Wifeys & Gentlemen,
I’m not sure if women really ask ourselves this question as much as we used to. For a while, especially in my early 20s, it seemed that more and more of us were trying to figure out the perfect formula for ‘winning’ womanhood.
If we could somehow find a way to:
- Make tons of money/crush our career goals
- Have a healthy, honest, functional relationship (or at least consistent, enjoyable, mutually respectful sex)
- Go to the gym 5 or 6 days a week
- Cook healthy and amazing meals (and drink only Fiji water)
- Have fantastic brunches with friends
- & one day be amazing mothers (while launching our lifestyle websites)
We’d be perfect.
AND… we’d make it look easy.
While I have no doubt in my mind that some phenomenal women out there might have cracked this code (PLEASE share your secrets with us if you have), for many of us, as we get older and learn more about who we are, we create our own definition of what it means to have everything. The Dream.
I reached out to a pool of women in my life and was able to get four of them to answer some thoughtful questions related to this very topic. From all walks of live and with open hearts and open minds…
Absorb their words and (if you’re into spiritual type ish) really try to connect to them through their unique experiences. Listening to them and reading their responses made my heart very full.
I so appreciate them for helping me and I really hope you enjoy.
(Names have been changed to protect privacy)*
Shannon*, Age 30, Single Mother of One Child (under 10), Freelancer, Photographer
- What makes you feel most empowered? I feel most empowered when I am taking photos or when I am helping others.
- When do you feel loved? I feel loved when I am surrounded by my son, my close friends, and my Mom.
- How do you honor and celebrate yourself? Is it bad to say I don’t really do this? If I do it’s on my birthday, but outside of that I don’t really do this 😦
- How do you honor and celebrate other women? I honor and celebrate other women by trying my best to empower my friends and family, build them up, and love them for all that they are. I believe if I believe in them, they will believe in others, and the empowerment spreads. I would love to do more to empower others, but I also believe that in doing it with my inner circle I am making a difference in a smaller sense. I also try to teach my son good values and how to respect women. He is surrounded by a ton of strong women and he sees how women are important and how they should be treated.
- When did you first learn about your place in the world and how do you define it? This is tough, I am still trying to discover my place in the world. I am unsure of how I fit in, or what I can contribute.
- Are you currently in love? If not, are you seeking love? Where? What kind? I am currently seeking self love, as I’ve realized through many failed and toxic relationships that it is the most important relationship to have. I would like to be in love with someone one day, but I’m working on what it means to love me first. I would love to one day meet “the one”, but I need a lot of work 😂
- Do you believe that love can and/or should complete you? I used to believe this. I think we as women are taught that we need love from someone in order to feel complete. I think it really sets you up to fail, and if you don’t find that love in the allotted time society gives you [20’s] then you aren’t worthy of it [I know this isn’t true, but it’s hard not to feel that way].I think love can make you feel whole. Love can help you navigate through the world, love can do lots of things. But as far making you feel complete as a person, no, the only love that will make you feel complete as a person is self love, and believing you are worthy.
- What do you do? If you are meaning for work, I was most recently a BA manager for Uber, and I quit that job because I was unhappy with where my life was going. I am now nannying my cousins kids, and helping coach basketball with my friend. I also take odd photography jobs when I have the time and availability.
- Are you proud of what you do? When I was a BA manager, no I was not proud of what I did. If there was anything I was ever proud of in that role it was the fact that from the outside looking in, I seemed really successful. I looked like I was an adult taking care of my responsibilities; I had benefits, 401k, great salary, and a lucrative career trajectory laid out. But I hated the actual work and would dread it everyday. I most recently quit this job and I am taking some time to reflect on what it is I do want to do. For now, it’s nannying and helping out with odd jobs until I get back on my feet.
- Does it define you? I don’t think your job has to define you. I think people choose careers based on the goals or aspirations they want to achieve, and sometimes thats not a dream job.
- What is your dream (greatest aspiration)? My greatest aspiration is to find a career or way of life that makes me and my son happy, and allows me to still be present and active in my son’s life.
- What is something you fear? I fear being a bad mom and not being able to provide for my son. I fear being alone and never meeting the love of my life.
- What does it mean to have it all? Can we ever? I think having it all is a mindset and also varies from each person’s definition. The more I reflect on what it means to have it all, I think that changes as you change. Having it all when I was 20 looks different than having it all at 30. To me having it all means, having a career that is fulfilling, stable, and being able to provide enough for me and my son. It means, surrounding us with people who love and care about us. It means being able to travel and take time for self care. It means being content and happy with the present moment. And if there is such thing as having it all, it would be nice to have someone to share my life with.
Janice*, Age 42, Single Mother of Three (teenagers/young adults), Service Account Manager
- What makes you feel most empowered? I feel most empowered when I push myself to accomplish a difficult task and I succeed. Doing so gives me the confidence needed to step out of my comfort zone and explore new opportunities. In my recent past I looked to others to empower me and validate my power. Now, I try to look within and look to my own intuition to discover my truths and maintain authority over my life.
- When do you feel loved? I feel loved when I’m happy with who I am and those around me accept me as that person. I feel loved when I’m supported without conditions or judgement but with understanding and honesty that comes from the heart.
- How do you honor and celebrate yourself? I honor myself by staying true to my beliefs and those things I think will serve me best regardless of the opinions of others. I celebrate myself from time to time by treating myself to things that make me feel good.
- How do you honor and celebrate other women? I support and encourage them to be great. I offer my assistance, when needed. I speak up on thier behalf and respect them the way in which I’d like to be respected.
- When did you first learn about your place in the world and how do you define it? I’m still trying to figure this out! I’m a Jane of all trades but currently I’m looking more towards finding myself and my place, spiritually so that I can be at peace with myself and this world, have a clear mindset, and have both feet on my chosen path.
- Are you currently in love? If not are you seeking love? Where? What kind? Yes I’m in love with the person I am becoming!
- Do you believe that love can and/or should complete you? Yes, as it’s the most powerful energy there is. There’s no light or life without love.
- What do you do? I work, take care of my kids, and embrace my spirituality.
- Are you proud of what you do? Does it define you? Somewhat, there’s definitely room for improvement. No, it doesn’t define me. I think what I do prepares me for the next steps in my life. I’m not sure I can be defined as that’s seems to absolute and believe I am forever changing.
- What is your dream (greatest aspiration)? To be fucking happy and want for nothing.
- What is something you fear? Making bad decisions and disappointing my children.
- What does it mean to have it all? Can we ever?Knowing who you are, knowing that what you want you will have, and knowing you have nothing to fear.
Tiffany*, Age 16, Hardcore Crushing/Painfully SINGLE, Professional napper, eater, and student
- What makes you feel most empowered? What makes me empowered are my friends and how supportive they are.
- When do you feel loved? I feel loved when I get praised for something and when people treat me nice.
- How do you honor and celebrate yourself? I honor and celebrate myself by chillin with friends, eating, sleeping, and watching YouTube, Netflix, & Hulu.
- How do you honor and celebrate other women? I honor other women, like the ones in my house, by respecting them. I honor my school friends by showing my love for them every day. I do this through posting them on my Snap Story, having their pics on my wall, and telling them how much I love them. I honor celebrity women by supporting their talents, and I honor women in general by accepting them all for whoever they are.
- When did you first learn about your place in the world and how do you define it? Coming into high school I realized what my place in world would be for a while; growing up and trying to figure out how to be independent despite all of the restrictions that don’t allow me to be.
- Are you currently in love? If not are you seeking love? Where? What kind? I think I am currently in love with my best friend. I know people usually find it hard to believe that someone my age can feel this way, but I’ve never felt this way about someone before. She just gets me. She means everything to me and IDK what I’d do without her. I am seeking that love in return though; I know she loves me but I’m just not sure if it’s in that way.
- Do you believe that love can and/or should complete you? No, I feel like I don’t need to be in a relationship to be happy. I’ve been single for almost 16 WHOLE years and I’m chillin because I have amazing friends who love and care for me.
- What do you do? I go to school, come home, maybe go out with friends sometimes. I usually sleep or eat food and maybe watch something or TV or YouTube. Sometimes I do extracurricular stuff at school. Like sports, tech for plays and musicals, and cheerleading.
- Are you proud of what you do? Does it define you? I’m not proud because I feel like I’m lazy and should be doing more. It doesn’t define me because I am capable or more.
- What is your dream (greatest aspiration)? I dream of being successful and I dream of having a happy life. I dream of having children and having a happy marriage with someone I love. I hope to still have the same friends that I have now because they are amazing and I want them in my life forever.
- What is something you fear? I fear letting people down or disappointing people. I fear losing people I love. I fear school shootings or dying in general. I fear rejection.
- What does it mean to have it all? Can we ever? I think having it all is impossible. Even the richest and most successful people are really unhappy sometimes. Having it all isn’t a thing.
Roxanne*, Age 54, (30+ Years)Married Mother of Two Grown-Ass Children, Student, Aspiring Writer, & Unicorn 🦄
- What makes you feel most empowered? I feel most empowered when I do things that focus on my personal needs and take care of them.
- When do you feel loved? I feel loved when anyone (especially my children) take the time to check in on me.
- How do you honor and celebrate yourself? I do several things to honor and celebrate myself. One of my favorite ways is to do meditations that remind me of my blessings and my worth as a human being.
- How do you honor and celebrate other women? This is something that I have not thought much about, but I believe that when I write fiction stories about women who have overcome tough personal situations, I am honoring our struggle to find our place in the world.
- When did you first learn about you place in the world and how do you define it? Honestly, I believe that I am still learning and defining my place in the world. I used to believe that my place was at home with my children, but I have since learned that I have more layers to me. I am enjoying peeling them away and uncovering new things!
- Are you currently in love? If not are you seeking love? Where? What kind? I am currently in love and have been for forty plus years.
- Do you believe that love can and/or should complete you? I do not believe that love should complete you, I believe that we should complete ourselves whether we are currently in love, seeking love or just enjoying being on our own. Love should enhance the beautiful humans we already are. Truthfully, I do not believe that we are complete until our time on Earth ends – then we have completed ourselves, our purpose(s), and the love.
- What do you do? I study, I write fiction, I drink wine, I … wait … you meant career-wise? I don’t do that. 🤷🏾♀️
- Are you proud of what you do? Does it define you? I am very proud of what I do and it is one of my many definitions.
- What is your dream (greatest aspiration)? My dream … my greatest aspiration is to see my children and my husband truly happy and satisfied with being alive. That sounds strange, but it is everything to me. Life is a gift that is meant to be enjoyed in some way EVERYDAY and when I see that happen for my loves, l will officially have everything and still be a sap for my family.
- What is something you fear? One thing that I fear most is that the people I love will not find it in themselves to see all the good things that are right in front of them.
- What does it mean to have it all? Can we ever? Honestly, I am not sure of what that means. I suppose it means different things to each of us and so yes, we can have it all if we know what all actually is. When I say I want it all, I am saying that I want to live independently, peacefully and with lots of wine. For someone like me, the meaning all will change from time to time so while I do not have it all right now, it is around the corner and when I arrive at the point, I will likely add lots of cake and the ability to properly manage my hair.
If you’re moved to do so, please feel free to answer these questions in the comments! Man, woman, or gender non-conforming, it doesn’t matter! I’d love to hear from you.
Thanks for making it through to the end (this was a looooong one).
Until Next Time,
Carry On Wifey’s!
(Be a lamb and tell your friends…)