Not just "here" as in, "alive", but here, as in "the U.S."
I think about this now and again. If I was a woman in another country, would I have the opportunities that I've had? So much in our lives is just an accident of birth: our social status, our health, our family...
I'm so glad I grew up in America, when I did. I was part of the happy 1950s, in an idyllic world where we could trust our leaders, there was an unlimited future, and opportunities were opening up for women in ways no one imagined. I was taught to be self-sufficient, to work hard for my salary, and not to expect extra help in anything unless I requested it.
I've watched younger people struggle to find their place, to make a living wage, to carve out a career, to achieve what I have already achieved. I'm thankful that I'm not young today because I wouldn't want to face those challenges. We had a lot of challenges, but not the kind that are facing people today.
I read stories about women overseas, in some countries, where they aren't allowed freedom, they're essentially slaves, they're brutally attacked and people turn a blind eye. Yes, that can sometimes happen here, but it's a rare case, I think. In some countries, it's the norm.
And I've read my history, about the struggles for women in this country, struggles for equality. My History Patrol series allows me the chance to send time travelers back through time and observe some of those inequalities -- and to comment on them. It's always fun for me to research that and comment on it in my books.
So I'm glad to be here, I'm glad to be where I am, and I'm thankful for the upbringing I had and the country that has given me so many chances -- some I took, some I didn't, but I had opportunity and that's what matters. Imagine what this world would be like if all women could live without fear?
Boggles the mind, doesn't it?