From as far back as I can remember, I’ve been groomed to reach the almighty pinnacle in life: having it all. But in an age where women are asserting themselves, launching discussions that challenge us to accept our flaws, and enforcing real, positive change I find myself asking: is the idea of “having it all” even relevant anymore?
From the moment I set a stiletto-clad toe into the “real world” — aka my post-university 20s — I was conditioned to claw my way from the bottom rung of the ladder all the way up to and through the glass ceiling. I was told that the holy grail of my entire existence was a husband, a couple of over-achieving children, and a well-heeled career. On top of that, I was somehow supposed to MacGyver my way through daily chores, PTA meetings, and annual vacations to Disney World.
No one ever stopped to consider that “having it all” was something cooked up by someone who probably had several maids, a baby that slept through the night, a partner who didn’t have to be nagged into cleaning a toilet, and a boss who was always willing to extend a deadline.
So – life’s amenities aside – what is “having it all” supposed to look like right now?
First, there are the boxes to check: the fabulous salary that comes with a fabulous career; the doting, chiseled-jaw hubby who cheerfully marks every anniversary with a bouquet of roses (without having to be reminded/berated); the designer clothes that adorn every hanger in the apartment-size walk-in closet; and, of course, the curated Instagram feed that depicts happy moments filled with bleached smiles and clinking flutes of Rosé.
But hidden in that enviable list are the antagonists that make (or break) every milestone, including horrible bosses, condescending in-laws, wailing toddlers, rolling stone hubbies, green-eyed “friends”, and everyone else who serves as a reminder that the reach for the perfect life is rife with imperfection and foes.
In an age when we’re struggling to pay rent (or – gasp! – purchase real estate), work less than 70 hours a week, date/marry/give birth, all while having something that resembles an insta-worthy social life, even the notion of aiming for that covetable pie-in-the-sky dream of having it all seems absurd.
In the end, it comes down to asking yourself a few tough questions: what do you want, what do you have, and what can you have? And while you’re figuring out the answers, consider one thing: maybe you already have enough.
Maybe you’re already out there, every day, living your best life.
And, maybe, you’ve already discovered that the only person who can define what your “all” is, is you.
Let every hair flip be fabulous.