Two of My Favorite Millennial Thinkers Respond To A Question About Belief

What beliefs did you have about yourself that have now changed?

Tasia Karoutsos: That I’m bad at math, can’t understand complex science, and that I should pursue creative writing. Turns out I prefer analytic thinking. Wish I’d figured that out before I started my career!

Tasia Karoutsos: I also used to think all of my body hair was thick, dark, and hideous, so I would shave the “normal” bits, as well as my arms, tummy, and toes. Adult me has gained back a lot of time by letting go of that insecurity

Isabel Winson-Sagan: I believed there was some sort of ultimate reality or truth that I could get to if I worked on it. It took me a long time to understand that human consciousness is much more about holding multiple, often conflicting, truths simultaneously. And that this has nothing to do with “reality” (what a problematic concept!). Also that I would be an English teacher when I grew up as a fall back because I had no real passion for anything! Sorry mom

More Responses To–What beliefs did you have about yourself that have now changed?

Janet Snyder Asher I always felt that I “can’t do it”. I was never encouraged to try, even if I might fail. Now at 65 I try my best and definitely sometimes fail! And it’s more than OK!!!!
Miriam Sagan Can you say more about what “it” might be?

Janet Snyder Asher Anything I was afraid of. I learned early on not to take risks. I believe that after my divorce I started living again. I met a man who I eventually married and he had so much confidence in me! I took a Swiftwater rescue class and became a river guide at 42! That’s just one example of something I never knew I could do.

Karla Linn Merrifield I always thought I wasn’t very musical, especially after 8 years of piano lessons that terrified me. Yes, I could play a modest Chopin and a few hymns, and I learned to read music, but what a fumbler I was. Now 50 years later I’ve picked up the guitar and a month later I’m feeling it happen. I can make music

Laurie Tumer I’m 68. I didn’t believe (as a girl growing up in the 50’s) that it was possible for a girl to be be an architect or doctor or geologist or or fireman or artist or musician or conductor or builder or even college graduate. Only boys were smart enough for that. I believed I was only capable of being a wife and mother as that is what I was told was my fate When I eventually studied music at the University of Arizona I loved my conducting classes and wanted to be a conductor, but the professor said: Do you see any women conductors? So I didn’t believe I it was possible to do that. So I changed majors and became a teacher because that was something girls were encouraged to do back then. I don’t regret being a teacher all these years. And I have gone on to an artist and a builder and a gardener and to fulfill many dreams and live happily ever after without a husband or children. I often hear in my head when I complete a project my father’s refrain when I’d do something that surprised him that he didn’t think I was capable of: “Not bad for a little girl!” A phrase he used up until he died when I was 35. Times have change in the U.S. for girls, though not for girls all over the world… I believe that will change too one day.

Teresa Fields I was raised to be a wife and mother. When I was in 2nd grade the teacher would hit me on top of my head with her wad of keys and call me a dumb Indian. I believed I could not do math. Then in high school my counselor told me I wasn’t College material.
After being married over 31 yrs and suddenly being widowed. I went to College, I got an ‘A,’ in College Algebra. I had a 3.99 gpa for my AA degree and almost the same for my BFA.

On Shyness & Extroversion–what we believe about ourselves

Michelle Laflamme-Childs I believed I was an extrovert for most of my life but have learned that, while I enjoy being with people, I do require significant amounts of alone time to regenerate.

Baro K. Shalizi That I was shy. Don’t quite believe that anymore

Roshan Houshmand Baro K. Shalizi and I learned I’m the opposite!

Roni Rohr I let go of being shy in college; to step into myself, acknowledge that I had opinions to be shared and heard. It was a mindset that was waiting to be flipped , and in doing so the world opened. The more I shared , the more I received.