Sunday, November 25, 2012
I've spent the past few days thinking about family. As in: I love my family. And: I want a family of my own. As much fun as it can be being with my siblings and their little families, it can also start to hurt. I was supposed to do this first, or at least with them. I love my nieces and nephews. I love to play with them and hold them and spoil them. I don't even mind being tied up by them (Sam has decided that he's a pirate and someone taught him the word "dungeon"). But at the end of the holiday, they go home with their parents and my siblings go home with their spouses and I go home to a basement bedroom that's filled with everything but people.
I have stacks of wedding magazines quietly sitting on the bottom shelf of my bookcase. I have pinned an embarrassing number of wedding-related items on two Pinterest boards. I have a (small) trunk full of baby clothes and board books and a few art prints perfect for a child's bedroom.
I keep these things, the magazines and the baby clothes and the hope that someday I'll get to use them, but I have also been pursuing graduate degrees and full-time jobs. I revel in my me-time and the independence of my schedule and the few hours I take each day to people-detox.
There is a sense out there (and I point randomly to the world outside my front door) that these worlds are mutually exclusive. That I have to be a wife and a mother or that I have to have an education and a job. And maybe they're right--I have no way of knowing, of measuring what these things require--but the desires certainly are not mutually exclusive. I love learning and I want to do the best I can and I admit that I'm getting excited to have a career, and a successful one at that. At the same time, I want to meet someone and have a home and a family. I know that sacrifices will be required, that you can't have it all at once. But you can, in your lifetime, have it all. I've seen brilliant women balance family and career. I've also seen brilliant men and women sacrifice the "best" career as measured by the world for the "best" career for their family. It's a sacrifice that I've thought a lot about, one that I hope I get to make someday.
Posted by editorgirl at 11:23 PM