Work hard, play hard. You can do all the things.
Isn’t that the mantra we ladies are asked to believe about life-both personally and professionally?
From a very early age, I bought into this mindset and as such, I knew a skillset would be needed to pave my own way through life. Dependency on the opposite sex or anyone else for that matter was not going to be an option.
Because I witnessed first hand what happened to my mom after my parent’s divorce. She gave her heart and soul into loving our family, building our home, and parenting well and that was a vision both my parents embraced. She quit her job and went all in. She depended on my dad both emotionally and financially.
And then my parent’s divorce happened and I watched with a heavy heart as my mom tried to enter the job market again.
But you have no skillsets, she was told.
People looked at the gaps of stagnancy on her resume with pointed eyes wondering just what she had been up to all those years.
Raising a child with all my heart and soul, she whispered back…but the world did not value her devotion And so the “nos” kept coming. And she was met with rejection after rejection.
Watching all this from afar made my heart swell with anger because of the way the world treated women and mothers. Coming from a generation of kids with lots of divorced parents, I was left feeling like there was no other option but to go, do, and be it all. And so I made the following declarations:
- Never fully depend on the resources your husband provides: emotionally and financially.
- Never count on your partner to be there through thick and thin.
- Never concede to rely on someone other than yourself.
Those were my vows.
Because what about all those “what ifs.”: What if he leaves you. What if he gets sick. What if there’s an unexpected loss. What will you do then?
My mind decided the following:
Always have a skillset. Always pursue doing all the things all the time.
Have a contingency plan for when the worst happens. You need a plan b. And then you need another contingency plan.
And so I set off out of college to do just that.
I wanted the money, the job, and the things the world told me would provide security for how to make lemonade when life provided some real rotten lemons.
And so the past decade has been spent chasing that kind of security and fighting dependency tooth and nail.
My heart continued to declare: I will never allow my life to depend on a man. I will hold my own. I will make my own.
But then the miscarriage happened. And I found myself curled up on the bathroom floor, with unstoppable tears, and a physical pain that was taking my breath away. I wanted to keep the door shut: literally and proverbially. John could not see me in this state. He could not see me with this much need. I could handle it on my own.
Until I couldn’t.
Crying out to John for help in that moment made the list as one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. I had raised my white flag to him, to the world, to a heavenly Father who had been asking me to wave it for some time now. I let him see me in a state of need that I swore I would never allow.