The world often sends us strange messengers to motivate us to success. My parents did a remarkable job of never letting me believe that because I was female, that I might not have the same opportunities for success, in any of its forms as my male counterparts. I know my parents believed this was the right way to raise girls in the 1970’s and ‘80s. They meant no particular harm in sheltering me. Essentially I grew up naïve to the fact that women were still at a disadvantage when it came to earning potential, careers, a fair salary, and positions in society and politics.
It was not until my grandfather, rather indelicately advised that I should cho43ose a state school or community college instead of a private college because then my father wouldn’t have to pay for a wasted education—since, he said I “would just end up getting married and having children”.
Granted, my grandfather was, and remains a throw-back, isolated from reality, (one look at his powder blue leisure suit would tell you this), but his comments stung. They stung and opened my eyes. There were still people, like my grandfather, who did not see men and women equally, and still reason that I couldn’t do anything and everything I wanted to do. And that made me want to prove him wrong—prove the whole world wrong.
Truth of the matter is that you CAN have it all. Honest. But what so many people don’t realize is that you can’t have “it all” at the same time. And not without help.
We are fortunate to live in a time where we will likely live well beyond 50, 60, 70 even 80 years of age. Some successes are specific to time; a woman’s biological clock (although even that has stretched with medical technology), being crowned Miss America, making Vice President by 30—but you can live a life where your successes flow into each other, and they will be more rewarding when not rushed, and when done well.
As a side note: my grandfather has seven children, 5 girls and 2 boys. Without a doubt, the women of the family, children and grandchildren, are undeniably better educated, make more money, and have a better standing in the community.
Apparently, my grandfather did more than just motivate me…
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