Beau May 15th, 2010
On her return on Saturday, Prime Minister Rudd, who was waiting at the Opera House, praised her as “our newest Australian hero.”
“At 16 years old, you are a hero for all young Australians, you are also a hero for all young Australian women, you do our nation proud. This is a great day for our country,” Rudd said.
Still a little shaky on her feet after so long at sea, Watson disagreed.
“I don’t consider myself a hero, I’m an ordinary girl,” she told the welcoming crowd.
“You don’t have to be someone special to achieve something amazing, you’ve just got to have a dream, believe in it and work hard. I’d like to think I’ve proved that anything really is possible if you set your mind to it.”
I appreciate the courage and determination it took to make such a journey, and in part it shows how from our imagined dreams we can achieve great things. I was learning to drive at that age, and thinking about school, sports and how to work up some money with odd jobs. My biggest adventures were roaming the forests, lakes and streams of Missouri.
I had dreams as well, and was fortunate to realize many of them. But sailing alone around the world? That stands, fittingly, alone among a few. All I can say is Congrats Jess! and Happy Birthday as you turn 17 in a couple of days. Let your journey serve to inspire others, and to help guide your life in positive ways.