Letter from the Incoming Editor

Anyone who knows me can tell you Spanish is my chosen secondary language. Lessons since first grade, four years in high school and two years in college should provide a firm foundation to tackle any Spanish-speaking occasion life can afford. I relish the opportunity to translate a conversation I hear on the radio. I’m the first to interject, “Camarones means shrimp” when looking over a menu. I’ve even been known to opt for the Spanish option on an ATM machine just to ensure I can manage despite the slight discomfort of not being prompted by my native language.

However, when the chance comes to use my skills in one-on-one human conversation, I freeze. I worry if my speech isn’t 100% accurate, I’ll make a fool of myself and insult the person I’m trying to converse with. Getting out of our comfort zone can be a paralyzing experience. No matter how prepared we may be, our perceptions of ourselves can be our worst detriment. We never feel ready.

That thought struck me as I read through this issue of Lagniappe. The accomplishments of these outstanding women — our incoming Board; our WE Fellows; our philanthropic trailblazers; our scholarship recipients — would have never been possible if they froze. They had a spark inside pushing them to help others dream big, follow their passions and make a better world for those they love. Their actions call upon us to always be ready — to stand for what we believe in, do what is right and give back to the community that has given us so much.

I stand on the precipice of my year as Editor of Lagniappe. I have many decisions to make, and they may not all be in my comfort zone. In that spirit, although Spanish is the language I’m accustomed to, I choose to end my letter with a French phrase.

Je suis prêt!

Kristin W. Durand
2019-2020 Editor

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