As I’m going through this very challenging process of refining my professional self after having raised two babies into toddlerhood, I am realizing the struggle is compromising, or feeling like I am compromising.
From the author of “Path of Least Resistance” Robert Fritz:
“If you limit your choices only to what seems possible or reasonable, you disconnect yourself from what you truly want, and all that is left is a compromise.”
Yes, what I want seems totally unreasonable. I even think it is unreasonable and tell people that it’s not possible to “have it all.” i was wildly nodding my head in agreement while reading Indra K. Nooyi, PepsiCo CEO’s interview with The Atlantic on why “Women still can’t have it all.” I have come to the conclusion that if we are viewing life from the perspective of the social mammoth and not our authentic voice, we definitely cannot have it all. If we define our professions based on salary, social status, number of direct reports, awards etc, then truly we cannot have it all. So then the question is…what does my authentic voice say?
I love learning. I am addicted to it. My parents, both academics, instilled this in my brother and me very early on. My father’s text to us today: “Learn something new today. Be happy.” ‘Nuf said. I took pregnancy and motherhood with the same thought in stride. I tried to learn as much as I could about how to care for and guide our children. Starting with what to eat when I was pregnant to how best to stop my son from sucking his thumb. My mom said that I was “making a science” of it. Yes, this is how I problem solve. I look stuff up, I talk to experts, I analyze what how to best apply that to my life, and I share my experience with others. Oh, and by the way, this process is very similar to how I solve problems at the work place. So if “learning” is authentic to me. In fact, it’s been injected since my childhood, so few things are as authentic, then I must be “having it all.”