So I have to get this out of my system.
I had a performance review at work a few weeks ago. It was quite fantastic, one where I felt really great about my talents and abilities and my future at my company and beyond. I left the room feeling like after five years of pouring my soul into this job, moving across the country twice and racking up a disgusting amount of frequent flyer miles, we are on the verge of something huge. That this is the year for my little brand and all our work is going to see some truly remarkable results.
As I was flying home that day though I was thinking about the conversations I often have with single women my age in my church. How often we will be talking about work and someone says bitterly, "I didn't even want a career, I should be a mom by now." I always get uncomfortable with the chorus of "yeah! this is never what i wanted" responses that comment will usually provoke. Um, is it OK that I did? That my biggest fear as a teenager was that I would get married and have babies before I got to start a career. I had plans. And while those plans changed from veterinarian to actress to writer to lawyer to advertising exec as I grew up, I always wanted to grow up to be something. I did always want to be a mother as well but I guess even from a young age, I knew that marriage and motherhood was something over which I had little to no control. I had parents who encouraged all of us to study and go on missions and believed in our abilities to be whatever we wanted. So I grew up wanting more than just a job, I wanted a career.
Yes, I am surprised to be 30 and still single. It never occurred to me when I was younger that maybe I can't even count on getting married. Maybe I will be single forever. But I don't feel like the life I do have is a Plan B. Or a consolation prize. Or a thing I'm doing until my REAL life starts. I have an interesting and fun job that challenges and excites me. I work hard at it. And I'm good at it. I feel incredibly blessed to have it. To be as passionate about it as I am.
I firmly believe that raising children is just about the best job a person could have and I sincerely hope I get to do it someday. But in the meantime, developing my talents and abilities and being a dependable, trustworthy, hard-working employee is a really satisfying life as well. I know there are other LDS women who feel the way I do but I think sometimes we think we are supposed to feel a little bit cheated because we don't have husbands or kids. Like somehow we are not good Mormon girls if we are enjoying our jobs and our independence. I hear myself saying to my married friends, "I'd gladly trade my job for a two year old!" when I don't mean that at all. I will trade my job for MY two year old when the time is right but I wouldn't trade anything about the last 30 years of my life for a different experience. I like this one, I feel in my heart that I saw and chose this particular path.
So that is my rant. I'm saying it here so I don't go off at the next poor girl who whines about being single. In addition to my goal that in my thirties I wasn't going to say boys are dumb anymore because girls are just as difficult, I'm also done whining about what has or hasn't happened to me yet. As my friend Damian so wisely said," i have been able to meet and see people who in their best year can only envy my worst." There are better things to complain about in this world than my semi-charmed life.