Hi. I need a hand:
She said she doesn’t know what she will do with her degree, and I said I understood this, after getting my degree in English Lit and feeling the same thing. Like her I had chosen my “career path” straight out of high school, in a desperate bid to free myself from the small town where I grew up. I told her my new theory is that life changing decisions made at 18 are all but useless, since we are so loaded up on hormones and selfish idealism. Big decisions should instead be made no earlier than the 30s. But by then, I added, a woman’s biological clock is yelling ….HELLO!
“So, I can’t win,” she said.
“No,” was my reply. “As a woman, you’re pretty much always going to end up settling in one way or another.”
There I was, a woman in her mid-30s, mindlessly hammering up the shutters against this 20-something’s hopes for the future (however vague they may be at the moment). Perhaps it stemmed from a programme I watched last week about Britain in the decade that just was (aka the “naughties”). Statistics show that in the last 10 years more and more women are waiting later and later to have babies, with the result being that many women ended up having fewer children than they had originally wanted because it was too late.
I tried to backtrack and tell my colleague that there are plenty of advantages to being a woman in today‘s economy, but all I could see was this somewhat sad statistic of women having to choose one thing over another. At 35, my “choice” is coming to an end, and despite the fact that much of me still panics at the thought of being a parent, at the moment I can’t remember what else it was I have been making my priority all these years. Perhaps if I had some grand career or had accomplished some enormous feat, but after a whirlwind of jobs, I now work in a shop.
Mind you, it is in a shop in the city of my dreams, where I am now in love with the man of my dreams. This is my foundation for happiness. But already I feel regret at having landed at this sweet place in my life a few years too late.
But I need help. What do I tell my friend? After knocking her down a peg about her future prospects, I feel the need to bolster her back up again.
Ladies, what is the advantage to being a woman in today’s economy? Notice I did not say “society.” This isn’t about the right to vote or equal pay. This is about making it financially and personally in the working world.
I don’t want to go back with a speech about how life is about sacrifices. I have already thought too much about this and frankly, I’m depressed. I need all the positives I can get at the moment.
Twilight Scrawls by Kirstin Maguire
7 hours ago