Well written, and well-survived. I remember living through an exceedingly difficult time when a successful woman said to me “What doesn’t kill you just makes you stronger.” I wanted to kill her. What you learned about the brain is so important, and I wish more of us were provided with this information as part of public school training, maybe via ‘health’ class. Without saying more, you made me glad that when my very intelligent but somewhat fragile teen and I visited Cornell, where my father, grandfather and cousin had all obtained their first college degrees, we sensed a kind of stress that sent us packing. There is a good chance it would not have been a survivable experience. Our next stop was Oberlin College, which, I am pretty sure, we will revisit one day; and we have since recommended it to another relative who graduated from there.
It is unfortunate that some people reading this will think that if you can’t cut Harvard, then you likely would not be able to cut the jobs that flow therefrom. That isn’t true. I have had jobs alongside Harvard grads and, even with a very difficult past that carried forward into my young adult years, and I am glad to say that I was equally strong but much more aware of others and the impact I had on them. That this is lacking in many of the country’s highly placed leaders is perhaps not a surprise; and perhaps something that needs to, and must, be changed if the country itself is to survive without becoming a product of Harvard-like centers of power.
Very best of luck with your new endeavors. I am glad you are the smart and determined woman that you are.