not an empire builder? that's ok.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

{photo credit}

i recently read an article in glamour magazine written by actress zosia mamet. in the article she explains how our culture is particularly obsessed with "making it" and how if you "settle" for anything less you're somehow a failure. the article was written particularly for women, and i can only speak for myself, but i get it. i have been feeling that way for a while now. my day job is in admin and when i tell people this i get the general "oh" and head nod. the conversation usually ends there until i ask them what they do and they rattle on about their brain surgeon/criminal defense lawyer/organic farmer/baby teething ring inventor career. i say "oh" and give a head nod.

am i just being hyper self-conscious? or is zosia on to something? does success mean the same thing to every woman?

personally, i don't want to be the CEO of any company. i don't want to work 70+ hours a week. i don't want to be glued to my work phone or attend fundraiser dinner after fundraiser dinner. but yet i feel this unspoken (sometimes spoken) pressure to do all of those things. before breakfast. in high heels.

i have been stressing out lately about my work/career future. what does it look like? what should i be doing right now to take the next steps? i feel paralyzed by the choices and also the lack of choices it seems. is anyone else in this boat? does anyone else feel the pressure to DO DO DO? but, along the same lines, does anyone else feel content with not being the "it" girl? how do you battle those opposing thoughts?

for me, the best way i know how to combat those thoughts is to give them over to the Lord. my worries are not completely gone, but they are in much better hands than my own. if i want to Lord to lead me and guide me in my life, it doesn't make sense for me not to pray and give my insecurities and stresses over to Him. it seems the more i try to figure this particular area out on my own, the less clarity i have. since i have been more aware of that, i have felt more peace as i work in my current job and wait for the opportunities that lie ahead.

if you'd like, take a few minutes and read zosia's article. it was a really great and encouraging read, and it helped me realize that i am not the only one who struggles with this "success complex".

success doesn't necessarily come in the form of a big paycheck or shiny plaques or your name in the credits. success means working hard, yes. and success means trying and doing your best, but i think it really looks different for everyone. if you're a mom, maybe success means getting your little one down for an afternoon nap. if you are a student, perhaps success means working on that huge paper for a few solid hours before taking a break. this past weekend, success for me meant taking a big box of crap to goodwill. and i wasn't even wearing heels.

by the way, if you are a high-profile working woman who is wheeling and dealing with the best of them, i salute you. seriously. you are a rockstar. we need each and every one of you. some of the best businesses are run by women, and i am beyond inspired by all of the creative women out there who are making it happen. they work hard and i applaud them. this is more of a personal issue than it is me ranting at successful business women. not the case at all. i just get frustrated that this expectation of being all that you can be and then some seems so prevalent around me. thoughts from you, my readers? i'd love for you to weigh in!


  1. I totally get you. I feel like in the RDU area especially, with all of our universities, there is the pressure to go to grad school. I don't want to go to grad school! I am content doing what I'm doing, and I don't need to feel like I should be doing something else if I'm happy with my life and my job. Same goes for you girl - if you're doing what you define as success and enjoying your life, then I think you're doing it right!

    1. yes, thank you! i'm right there with you. no desire to go back to school for this one. i'm so happy to hear you are content where you are. it's such a breath of fresh air to my ears! you know that pinterest pin that says something like i just want to drink coffee and create stuff and sleep? that about sums up success for me. ;-)


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