All Of It
There’s a point in every woman’s life when the “having it all” debate starts to ring pretty loudly. It’s somewhere around the time you’ve stepped into a job you can actually see yourself kicking ass at (or, maybe just one that’s paying the bills), and the time where your uterus starts speaking to you through the eyes of really delicious babies. It rolls on throughout our thirties, and well into our forties and fifties. And it lingers, taunting us in form of op-eds, tweets, and blogs.
But I have always had one burning question: What the hell is “all” of it, anyway?
My girlfriends and I discussed this very topic over (a lot of) red wine last night. We’re all in various stages of our lives; I’m married, another is engaged, and another in a brand new relationship. We’re all in our 30’s and though we feel a tinge of the “do or die” pressure to start families, none of us are admittedly ready. And maybe some of us won’t ever be. And who’s to judge?
Society seems to deem women who “have it all” as those who juggle careers and families. And I think that’s bullshit. Who’s to say that a woman who stays home with her kids doesn’t have it all? Who’s to say an EVP of a Fortune 500 company without children is lacking something? Having it all is a very, very personal choice and one that only WE can decide for ourselves.
If you ask me if I have it all, I’ll shout YES! faster than you can finish the question. In my eyes, I have everything I could ever ask for. And maybe someday that will change, and I’ll go after whatever I feel is missing. The point is, I’m in control. I’ll have it all when I want, how I want, and where I want
Let’s stop buying into this notion that we have to pile our plates high with things that may feel uncomfortable or foreign to us just to prove that we’re some sort of superwoman. Let’s stop comparing ourselves to other women and panicking that we’re not doing enough. The trick is being comfortable in your own skin; your own story. Loving what you’ve got because it feels right for you.
So my answer is this: you can have it all, so long as you’re willing to create it. And to me, that is the most empowering notion of all.