Disclaimer: Sorry for the sappy Valentine’s Day post.
Five years ago, I used to be a stone-cold, career-driven, power-hungry bitch. I used to think that women didn’t need men and that raising a family was a marker of those who were unsuccessful. Five years ago, I used to say that I’d never let a man get in the way of my dreams and aspirations. I used to say that I couldn’t wait to grow up single in a studio apartment. I can’t deny that, in ways, I still hold on to this for dear life. Because it’s so true that too many talents have been wasted on the comforts of male companionship, and I’m sure that the women who threw away their lives to follow their lovers are so unhappy now. Or maybe not. I can’t speak for others. But I do know that, even now, I couldn’t ever forgive myself if I chose my boyfriend over my career. Because at the end of the day, if I’ve lost every transient relationship in my life, what do I have? My job.
I used to think I didn’t need a man to be happy. I used to think that women in love were weak. Clearly things have changed. Clearly, that’s not true. Nowadays, I don’t think it’s necessarily despicable or undignified for a woman to choose love over money. I don’t think it’s necessarily weak to truly love someone and never want to let them go. I’m at a crossroads in my life where this kind of dreaded decision is becoming very real, and I’m so terrified. Because who wants to give up both? Do I have to? Is it even possible for me to have both when I live half way across the country? I don’t know. It’s, as of now, one of the most paralyzing things to have to think about.
And so I take it back. I take it all back. Because frankly, it takes being in love to know that giving it up isn’t as easy as one would like it to be. It takes finding your other half to know that life wouldn’t be whole without him. So how could I ever give him up? It’s precisely that I can’t. Maybe the success I’ve been looking for all this time isn’t actually in my career. Maybe it’s something much more romantic than that. Maybe the success I’ve been looking for is actually in this beautiful and newfound ability to love someone as selflessly and as wholeheartedly as humanly possible. Maybe it’s okay to admit that life can’t be all about the work – that somewhere in everyone is the desire or the desperation to love and be loved back. It’s okay to want and reach for both. But at the end of the day, I don’t want to go to bed with my job. I don’t want to grow old with my job.
I want all of that with you.