Do you ever find something at the perfect time that you needed to read it? I mean, you don’t know when you click on it that this thing you have found will have any profound affect upon your thinking or even way of life, but, then, you click. It’s interesting. Right? That’s how you found it. Stumbling through the paragraphs you’re reading along and then—SLAP. It’s hit you. The tears probably fill your eyes, not necessarily spilling over, but definitely building up. You hope that no one walks in and sees you having a moment.
These moments are treasures. I’m going to pass this one on to my readers.
Too often we wander through life thinking we have it all figured out. We’re responsible and do what is necessary, sometimes even what is expected of us. This isn’t inherently bad. However, when we do these things at the expense of our dreams it eats away at our souls and one day we find ourselves wondering how the hell did I get here?
Map your life.
You’d think that’s a no-brainer. I mean, isn’t that what we’re doing when we follow the path of responsibility: do well in school, get into a good college, get a degree in a major that will end up leading to a good job, find someone to settle down with, get a house and car, make some babies (or not), and grow old together, save for retirement and do that Africa Safari or cruise you dreamed of since you were forty. The formula is not the problem. It’s the details of the formula and how we go about the decisions that lead to our goals. Are we really choosing a course of study that will fulfill us or just fill the wallet? Is that really a healthy goal? and so on.
I applaud women who know they don’t want children, and I applaud those who never want to marry or want more than one partner in life. Why? because they really know what they want. They’re not asking for permission and they often catch a lot of flack from society for choosing not to conform to the expected formula. Their choice expresses to me that they’re consciously choosing the route of their life. THAT is what I applaud.
When I read the article below, I applauded, with brimming eyes, Elizabeth Gilbert gets it. I am not sure if men understand the life route that women are often corralled into. Perspective is really a blessing and a curse. How many times has a man rolled his eyes when you try to talk about the circumstances of womanhood, as if he’s lived it and owned it a million times. I had no idea they were so experienced at being women. No, instead they pretend there is no difference between us and them—that there are no different sets of rules. Then, how come a woman is almost always blamed for her rape. Why is a sexually active woman called a whore, while one who abides the rules of chastity is called a prude? If you don’t bed them before the ring is on your finger you’re out the door. This unwinnable double standard is not only ridiculously abusive, but it is a woman’s experience. Men are not called whores, they’re called studs and they’re expected to be experienced before marriage. Who the hell are they experiencing sex with then? Roll out the double standard and cheeky names.
On top of this, we’re facing flack from those we should be getting the most support from: Other Women. The last thing women need is other women pulling them down. It breaks my heart when I see other celebrities trying to undermine the wage gap statement their sisters are making. Or, ripping into each other for becoming ambassadors, like they’re horning in on staked territory. I think there is enough room for more good will in the world, and it’s not a competition–except that it takes the spotlight off of those using ambassadorships to market themselves and that means less attention. Really? What the hell? Oh, right. You want to remain popular, and you’re willing to do so at the expense of your future earnings and connections. Yikes, ladies!
Elizabeth Gilbert and Jennifer Lawrence make really important statements in these two articles. I hope you’ll take the time to review them.
The most important message from them that you need to take, in my opinion: Give yourself permission to map your life as you want. May the journey be fulfilling and if not, may you have the strength to chose another direction.
During an interview with Diane Sawyer that aired on Good Morning America earlier today, Jennifer Lawrence opened up more about her Lenny Letter essay on Hollywood’s gender wage gap, and explained some of her fears about pushing for fairer compensation.
Jennifer Lawrence Opens up About the Pressure on Women to Be “Submissive” and Likable | The Mary Sue
By Elizabeth Gilbert Nearly all the women I know are stressing themselves sick over the pathological fear that they simply aren’t doing enough with their lives. Which is crazy—absolutely flat-out bananas.