This morning I want to offer up a big thank you to anyone and everyone who ever took a chance on me.
To the Nicaraguan landlords who rented me a house back in the day on nothing but a handshake and a smile (you were a real gentleman, Sal – rest in peace).
To the MD/PhD who saw beyond the scrappy exterior to the ‘executive potential’ and gave me a real start in the legit career world. You will remain my personal hero all my days.
To the sister who smiled at me in that interview in a way that said, “I see you,” and whom I know is the reason I have the job I do today.
To her boss, who hired me even though I wasn’t her first choice (that being a mousy bun-wearing schoolmarm type) and recognized the potential for growth.
To the finance company that gave me a brand new car, even with a sullied credit report.
To my current landlord, best one ever, who almost pursued me, because she wanted to give me a break, just as she hoped someone else would give her own daughter, a survivor, a break.
To Mills College, who let me in even though I barely knew how to open a Word document.
To Stephanie the assistant bank manager, who held her hand out and lifted me from a life in the floating world to one firmly grounded in cold hard cash and numbers, a path that has continued to this day.
To every friend who saw beyond my initial bitchiness or sharp edges and saw the depth and sweetness beneath.
To every old friend who was able to put the past behind us and start anew.
To Rick and Joe, who instead of selling my Chihuahua Paloma to the highest bidder, gave her to me for free because I was Ramon’s friend.
To my grandmother, who was sick with worry throughout my youth and was on the short end of my mistakes and thoughtlessness more times than I care to admit, yet who continued to believe in me and give me chance after chance to get it right.
To every friend, boss, landlord, finance company, crew leader, and other who held out a hand, gave a girl a boost, trusted my handshake instead of my paperwork, saw beyond the statistics or the hard luck story, and saw what maybe even I couldn’t see at the time – this morning I just want to offer you a simple, and deeply sincere, thank you for your willingness to take a gamble on me. I won’t let you down.