Ladies, I know we all can relate to situations where our partner says something that makes us angry, depressed, confused and sad (and maybe all at the same time). It’s true, nobody’s perfect and these comments usually don’t come from places of hurt, but regardless, they can get under our skin. Today’s post is dedicated to one of those situations I experienced, last night, and the reminder (that I had) of the constant struggle women deal with, personally and professionally.
Ironically, last night (on our way home from the movie), I told Ryan I wasn’t sure what I wanted to write about, today. Once we got home, we were talking about the wedding I officiated, recently, and the pilates classes I had just taught. He told me he was proud of me (which was really nice to hear). But following that comment, he rambled off something about how it would just take time for me to become “established” in my career, and that if I wanted to go back to working a corporate job (and making as much money as he did), I’d be able to do it; it’d just take a lot of more work.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I adore my boyfriend. He’s my best friend, and loves me, with his entire heart; I know this.
What hurt were the comments, in themselves. “If you want to make as much money as me”. “If you wanted to go back to working a REAL, corporate job.” “You’ve got the education to do it.” “You’re good at anything you do… you’ve just got to become more-established.” For a woman, this is painful to hear! But unfortunately, it’s something we hear far, too often (and usually, from our own minds, as well).
Women work hard!
We do work hard, don’t we?! But the unfortunate thing is, often, it goes unnoticed. We’re expected to pick up the pieces (and the laundry, the dishes, the chaos), while usually juggling a full-time job, and maybe a side-gig (that brings us more joy than the full-time job does). But to so many, when that full-time job doesn’t bring in as much dough, or has as much status, it’s NOT as glamorous, not as respected, not as “good”.
Women Want to Be Independent
This is something I’ve been struggling with, internally, for a long time. I’m capable of doing things on my own; I’m capable of making my own decisions. However, for the majority of my life (up until very recently), I’m not capable of balancing it all, financially. And for any man who might be reading this, THIS IS A HARD PILL TO SWALLOW, for your woman! Sure, the idea of staying at home, while you provide for everything, is great! But usually, that’s just because we, as woman, are freaking exhausted and daydream about the idea of rest, almost always. The truth is, we WISH to be independent, on our own. We WISH to be able to balance it all, while making enough dough; unfortunately, this usually isn’t the case. So, we try to offset things by working more, trying more “hats” on, and often, biting off more than we can chew.
Climbing the Corporate Ladder
I’ll be the first to say it: our country is made up, primarily, of money, work and success-driven individuals, and in turn, it’s screwed up our mentality, entirely. Instead of measuring success, or happiness by joy, or gratitude, or love, we measure it by the promotions we get at work, the new house we’ve purchased, or the new job we’ve secured. We’ve become zombies. For women, this is another struggle. If we decide to work to climb the corporate ladder, we almost-always have to give something up, in order to do so. If we decide to stay at home, with the kids, or take a more non-traditional route, we’re not living out our full-potential; frankly, we’re screwed either way.
For me, just because I work from home, doesn’t mean I’m not a part of the “corporate-culture”. I constantly feel the pressure of “moving up”, in the company; never wanting to become stagnant, for fear of how it will look to my company leadership. Another internal-struggle.
I know, I know. I loathe even writing the words. But in truth, WOMEN COMPARE THEMSELVES TO LITERALLY EVERYONE! The high school and college classmates, the friends who are years older, and in completely different careers, the spouses, or significant others, who, again, are older and in completely-different careers… even the exercise instructors, or the small business owners we really know nothing about… we compare ourselves to everyone. Because truthfully, we always want to better ourselves; we always want to find that perfect “balance” of joy and career, even though it might be unattainable, and non-existent.
Women Don’t Quit
You ever wonder why you see so many women doing so many things?! It’s because unlike most men, we continue to have that drive to be more, do more and enjoy more. Sometimes it’s because we really are looking to become more involved, but honestly, I think a big part of that has to do with never really feeling like we contribute enough. Internally, it’s as if we tell ourselves the more we do, the more-appreciated we’ll become.
Do I have suggestions for ways to overcome this constant, internal-struggle? Honestly, no. I feel it, often, and even more so when I’m reminded of my non-traditional, different career path. More than anything, I’m writing this, today, to remind you (reading this) that you are enough. I see you. I appreciate you. Your wealth doesn’t equal your worth, even though we live in a society that makes it appear like that.
Never lose sight of what brings you joy, but don’t burn yourself out, from all ends, attempting to do enough, and prove something.
A lot of society (even those men you adore) won’t always understand your career-choices; that doesn’t mean they’re wrong, or not enough. Unfortunately, as long as we continue to live in a society that promotes overwork, being bigger and better, we’ll always feel that pull from both sides.
You do you, and do what you love, and give only as much as you can.