Women’s Orientation Night, January 7, 1992
Brookdale Community College

Tonight, across a room of random pain and growth and hope, I observed two women reaching for the same “Brass Ring”, from different “Carousels” as they viewed inverted images of themselves.  And, strangely enough, I saw two images of me.  I wondered if they knew that somehow they were part of my self-discovery.

Tonight, amidst a group of women looking for their undiscovered dreams, I watched two (who looked not at all like my physical likeness) as they portrayed two sides of who I think I’ve been.

The first . . . a very natural, beautiful (not in some glamorous, cover-girl way), wholesome, healthy and unpretentious woman; dressed in jeans and a neat clean sweatshirt.  Hair . . . shining, well-cut, shoulder length, not dramatically styled or permed and no apparent make-up.

The second . . . a lovely, well-groomed and sharply dressed lady with carefully styled, chin-length hair, parted and combed to one side.  Flawless make-up from foundation to perfectly separated eyelashes.  Her wardrobe well matched, color-coordinated and ‘completely professional.’

I remembered, as I watched, how I felt and wondered too if they might be feeling as I did when I played each of those roles at different times of my life.

I wondered if, as the first one observed the second, she somehow wished she had the energy and ability to put together that perfectly manicured look as seemingly effortlessly and successfully as lady number two, on a regular — if not daily — basis.

Likewise, I wondered if lady number two somehow wished, as she watched the first (so casually together), that she could be so self-confident that she’d feel safe without all the make-up, clothes and ‘professionalism.’

I wondered if each might envy the other as I have in the past (from both positions) or if somehow either of them noticed I’d grown past the need to make either statement tonight.

Insecurity and women wear many faces.

Hopefully we women, especially those of us there tonight, will wear the face of change (reflecting our growth) with grace as we reach for that “Brass Ring.”  That “Brass Ring” of knowledge, education and success at whatever level matters most to each of us.  One more ride on the “Carousel”, please.

copyright 1/7/1992

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