It has been a full two months since I left the day job to pursue the dream once again.
Why not. Might as well. She says.
Over the last few weeks, I reflected a lot to see which direction to take. I have consulted mentors and talked with many friends. I noted that with my female peers a pattern in our conversations was appearing: stress levels, anxiety and the pressure we put on ourselves. Our society seems to have certain values and on top of that we struggle with our own goals.
We are women of a certain age, children of the 2008 recession, unexpectedly lesser progressed in our careers despite our upbringing and educational expectations.
We are women on a cross-road, unable to see the consequences that our choices may bring: motherhood and ambition, will it be compatible? Money making or art following? What if we miss the boat? Which boat are we trying to board in the first place? How to pay the rent? Are we allowed to lean on people – does that diminish our drilled-in declaration of independence? What if we cannot do it on our own?
To quote the great Maya Rudolph in the film Away We Go: “Burt, are we fuck-ups?”
“We are infantilised.”someone said today and I liked the phrase. What does it mean to be an adult? Financial independence, home ownership, parenthood? What we have learned we should have/be/want as an adult, does not line up with reality. Perhaps that is why we don’t give ourselves the credit of being adults and we are trapped in uncertain limbo.
Tonight I watched “She’s Beautiful When She’s Angry” on Netflix about the Women’s Lib movement. It was enlightening. I was blown away to realise how radical the changes were that made on issues we now too often take for granted. The movement wasn’t perfect, mistakes were made, yet its journey has changed many lives and it is still ongoing.
If anything, it inspired me to be fearless: I saw women marching with children on their backs for jobs, for equal pay, for birth control, for day care. I heard testimonies about women performing illegal abortions on other women who were desperate to not become mothers.
Images of women disrupting men in meetings about female health care issues, men who laughed at the idea of Women’s Lib, women who agreed that a women’s place was in the home. Notions that are alien to me and the ones I associate with.
My fear subsided. I am an adult. My choices will be mine. The path I take my own. Thank goodness for the freedom and the opportunity to keep on pursuing that dream.