I recently read something that spoke to me: I think ‘having it all’ is a phrase I don’t particularly like. You need to have what you want. […] As women, we should be able to decide what we want, how we want it, and [how we] get there. That means it won’t be perfect, there will be mistakes, but that’s fine; that’s human. ‘All’ should be a determination of what we want, not what somebody else or society says.
Close; not Sheryl Sandberg. Christine Quinn. Either way, I’ve had a busy summer. I’ll detail the highlights in a later post, but I have been doing some research *cough* reading Lean In *cough* and it got me thinking about the aforementioned “having it all.”
I am fully aware that this is a phrase most commonly associated with professional women (sometimes men) figuring out how to balance family life with work life. Because I’m nowhere near that milestone, but I AM super-selfish and have to make everything about me, that’s not how I’m interpreting it. Instead, I’ve related it to how I’ve been pretty much overwhelmed with work on work on work on commuting on work and classes and hanging out and traveling and writing and reading and catching up on the entire Breaking Bad series and subsisting almost totally on takeout and oh, what’s that you’re saying, Pinterest?
Yes, that is a huge reality-flavored slap in the face to any human, because IT’S RIGHT. As if I even have to further explain, Beyonce does A LOT. But she also has a lot of help. She has Jay to help her with Baby Blue, her girlfriends Solange, Michelle and Kelly to vent to when she needs a break from the family, and let’s not even act for one second like Tina isn’t all over/up in Bey’s biz, scheduling her every second of every day. [I’m exploring a world where Beyonce solely hangs out with her sister, and Destiny’s Child is still together — just go with it.] But seriously, Beyonce has help. Beyonce prioritizes. From the outside, sure, Beyonce “has it all”. Maybe she does. Or maybe she does what she can, with what she has (a lot more than most of us have, but hey, no judgement).
In hindsight, when feeling down about yourself multitasking, jumping in bed with Beyonce comparisons isn’t a road I would recommend going down too far. HOWEVER, if Beyonce can be a world superstar/wife/singer/fierce dancer/mom/superhuman sometimes all in the same day, I can surely balance a job (which I am fortunate enough to have and actually love), some classes (they’re good for me, after all), some volunteering (that’s good for others), a dash of socializing (every now and then) and make a valid attempt to clean up and regularly maintain this blog. I make no promises, but for now, HEY WORDPRESS HEY, I’ve missed you!
Even in the land where I’ve magically mastered all of these things, I wouldn’t be close to “having it all.” But Quinn made a valid point. All of the aforementioned are the parts of my life I prioritize. Realistic goals I’ve set. Things I want. I can’t “have it all” by anyone else’s standards, but maybe I don’t want to. I’d like to focus on what I can do — which is make the best choices for myself, and someday I WILL have what I WANT.
And because I can’t resist a hilarious, empowering woman (what’s a feminist?), we’ll end on a relatable Nora Ephron quote: It will be a little messy, but embrace the mess. It will be complicated, but rejoice in the complications. It will not be anything like what you think it will be like, but surprises are good for you. And don’t be frightened: you can always change your mind.