Thursday, January 10, 2013

I'm not gonna be rich.

I was waiting for something interesting and profound to write about, but it looks like this post will be an indulgent, stream-of-consciousness ramble like most of my posts are anyway?

I've been thinking about perfectionism and exploring the different reasons that I feel this compulsive need within myself to be perfect in all areas of my life. I've been thinking about how new wave feminism failed my mother's generation and my own because it basically sends the message to women that they have to achieve competency not only family-wise and looks-wise, but intellectually and professionally as well. It's simply unfair to expect that "liberated" women achieve academic greatness, have a great career, keep a good house and stay thin. I am tired of this.

I'm starting to realize that it isn't my goal anymore to be able to "do it all." I'm also starting to toy with the idea that once I'm living on my own, I most likely will not maintain the current standard of living that my parents maintained for me throughout my childhood. I'm going to make less money than they do. I'll need to learn to make due with less "nice things," and give up the idea of having both prestige and happiness.

I think that's one thing I learned this Christmas. During the holidays, when I was with family celebrating and whatnot, it wasn't all about whether you got a promotion that year, or if you were rich enough to afford really nice presents for each other. It was about being together, status and class aside. I mean, that was nice, to not have to worry about apologizing for the fact that I'm not currently in graduate school and that the job right now is a temporary one.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that I'm more than willing to give up monetary wealth and my upper middle class status if it means that I'll be content and able to enjoy life. I see the people around me at work coming in at 8am and staying until way past 6:30pm. I mean, that's just a horrible way to live. I covet my leisure time alone and with the people I love. Making enough money to afford a Craftsman home in Seattle is not a proper trade-off with losing most of my waking hours to work. You know what I mean?

Okay, this may sound idealistic but I'm definitely not idealizing living in a lower income bracket. Making less money than my parents isn't going to be glamorous; I know this. I'm just publicly confirming that I value my own well-being and my relationships over personal luxury and status, okay???