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Nevertheless

I've been warned. And I've been fired from a couple of jobs for speaking out. Sometimes I've been given explanations: "You have too much power." Sometimes not. I've been denied promotions for speaking truth to power. I was warned to stop shooting from the hip when I was teaching school. Warned that I shouldn't ask for a raise because I should feel grateful for the journalism job at that weekly rag. I was warned I would never own my own home. Warned that my math GRE score was too low to get into a doctoral program. I was warned that I was too old to start a doctoral program at age 67. Warned I would never be able to afford to retire. I was warned that dancing again at age 71 might be too challenging.

Each warning, firing, threat or admonishment, was wounding, sometimes sending me under the covers for days. And, after recovery, motivating. I created my own award-winning work. Eventually, I got promoted and eventually he got fired. The hip-shooting discussion ended when I offered: I'll stop shooting from the hip when you ask Mark and Bob to do the same. I got a raise at a newspaper of record and felt grateful when I was paid what I was worth. And I'm writing this from the house that I own, choosing how much work I want to do and with whom, while preparing to perform dances made for me by choreographers whose work I have long admired and written about. Nevertheless. #Dr.B #shepersisted.

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