Monday March 27, 2017

Sisterhood of the Traveling Scarf

By Lisa Rismiller

This March, scarves are connecting about 100 University of Dayton women students, faculty, and staff across campus. Each woman spends a day with the scarf before meeting another woman and sharing the scarf with her. After this exchange, each woman reflects on her experience. This is the third post in a series.

Because I was the first in my “chain” of scarf-wearers, I had the honor of choosing from among all the various scarves available this year.  Oh the pressure! Which one should I choose?  I ended up selecting the most colorful one in the bunch. Then I noticed a few snags in the one I had selected. That, instead of making me change my choice, cemented my decision.

Other women had worn this scarf before me, I now knew, and I would ensure their spirits carried on into the future.

I wore the scarf the following Monday, then met on Tuesday with the student who would carry the scarf forward from me.  We had a delightful conversation that began with who we were, why we chose to participate in the Traveling Scarf, etc., and evolved into a much richer conversation about her future.

You see, my newfound ‘sister’ is approaching her May graduation with the usual mixture of excitement and trepidation, an awareness of the expansive possibilities that lay ahead and sadness over the possibility of losing touch with dear roommates and friends. She thinks she knows her future vocation, but is open to other possibilities, too. I told her that her openness to other possibilities was both wise and practical, and shared with her a bit of my own circuitous professional journey. I have often said that if someone would have described my career to me back when I was a 22-year-old facing graduation, I would have told that person that they were crazy.  I had a plan, and because I was a planner, that would be my life.  But I was wrong, so wrong, but so fortunate.

I wish the same for my new ‘sister’ and will keep her in my thoughts and prayers in the years ahead.  She is going to lead a great life.

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