What Other People Accomplished By My Age
It’s my birthday. Here’s some things people accomplished by the time they were my age. I won’t be coy, I’m 39.
- By 39, Thomas Jefferson, who studied at my alma mater, had written and signed the Declaration of Independence and become the Governor of Virginia.
- By 39, G.W.F. Hegel had published his seminal text Phenomenology of Spirit.
- By 39, Sojourner Truth escaped from slavery, moved to New York and became the first black woman to win a case in court against a white man in the United States.
- By 39, Elizabeth Cady Stanton had organized and held the Seneca Falls Convention where she, Lucretia Mott and several other women drafted the Declaration of Sentiments proclaiming equality between men and women.
- By 39, Albert Einstein had published his discoveries of the special and general theories of relativity, which revolutionized modern physics.
- By 39, Barack Obama had been a community organizer for 12 years and an Illinois Senator for 3.
- By 39, Hillary Rodham Clinton had served as an advisor on the presidential impeachment inquiry for the Judicial Committee of the House of Representatives during Watergate, had taught at the University of Arkansas School of Law and was the First Lady of Arkansas while working as a partner at the Rose Law Firm.
- By 39, Judith Butler had published Gender Trouble and Bodies That Matter revolutionizing the way that we speak about gender and sexuality.
- By 39, Annie Dillard had published five books including one of my favorites, Pilgrim at Tinker Creek.
- By 39, my mother had five children.
I leave you these facts without comment.
The painting is “Women VI” by Willem de Kooning whose birthday is today.