What stands out to me now when I think about her is that her passion for flying must have deeply scared her husband and family. She must have known this, yet she chose to dedicate her life to it anyway. Because she wanted to. Because she had to. And what I imagine to be her family’s worst fear came true in 1937 when she mysteriously disappeared somewhere over the central Pacific Ocean on a flight around the globe.
Was it OK for her to do that to her loved ones? Was that an acceptable risk for her to take? Was that selfish of her? And would these question even occur to me if I were talking about a male pilot, adventurer or explorer?
From what I have seen and experienced, women are socialized to put the needs, expectations and desires of others before their own aspirations. This has been going on for generations. And I understand why—to stay intact, our communities need people (of all genders) whose calling is to be the glue that holds families and social groups together. But what if a woman is not called to do or be that? What if her calling is to explore something that is not what her loved ones are comfortable with or had envisioned for her?