When you are raised to be a strong, independent woman, you are focused on YOU. You are focused on choosing a career path that suits you. Focused on succeeding and excelling in that career path. Focused on supporting yourself. Focused on living alone. Focused on making your life revolve around what makes you strong.
You were certainly never the girl that went to college simply to find a husband. Honestly, it was never even a goal to find a husband. You knew it would happen when you were ready for it to happen and weren’t seeking it out.
You were never the girl that cancelled plans with your friends and family to hang out with a guy. Guys came and went. They went usually because you told them to. You had better things to do and they weren’t making the cut anyways.
You were the girl that got a job right out of college. You started supporting yourself and living on your own. You got promotions and had an awesome career started. You were THAT girl.
When you are raised to be a strong, independent woman, there are moments you think, “I never want to be THAT girl”. Not that you are judging (or maybe you are), but you just know it’s not for you- until it is.
I never wanted to be THAT girl- the girl that moves across the country for a guy. Well, I almost was. My then boyfriend (now husband), and I lived in two different states. We wanted to move closer to one another. We thought about him moving to me, me moving to him, and even moving to a completely different state together. We put feelers out for jobs and were serious about it. I ended up getting a job in Ohio, and it turns out my parents were moving to Ohio as well, so I took it. I discussed it with my boyfriend of course, but I had also made up my mind. I knew that’s what I needed to do at the time. Luckily- oh so luckily my boyfriend came. He didn’t have to be THAT wonderful guy that put me first- but he was.
I never wanted to be THAT girl- the girl that had to rely on someone. Well, I was. I broke my tailbone, ended up on disability, my job cancelled my medical insurance, and my long term disability was running out. It was a long, painful process. I had to rely on my boyfriend to support me. To help me get to doctors appointments, to pay for everything since I had no income. You name it, I had to rely on him to help me with it at the time.
I never wanted to be THAT girl- the girl that put her money together with her boyfriend. Well, I did. I was so happy and comfortable with our relationship, that shortly after moving to Ohio and moving in together, we combined our finances. There was no ring yet, but we opened a joint checking account. What’s mine was his, what’s his was mine.
I never wanted to be THAT girl- the girl that moves for her boyfriend’s job. Well, I did. Still my boyfriend, he found an awesome job to support us. So we moved to a different state- moved to Maryland to follow his dream. I put my career to the side for a moment, knowing that I could find work in Maryland doing what I love, and knowing that I valued and respected my boyfriend so much, that I wanted to see him successful as well.
I never wanted to be THAT girl- the girl that stays home to take care of the kids. Well, I am. I am that girl. Growing up, I didn’t want to be a stay at home mom. My mom was, and I had no disrespect for women that chose this, but I knew it wasn’t for me. That is- until it was. Until I was in a serious relationship and thinking about having kids. My husband didn’t picture it either. He pictured marrying a woman that had a successful career (he did), and that she would continue to do so. Somewhere along the road, we realized that neither of us wanted that. We both wanted me to stay home and take care of our kids. Not that we didn’t both value my career, because we both do. It’s something I’m so proud of, and it’s one of the things that attracted my husband. We just both really value the time and effort that goes into raising a child. We want to raise our children ourselves at this young age. My career can resume later. Right now, my new career is to be a stay at home mom.
I never wanted to be THAT girl. I am so glad that I didn’t want to be THAT girl when I was younger. I am so glad that I was headstrong, independent and focused. And I am so glad that I was open minded enough to change my mind when it was appropriate to do so. I am so glad that I am THAT girl. I wouldn’t have it any other way. I got to check off all my boxes and still be THAT girl. Went to college and got a successful job – check. Lived on my own and supported myself- check. Saved money- check. Climbed the corporate ladder and got promotions- check. Got my master’s degree- check. Switched careers and followed a new dream- check. I still get to do that other stuff. Got married to the most amazing man I know- check. Focused on his career- check. Focused on my family- check. Raising a beautiful, smart, and strong baby girl- check. Have the best life in the world- check!
Sometimes life isn’t what we plan or expect. Sometimes it’s more.
This post is dedicated to my two wonderful, strong, independent and amazing sisters- Jillian and Maria!