Inspire – Women of Dartmouth Stories

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Finding Your Strength

Amy Feind Reeves T’92 reflects on overcoming life’s obstacles, and the value of not keeping them a secret along the way.

It wasn’t until my 25th high school reunion that I realized I was viewed in my hometown as a tragic figure. 

At the reunion, classmates wanted to know why I had stayed away from home so long.  My response?  “You probably don’t remember, but I lost a sister to cancer when I was young.  Then my father died in an accident not long afterwards.  It was hard.” 

I barely got the statement out before I was overwhelmed with a flood of outbursts.

“You never talked about it.”

“We used to talk all the time about what happened to you.”

“It was hard? No sh&*, Sherlock. Why didn’t you ever talk to us?”

(I’m from New Jersey.  We don’t hold back.)

Ours is a small town.  I was taught not to talk about what happened to our family for fear it would feed the small town gossip mill.  But not talking about it didn’t keep people from knowing about it.  Nor did it keep me from fracturing when my family fractured.  My friends could have helped me if I had let them.

As my 25th Tuck reunion approached and I was asked to speak about my career, I didn’t want to talk about the highlights.  I wanted to share my pride in overcoming the lowlights so that my classmates would know these subjects were not taboo.   If I found a way to speak publicly about the obstacle’s life had put in my path, maybe we would all be able to use our reunion time to connect in a deeper way.

This story is both about where I have found my strength and about how we can make each other stronger by sharing, and not hiding, the obstacles life puts in our way.

Amy is active on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, or at her website.

Look for her new book coming out in June: Navigating From College to Career, How to Use The Skills You Have to Get A Job You Want.


1 thought on “Finding Your Strength”

  1. Amy hi… you’re piece on the 25th reunion just popped-up. Speaking of 25 years, it’s been almost that long since we worked together for the “Borg”. I hope it’s not too unprofessional to say you appear ‘ageless’ in your pics.
    I was always amused that consulting for a Publicis Co. was my last stop before retiring to FL.
    All the best girl, I hope you and yours are well. MK

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