As 2014 comes to a close, I look back on everything I’ve accomplished and all those things I have yet to do. The conversation about what we as women should aspire to be in our careers and families is no new one. Am I doing enough? is a question on almost every twenty- or thirty-something’s mind. More than ever, as women, we can choose what path is right for us. It’s not just about a work/life balance, but being able to conquer anything and everything we set our minds to.
But is it becoming too much? Has the dream of “having it all” gone from an aspiration to a requirement? These days, we face all sorts of pressures from trying to get into a good college (sometimes without personally addressing the “why”), to entering a relationship (and everyone wants to know whether wedding bells are in the near future) and beyond. Sometimes we get wrapped up in what’s expected of us, and we go from following our own dreams to following theirs – thirsty for every opportunity, every success.
I think it comes down to who we are as individuals. We’re ALL different. When you strip down to your core, not society’s expectations, you start to uncover what you truly value. Maybe it’s one thing you have your heart set on, your biggest dream. Maybe you’re constantly brainstorming something new.
I am a dreamer. I am often busy because I am always on a personal mission to execute my latest dream. But I also feel that both mental and physical health are what’s most important – if I’m overwhelmed, I take a step back to weigh my options, and, if it’s something I want to do, I go at it again with a clear head.
Luckily, you can set your own limits. The pressures on women to “be” and “do” it all are extreme. This can become less of a means to encourage women to harness their talents and gifts and more of a means to make us feel like we must constantly be working toward “having it all”. The thing we should remember is that “having it all” is different to each and every one of us.
What pressures has society placed on you that go against your individual desires? What does having it all mean to you? Weigh in and tell me what you think.
Sara Dal Monte