four or five different descriptions.

Feminist? Communist? Criminal? Scholar? Vice Presidential Candidate?

If nothing else, she’s a #blaxit superstar. Her escape and the wisdom she brought back had a powerful impact on societal discourse in the United States.

Born black and female in Birmingham, Alabama in 1944, Angela’s life might have been brief and violent. She knew the four girls killed in the Birmingham Church bombing in 1963.


You’d have to ask Angela if she participated in a Junior Year Abroad in order to escape America, or to expand her own mind.

The experience certainly informed much of her life. According to Alice Kaplan, Angela’s time in France transformed herself, and “in turn transformed the cultural and political life of the United States”.

Kaplan’s book, Dreaming in French takes a look at the lives of three American women whose time outside of the United States influenced the rest of their lives.

Here’s an article featuring Angela that should be required reading for intelligent, empowered women considering an escape abroad.

Dreaming in French: On Angela Davis





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