Is it really possible to have it all?
Ten years ago, if you would have asked me where I’d be today – what my life would look like – I would have said, married with two or three children, living comfortably in a quiet community and working towards the path to become a vice president of something in a flourishing career. In my naïve mind, I would have gotten there seemingly effortlessly – without having to sacrifice either. But my God how things, and perspective for that matter, can change when time elapses and reality sets in.
At thirty one, I can honestly say that so far I have been extremely fortunate to have a full life. I’ve been able to travel (sometimes deciding at the eleventh hour to go), jam pack my schedule with serving the community and my church, and spend limitless time with friends and family. I’ve enjoyed a great career, blessed to be a part of a company that I have grown far beyond anything I could have expected; having been mentored – knowingly and sometimes not – by some of the most outstanding professionals you can imagine; and being able to truly say, “I love my job”. And in spite of all the wonderful opportunities I have been afforded, at times it seems what’s most important to me has somewhat eluded me.
I can remember about five years ago someone commenting about how career focused and ambitious I am. While that can (and should) be taken as a compliment, I can remember an emptiness that came over me when they said it, prompting me to ask myself, “Is that what people really think matters most to me? Is that what I am projecting?”
I know I tend to push myself to excel whenever I commit to anything – whether personally or professionally. And although I know that I am far from perfect, I am one of the most imperfect perfectionists there is. So it seems natural to me that when God gives me an opportunity to do anything, no matter how mundane it may seem to anyone else, I am going to do it to the absolute best of my abilities, no matter how much work, time, and energy it requires. But that doesn’t just apply to my career…that applies to every aspect of my life – including my family…especially my family.
But after the failure of my last relationship, I find myself at an impasse - looking at the professional and philanthropic opportunities He keeps bringing me to all while feeling the void next to me as I celebrate every milestone. It makes me wonder – is my singleness indicative of the value I’ve placed on that aspect of my life? Do I have the grace and tenacity to walk the tight rope that some society has defined as super women possess – successfully juggling motherhood, marriage, martyrdom, and career? Or will I have to choose? If so, am I willing to choose? Am I ready to choose?
Is it even possible to have it all?