• Annmarie Throckmorton, M.A.

Bright Ambitions And Goals When I Was Young

Half a century ago when I was a young woman just out of my teens, I had bright ambitions and goals. Thinking how best I might achieve good things for myself and society, I spun a globe of the world in my head and wondered where I should live to begin my life. Two places stood out, Alaska in the north and Australia in the south. So I wrote two letters, one to the Alaskan State Chamber of Commerce, the other to the American Embassy in Australia, asking for information on the best way to move there respectively. It was very exciting to wait for weeks to see what their answers might be.

The answer from Alaska was insulting, so much so that I wish I still had the letter because it would be evidence for some sort of discrimination lawsuit. Alaska wrote a terse letter back to me stating that they had enough women and I was not to come because they did not want any more. Huh!?! That still baffles me, especially as Alaska is notoriously short on women. The attitude expressed in that letter would go a way towards explaining why.

The answering letter from Australia was the polar opposite. Australia enclosed immigration forms for me and a welcoming cover letter that informed me that Australia was willing to pay travel passage and startup money for women willing to immigrate who were of child-bearing age and fecund. I knew what fecund meant, and I was astonished at specificity of Australia's invitation and expectations. The proposition was too overwhelming for me. I could not agree to produce children for Australia. I wish I had saved the letter as a memento.

So, I went to California instead, but I quickly found that my quiet mode of working bit by bit on lifelong goals did not fit well there, and I traveled on, and on, and on; looking for a stable place from which to contribute to society. I do not think that I ever found it.

Caption: Bright Ambitions And Goals When I Was Young

by Annmarie Throckmorton 2019

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