Women that came before me

I'm back from an exhilarating 3-day weekend, assisting with the Coaches Training Institute's Balance Course. There, we fill entire days with guidance through interactive exercises that encourage transformation and growth. As an aide, I'm also taking lots of notes.

For this very serious and professional activity, I carry my leather-bound resume binder. Though I've had a few of these over the years, this one in particular is special to me. It has the words "California State Coroners Association" embroidered on the front side. It came from someone special who was a client. She was one of the first women to serve our State in this department. And believe me when I say that it took real b***s to do what she did.

Before her, and the few like her, women's jobs usually had to do with teaching school, nursing, childcare, food service or administrative positions. Any women who were brave enough to become educated in a field where only men had come before them are true heroes to me. And if they tell their stories truthfully, they were probably in for more than they imagined.

I feel grateful for the detailed story about abuse of power, sexism, violence and more. I appreciate knowing the truth. It's incredible the things that she and women like her have had to endure, just to be able to work in a field that was interesting to them.

I am now able to carry her leather binder with pride and courage, knowing that she and others who came before me have blazed the trails that make it easier for us. It gives me strength to have this reminder. Best of all, when I get the occasional remark from someone about the embroidery, I have the opportunity to tell her story.

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