Today I was listening to one of my favourite radio programs on my long, construction-jammed drive to work, and they were playing songs from the movie 16 Candles. It got me thinking about all the wonderful emotions we leave behind as our youthful innocence slips away.
Do you remember…
1) Slow dancing at high school dances.
2) How you felt the split second before a first kiss
3) Doing your best friend’s hair before a double date
4) Staying up all night whispering into the phone
5) Being asked to Prom.
6) Dreaming about who you’d be at 20, 30 and 40
7) Trying new eye make-up
8) Reading a love note from your high school sweetheart
In my last post, I wrote about women ‘having it all’, and what “ALL” meant to me. I challenged my readers of the fair sex to redefine all, and rethink success. One of my readers wrote me a short note and asked for some advice. Advice? Sure, I can give advice.
The question she had concerned whether or not to maintain a professional designation. You see, this ‘reader’ and I met as she was writing her board exams, and I was a year behind completing my internship. We worked damn hard in an ‘old boys’ business to get our license. We were shift partners for a while, and I grew to respect and like her.
The school work was demanding. The practical work was even more demanding. The internship required many,many long days of physically and emotionally draining work. The pinnacle of working toward the license was having to complete three separate board exams which also cost a significant fee to write.
If we choose to let our licenses lapse, it would mean reapplying and having to write the board exams again. In order for the license not to lapse, we must actually find jobs in that field and work a minimum number of hours equivalent to a full, part-time job. We both work outside of that particular profession, but in related areas of expertise.
I miss the work, it’s just not conducive to the kind of lifestyle I want at home. I’ve never worked in an atmosphere of stronger camaraderie, or with people who could make me laugh so easily. I do miss the work, but don’t miss the strain it put on my life at home. Ideally I could find a part-time gig that works around my ‘real’ job, and my family schedule. Am I dreaming? I won’t know unless I put it out there and see what’s available.
Reflecting on our little dilemma today I came to this conclusion. I am convinced that in life, without making room for what truly makes us happy, we will be stuck with substitutes that are barely, “good enough”.
Having it “All” might simply mean having ‘ENOUGH’. But ‘good enough’ is not good enough. Good enough means there could be something more, something better, something yummy and satisfying you want to snuggle with.
As much as I want the security of that professional designation, I’m not willing to give up what I have professionally right now. What I have right now is better. But in a pinch, having a professional license means I have a meal ticket much more easily redeemed than if I had a resume without it.
Now, if this were a situation about men, what would a girl do? What if you were dating a decent man; he had a decent job, was ok looking, was better than your B.O.B in the sack after a glass of wine or two(Battery Operated Boyfriend), and was good enough company to not get too lonely? You’d keep him until you just got bored to death, and then turn him in for another Mr. GoodEnough. Easily replaced.
What gets our attention though is a man who is good at his job and enjoys it, is attractive, way, way better than B.O.B. in bed, and not only keeps our feet warm at night, he also can engage in intelligent conversation about a wide range of current events. That’s worth kicking Mr. GoodEnough out with the trash and making room for something with a little more va-va-va-voom.
So, my answer to my friend with the question about her license is two-fold. First it’s always good to have back up when it comes to men and employment when you’re not completely convinced they’re ‘the one’. Second, if we really want to get what our hearts yearn for, we have to take a leap of faith and just do it. If you haven’t accomplished what you really, really want professionally, maintain your professional designation as a back-up and cash provider while you work at making whatever puts a song in your heart sing full-time.
When it comes to back up concerning men. Give up your back-up when you find someone you’re deliciously head over heels for. I did it for my last sweety, and although he turned out to be a joke, I don’t regret trying. Besides, back-up is pretty easy, and fun to find.