There have been a few women in my life who have rocked my world. Seems to be, that in the journey of my life, it has been women who have carried me along from one adventure, one experience to the next. My umpteen jobs have always come about because of women. My 9 year journey into my own soul came about because of women. And even my passion for food and nutrition was inspired by women.
But there have only been a very few that have come into my life and literally transformed it; actually shaken me to the core.
Once such woman was Barbara Backus. My senior year at CSU Sacramento, first day of school, sitting in Chemistry waiting for the professor. In walks this red-headed woman in a white lab coat and proceeds to introduce herself and hand out the syllabus. My chin was on the floor. I couldn't move. As my heart pounded, I could feel my brain actually killing off the old neuropathway that said "Only men are scientists" and begin the creation of a new one "Women CAN BE scientists!"
I spent every homework study hall in her office, even though I didn't need any help with my chemistry. I just had to be near her. Soaking in her scientist brain and desperately wanting to wear her lab coat. Did I become a scientist? No, unfortunately there still lived a voice in my head that had told me back when I was 20 that I couldn't be a scientist, that I wasn't good at math and science. Well actually, that voice was wrong. Very wrong.
I found out during that last year of college that I was actually VERY GOOD at math and science. I scored all A's and those A's came rather easily. My heart wept for the scientist in me that was graduating and going off to be a school teacher. Within 5 years of teaching, I quit. Teaching 6th graders the standards wasn't in my heart.
Since then only 2 other women have seen the scientist in me. Yesterday, as I did a practice session with a fellow student at Integrative Nutrition (my current school), my heart was once again torn open. After a half hour of going over my health history with this woman, she proceeded to show me how all the pieces of my life were strung together and she actually called me a scientist! I was dumbfounded. I was dumbfounded at how she completely saw ME! The ME that I keep locked inside my heart, and here it was so obvious to her.
The only other woman in my life who has ever seen ME is my dearest sister in spirit, Tracy. She is an artist, and an extraordinary one at that. Not too long ago, back in the early spring, she sent me a package. When I opened the package and saw the art she had created I exploded with spasms of sound that I don't think any human or animal has ever made. There I was looking at myself wearing that white lab coat, hands on my hips, a look of "this is me world, I am a scientist!"
And now even as I write this my heart is pounding, to actually claim the word "scientist" brings shivers throughout my body. A scientist, a nutritional scientist. Can I actually call myself by that name?! Can I actually shut up that voice of "I can't" in my head? Can I actually embrace that love I had for Barbara Backus and her Chemistry class. Can I finally after all these years embrace ME!