What work-life balance?!
It was my first book signing event at a national conference. 'Excited' did not begin to describe how I felt. Being able to present my book to a crowd of like-minded people was such a great thrill!
But when I realized that the dates of the conference conflicted with my husband's planned business trip, I went into panic mode. Will I have to cancel my book signing event? I had no one who could take care of my daughter for the weekend while I attended the conference. So, breathing deep and hoping for the best, I paid the train ticket to take my daughter to the conference with me. Had no choice.
Today is Independence Day.
in·de·pend·enceˌ indəpendəns/ noun synonyms:
self-government, self-rule, home rule, separation, self determination, sovereignty, autonomy, freedom, liberty.
This definition of the word 'independence' feels personal, more personal than the US holiday can celebrate with its barbecues and fireworks. It is about being who we want to be as a people and as individuals.
For many people, especially women, being who we want to be can require a revolution, as significant and bloody as any war. Independence is scary. It is costly, and it leaves casualties, even some from friendly fire. You have to pay, one way or another, for your independence.
Being whom we want to be requires first finding out what we want to be, a painfully long process for many. My own process took a while and did not follow a straight line, but eventually, I became a doctor/scientist. How can I best guide my female students and my daughter in this process?
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Dr. Luz Claudio is an environmental health scientist, mother and consultant, originally from Puerto Rico. She is a tenured professor of environmental medicine and public health. Luz recently published her first book: How to Write and Publish a Scientific Paper: The Step-by-Step Guide. Dr. Claudio has internship programs and resources for young scientists. Opinions expressed in this blog are solely her own and may not reflect her employer's views.