I am a student. I am a woman. I am driven. I want a successful career. I (eventually) want a family, including children.
Women have made an immense amount of strides in the corporate world today. Images in the media have shown us from a young that as a woman, you can have it all if you work your ass off. But how does one ever have a work-life balance? According to everyone woman that has a high position in a company that I’ve ever asked, you don’t ever really reach a balance. I’m still not entirely sure if I’m content with that answer. They say you can’t have your cake and eat it too, but I’m as stubborn as they get, so there’s a good portion of me that says, “Yes, I can and will; I’ll prove you wrong.”
But I’m also 20-years-old, I’ve had a few internships under my belt, and I’ve never been in love. So no, I am not an expert on having a work-life balance because I’ve never really had to; at least, not to that degree. Which is why I’m so incredibly happy with my past two internships. I’ve been able to work under the leadership of women who are passionate about what they do, smart about what they do and still somehow, manage a good family life and still look pretty darn classy and poised throughout the entire process.
I’ve scoured the Internet and sifted through handfuls of articles about women who have managed to “have it all.” One thing remains true: no one can have it all. I’m not saying I’m going to start sacrificing here and there to make sure I appear to be able to do it all. One thing that I’ve learned from my mentors is that you can work to your heart’s content during the week, but on the weekends, you better take some time off and focus on your own happiness.
This summer, I’m interning full-time and I start my Spanish 4 course in July. On paper, that doesn’t look like much, but when my former supervisor asked me when I would actually find time for myself, I didn’t know how to respond. I informed her I would be driving home to Dallas this weekend to see my family and I planned on traveling to Houston in July. Those are relaxing weekends, right? Wrong. I think part of my nervous break down in the last post had to do with the fact that I don’t know how to relax. And that in itself is a realization I never wanted to admit to myself or anyone for that m atter.
Why I don’t want to be the “super woman.”
They don’t sleep. Okay, so I admit that my sleep schedule is pretty terrible during the school year because it really depends on the week. During weeks when I have a million exams and projects, I don’t sleep. Four to five hours of sleep? Totally normal. Now that I have to be at the office at 8 a.m. every morning, my sleep schedule has improved to some degree. I’m at least going to bed a little before or at midnight. This is still pretty bad and I’m still a coffee addict, but we have made progress.
They have everything scheduled. I used to be one of those people who would screen shot my iCal and send it to my former boyfriends and have them choose a white space. Ladies, don’t do this. By far one of my dumbest dating mistakes ever. I do have a busy schedule, but I also like to make time for people who matter to me and the worst feeling in the world is knowing that my schedule is too packed to even try to schedule anything. I’m a pretty organized person, but I don’t want to be that person that turns to their child and says, “okay, so at 3:00 p.m., mommy is actually going to make time for you.”
Happiness. The concept is so basic. From the outside looking in, these women who appear to have it all aren’t always happy. At the end of the day, all I really want in life is to be happy. Happy in my professional, academic and personal life. I would take happiness over anger and depression any day.