Sometimes, you’re going to get unwanted advice. My step-grandmother, Nan, at Thanksgiving told me a story today. She was trying to be uplifting. She told me how her niece had two kids, but after perseverance she was elevated to the role of CEO of Mars (think candy bar) before she turned 50.
She waxed on about how she saw the same qualities in me as she saw in her niece, which to be honest was the best form of a compliment from her I’ve ever had. She then said that the only difference she could see between us: me being ashamed and defeated at work vs. a CEO, was that her niece had a university education.
As much as I wanted to tell her that higher education is a sham and money grab, what really made me think was really the differences. And I think I know why.
Her niece had a husband to support her financially and practically with their kids. She was able to breathe and take time for herself to focus on her career.
I don’t have that support. Financially or emotionally or practically. In the eleven years at my current job, I’ve been through two maternity leaves. Now that my children are bigger, there are extracurricular activities like swimming and Cubs. There are speech therapists and one on one times with both. I’m alone raising two fabulous children, without a support human helping me financially or emotionally.
In my point of view, that’s the difference. I’m spread thin. Which means that professionally and personally I’m tapped out.
And that’s the difference. I have ambitions, and hope, and I’m not giving up. And dammit I’m proud of where I am now, and of the little family I’m raising on my own while trying to be the best that I can be.