I’ve been thinking about this for a few weeks now. Far from wanting to write something very deep on equal opportunities, and also far from wanting to treat this topic lightly, I thought I would just raise a theory: Women struggle to choose and feel good about their choices. Let me explain how I came to this conclusion.
I am lucky enough to have wonderful women as friends. I am also lucky enough to be surrounded by women who made very different life choices and have very different lifestyles. Being their life paths completely different they have something in common, we have something in common, and it’s the fact that “there is always something not quite there yet…”, something we feel we haven’t achieved yet or we still have to do to have that wonderful feeling of “mission accomplished”. But…what is exactly the mission nowadays? Looks like the mission is more a series of different missions that we have to accomplish, usually even at the same time.
Looks like whatever we do, there is always some kind of opportunity missed, feeling of regret or train about to leave. I am thinking this might have something to do with the fact we are all more than 30 ;) Let me explain a bit better: the ones who have a wonderful career feel incomplete if they don't have a relationship, or they start thinking they might not find “the one” or will be on time for motherhood; the ones who are mothers feel they could have studied more or have had a career, cause now, after a few years they are struggling to find a professional opportunity or the chance to work out their professional path. The ones who made these two things compatible feel guilty if they work cause they don’t spend enough time at home and with their kids, or if they do, they feel they are not pushing their career as much as they could… These are just the typical and most basic examples but even going into a more superficial level, in common for all of us , there is always that feeling that we could do more or we don’t do enough: we don’t exercise as much as we should, we don’t cook organic enough, we don’t read enough, do meditation, are fit enough, have finished (or started) the house decoration, saw the latest movie or understand the latest trending word or acronym…I had to look for the exact meaning of“Millennial” after reading it 4 times on Elle once…and this wasn’t so long ago.
Somehow the feeling is there is always something you are not doing that you should do, or something you feel incomplete for. While I was thinking about this topic I was asking myself, and even worrying, is it that we are weaker generation of women? or the problem is that we’ve completely lost perspective and went into this inertia of wanting it all and at the same time?
What I think we are struggling to understand is that compromising is the key for success and, most importantly, for peace of mind. That choosing is healthy and inevitable and our choices, far from making us feel we are constrained, should make us feel empowered and proud of what we’ve achieved so far... and always so far because we can always get ready for a new challenge.
Our grandmothers probably didn’t have as many choices and that might have made their lives easier in a way, but having choices should always be an advantage and not the opposite. Today we want to be single, married, abnegated mothers, fierce executives, intellectuals, expert nutritionists, athletes, decorators, models, nurses, hairdressers (yes...even that!) and event planners…and of course all at the same time and without a hint of stress, because all this should be easy to cope with, right?
Why we think there is something wrong in choosing? Or what’s more, why we choose (cause in the end we have to), and then we don’t feel good with our choices? I think we live in a world where wanting everything, in one way or another, is the norm, and I am not going to try and analyse where is this coming from but I will just say we stop this here. There is no path, there are no marked steps and most importantly, there is nothing we "should" do as women to accomplish anything, there is no other mission than the one we (personally and as individuals) want to make our own. Let’s focus on everything we already are, on what we’ve achieved already, embrace our own lifestyle whatever it is. Let’s take a deep breath more often and just have a look around because most of the time, and being more than 30, the run has been long enough to be proud of what we’ve done and where we are, but short enough to keep dreaming on what we will do tomorrow.
Humanist, journalist, marketing professional and tireless analyst of what we people pursue in order to design and tailor our own universe.