by Andru McCracken, Editor

I hope our piece about teen mom Julie Williams inspires you.”  For me it’s less like being inspired and more like being jabbed with a hot poker.

Her story makes me re-evaluate what I am doing. What is it in life I really want? What am I going to work really hard for?

I’m not dissatisfied with my life. It’s brilliant. Ish. I work less than 40 hours a week at something I love, I ride my bike all summer and think about ski touring in the winter.

But when I measure my ambition against the 17-year-old who is planning her future I see my own ambition for what it is: modest, safe, and comfortable.

Hearing Julie’s desire for something better for both her and her son, has twigged something inside of me: I can do better.

Some people have it. There are people in my life with a deep and abiding passion that drives them forward. Like Captain Ahab, they know what they want and they won’t stop until they find Moby Dick.

For me, not so much.

The reason Julie’s story hits home for me is that we have something in common. We are both parents of two year olds.

As often as not I am awake at 2 am in the morning tending to a blown-out diaper on a crying child. I spend a half hour trying to get out the door and still don’t have mittens on the little person in my care.”  I’m putting my child to bed knowing full well she hasn’t eaten enough dinner, but do so anyway because she can’t be reasoned with and I (and everyone else in my house) is exhausted.

Subconsciously I believe I may have put my ambitions on hold.”  Looking at Julie I can see my sights are way down low. I gotta raise em.

During our interview Julie confessed to being both excited and a little frightened about going off to the city for school. I miss that courage in the face of fear.

The greatest thing is that Julie has been doing the work to make that next big thing happen every day. It’s fine to dream big, but she has been steadily working away to make her dream come into reality. Despite the late nights and unforeseen accidents and the amount of time it takes to do anything as a parent of a toddler – mittens included or not.

Kudos to the family, school and community that has rallied around her.

Congratulations Julie. Keep working hard.