I’m a Woman and I Don’t Want It All
As a matter of fact, can you take some of your crap back, please?
I think there’s been a misunderstanding.
Somewhere along the line, I can’t tell you when, our women’s movement told us we could have everything. I think it was meant to be empowering. So we ran out and grabbed everything we could. Jobs, kids, husbands, houses, game nights, fitness classes.
If it was out there, we wanted it. And we fell for this. I feel like it was a trap.
I can tell you. I don’t feel empowered. I feel tired. I think I need a nap.
I’ve had it all. In 2014, I was a mother, a wife, a vice president at a huge national management firm, and a trustee on the board of an international organization. I balanced our finances, knocked down walls in the house, installed tile, made stuff for school projects and sewed buttons on shirts. I did all of it. And you know what? It fucking sucked.
I worked harder than my male counterparts because I had to take on more just to show I was deserving of having it all. As a result, I think the men around me just looked at me and said, “You wanted it all? Okay. Have it!” Dump!
Having it all about killed me. I worked too much. I gained and lost the same fifteen pounds about 4 times. I drank more than I needed to and slept less than I should. I cried in my car when no one could see me do it. A lot.
Having it all is like wearing spandex. Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.
Women are burned out by having it all. We’ve become overachievers. We’re busy. Busy, busy, busy. We push ourselves too far. Because really, while we’re out trying to smash the patriarchy of our workplaces, expectations of us as wives or mothers don’t decrease.
That freaking PTA committee is still going to blow up our phone regardless of the meeting we had last night that lasted until 10pm.
We martyr ourselves and overextend ourselves. Ironically, the last person that is going to cut us some slack is us.
We created slogans for ourselves. Tag lines. Decal mugs and planners. Girl Boss. Boss Babe. God damn it, we just wanted to feel like we earned that $5 metal tumbler from Target.
I have always been ambitious and loved the idea of being successful. In the back of my head, I think I wasn’t necessarily driven by the need to succeed, but rather the need to prove myself. I wanted the whole package because I wanted everyone to know I could handle it.
You know what? I don’t care anymore. I have nothing left to prove.
So, I don’t want it all. What I want is my time back. This is my version of women’s liberation. I’m giving you your shit back.
I may not have it all anymore. I let go of the brass ring. But, you know what? I have the ability to say no. Johnny needs cupcakes for his class party? No. You need someone to cover for Dave’s 3pm meeting? No. Someone needs to work on the Christmas Party this year? No.
I’m liberating myself, as a woman, from all of it. Scene.