By: Teresa Sabatine, Guest BloggerNovember 23, 2015
Image from nat99.blogspot.com
It took men 144 years to see women as their “equal” when it came to participating in our government. In this time we have been gaining equality at comparatively rapid pace. Don’t get me wrong, we still have a long way to go especially around the world (that is a post for another day), but in this country we seem to be gaining speed. Which brings me to my point about choices. When we reflect on generations past we can see that women had less choices and less options in regards to her life path.
Our choices have evolved and as opportunities have opened up to us so has the pressure to “be something” to “measure up” or even to, I don’t know, “make the generations before us that fought so hard for our right to work, proud.” And if you think about it, this is a great pressure. So when I hear people talking about the millennial generation (and those younger) “being so lost” and “not knowing what they want” and being entitled for just wanting to “travel the world” for the entirety of their 20’s I get a little upset. Listen, choosing between 100,000 options is hard.
I am not saying it is harder than fighting for equality, ok?
Pleasing our parents, meeting the expectations of our bosses, our partners, ourselves and then of course comparing our success or choices to other women and thinking “am I doing enough?” is a whole lot of pressure.
It is difficult to figure out what we want to do, who we want to be and to simultaneously be confident that they are all the right choices. And who said we have to figure it out anyway? When did it become popular to be perfect and have it all together? I like messy and interesting and complicated and exciting. I am proposing a ban on the words “right choices” and “being enough” and “meeting expectations.”
There is no such thing as the perfect choice.
As my father says, “No regrets. Hindsight is 20/20. You made the best decision you could have based on the information you had at the time.” One of my clients is thinking about giving up her commitment to going to law school to follow her real passion for fitness.
I am so excited for her, but as we continue to meet regarding her plan I can see in her eyes how afraid she is to just simply make a decision, because it is FREAKING scary. If she lets go of law school she thinks that’s it, it’s over; she will never be a lawyer and that was always her plan. How can she stray from the plan? Take the LSTAT, apply to schools, and keep the door open if that makes you feel safe, I told her.
But in the meantime, continue to explore a career in fitness and to do an internship or take a job, you know why? Because your gut is telling you to and that means so much more than all the other voices floating around telling you otherwise. That choice is going to lead you to something you can’t even see right now. And in the end the security she thinks she will get from becoming a lawyer isn’t even real.
There is no such thing as “secure,” it is something someone made up because they were afraid of making authentic choices. Today and tomorrow and the next day just make choices. Yes, think about them, listen to your instincts, and make sure you aren’t hurting anyone or yourself.
But at the end of each day just choose: not for anyone else, not for security, not so you can look like you have it all together, but because it is what you want at the time that you are making the choice.
Teresa is a passionate storyteller who has made a career out of producing film and television all over the United States and honing her marketing and business skills at Nike. She stays busy running her company Tiny Little Robots and writing for her blog.
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