A man basically told me it wasn’t possible for me to do all the things I want to do: ’I’m saying this to you because I’ve been there. I’ve tried to further my professional career whilst doing community work and family – its not easy, in fact, its impossible’.
Whilst I understood where he was coming from, this was the first conversation he’s ever had with me. It would be pretty safe to say he had no idea how much he unassumingly underestimated my capabilities and yet – felt it appropriate to put us both in the same boat. I would’ve preferred if he kept his concerns to himself.
I’m a powerhouse. I’m a gun. I’m a boss. I’m a leader. I’m skilled and talented. I work hard and smart. I’m an efficient and organised multi-tasker. I’m tired of the idea that being modest means to under-sell yourself so others feel it is appropriate to tell you what you can and can’t do. No. I work as hard as I do because I know I can. I am more aware of my limits and capabilities that anyone else. So I will never let someone tell me to pipe down or not do something just because they couldn’t sustain it, failed and gave up.
Working full time, having a photography and filming side business, studying a Masters part time, spending time with family, caring for grandparents, volunteering part time for community organisations, taking time to practice my faith, keeping a healthy social life:attending events, helping random strangers or acquaintances (with time, effort & expertise), networking and have a strong online presence on social media – yeah its tough.
It’s not easy, and I’m not going to pretend it is. It’s really hard to juggle and balance everything you’ve always wanted to do in life. It’s like juggling ten balls, whilst sitting on a unicycle balancing on a tightrope. Being able to live your life to reach your fullest potential is exhausting. There are times when it has been overwhelming, and there have been times where I have needed to re-calibrate, focus on my priorities and tap out of certain commitments.
Having It All doesn’t mean I can’t ask for help, or make self-care a priority, or re-define my definition of ‘all’. It means I want to achieve everything I believe I am capable of achieving. And of course I’m going to lose sleep, occasionally fail, let one priority fall over another – thats just being human. There’s always going to be that safety net under me, that I know I can just drop all the balls and fall to if it ever comes to that. Having a support network (supportive friends and family) is key, and what strengthens the ties that hold up the safety net. Also working with decent, moral and understanding colleagues is especially important.
I love what I do, its enriching and rewarding. I’m constantly learning new things, meeting new people and helping others. I’m so incredibly happy and satisfied with my life because I’m making an positive impact on the world. I’m constantly training myself, trying to be better. Refine my behaviour and time management to get the most out of every day – and yes, that includes netflix.
For those people who balance work, family and friends – and feel that that is enough – more power to you. I completely respect that. But thats not how I want to personally live my life. And I don’t want anyone to tell me I cant strive to do more, just as I don’t expect anyone to live their life according to how I live mine.
As Liz Lemon once said “I can have it all”.