Monday, July 29, 2013

My ideal happily ever after (with just a few more diplomas involved)

I must admit, I am guilty of getting sucked into the whimsical, uber-gushy hopes and dreams that I will one day stumble upon this perfect specimen of a man who happens to think the same about me. And that is okay! It is a great dream and totally my guilty pleasure and something that I hope to have in the future. Like seriously, Ryan Gosling, please come back to church already, I have been waiting for you ever so patiently. (For further explanation of why I am rambling over RyGos please see here).

I am VERY much afraid of regret. It is easily my number one fear in life. You can ask my parents, I once gave them a Christmas list that was four pages long when they had asked for us to jot down a "few things"---no I wasn't 8, I was 17. Making a decision has never been my forte. However, ask me to make a decision for someone else though, and I will map out your life for the next 10 years down to your hair color and what kind of dog you should get. I think that this is where most of my zest for life comes from. I literally want to do everything I can before I die. If I could somehow become a doctor, lawyer, investment banker, real estate developer, dog whisperer, and a Pilates instructor all at the same time you better believe I would do it. That is just me. I have always been wired this way.

I find that a lot of times cultural norms expect women to sacrifice more than men (like postponing college), in order to end up living their definition of an ideal happy family. This proposed plan is happiness that has been defined by someone else, and not necessarily satisfies the needs of every driven young woman with out there. While this concept works for many, like several of my most adored friends and family, it doesn't always seem the most appealing to someone who (right now) is trying to pursue the road less traveled. Personally, I just cannot buy into the ploy that if I sacrifice my ambitions and dreams that I will later on in life just magically forget I ever had any & realize that my husband just knew better for me.... UH EXCUSE ME? No. Sorry, I am not sorry. I just can't, I CANNOT. I know that if I did that I would have major resentment issues.

[Just to clear the air a bit before you roll your eyes at me. Do I think that traditional families are out-dated? No. Do I want to be a mother and raise children? YES! I totally want that and I am very much guilty of baby fever from time to time. Do I think that men and women have defined roles when it comes to the family unit? Yes. But do I think that these said roles should limit me from pursuing an education or a career? No. I think that as long as you can pursue your goals without it negatively impacting your family or future family, you should totally go for it.]

As of late, I have been struggling a lot with this hovering expectation among some of the men I interact with. One mention of me going to law school and I feel as though I am instantly labeled as the "high-maintenance, bossy, b-word", and they just write me off as untouchable. Wait, wait, wait...Hi my name is Amber and I am just ambitious, okay thanks I didn't think you were cute either, SEE YA NEVER, BYE.

Is it so bad that I have always wanted to push myself academically? Just because I want to further stimulate my brain functionality does not mean I have forgotten my other duty as a woman, motherhood. You would almost think that is something that dudes would admire. Here is the kicker, I have realized that guys SAY that is what they want, but in all reality y'all still go for the 20 year old forever-a-nanny-I-am-still-figuring-out-school chick. I am on to you guys, you ain't fooling anyone.

Recent real-life conversation with an eligible dude in my life. The topic of discussion was in fact a possibility of a future together and when the topic of my law school dream came up this is how said boy reacted.

Boy: "Well there really is no point in us dating because you are just going to go off to law school next year. So it would never work." 

Me: Wait, what? Have you ever heard of U-Haul? You pack up your stuff and move across the country.  It is like a really simple concept......"

Yes. This is a real conversation. Yes, the thought of him moving somewhere to support ME through school was about as enticing to him as rewriting the U.S. tax code. Why is this so out of the ordinary? I would happily do the same for you if you were pursuing your dream! I just happen to be a little ahead of you, is all. This concept is seen (to some) as a kind of emasculation to guys. I get it guys, you are intimidated by my brains, but come on I am still a girl and I can assure you that I am not hiding a travel-sized castrating tool in my pocket. You'll drop me off at my door at the end of the night with your manhood still safely intact. Sorry for my crass....But it is true! I can still hold a conversation with you about about sports for days (actually play catch with you, there is an idea!), and still bake you the best oatmeal chocolate chip cookies your mouth will ever behold--just don't tell your mom I said that.

So with this being said, some men have expectations of us. (I say some because there are a FEW exceptions to the majority). These expectations can be found in every area of our lives. They want us to be spiritually giant but fairy-like in body size (size 25 waist with a J-LO booty). Smart but not too smart. Sexy but not too slutty. Funny but not too funny that it makes them feel inferior. Athletic but not to the point that we will show them up on the field. LIKE WHAT? No wonder women go crazy. It is like we have to walk on this tightrope over an active volcano, one wrong step in either direction and we are toast.

Just as quickly as these said guys are to have expectations of women, the second one of us might actually have an opinion --or heaven forbid a request for them-- it is like we've asked them to delete their Xbox Live account.

"Wait, you want me to get my bachelor's degree finished by 25? But like why can't you just be okay with me going to community college for 5 years, getting my Creatine workouts in and selling pest control during the summer? It is so fun!"

Yeah, fun for a whole five seconds. Then start factoring in kids, a mortgage, car payments, sports camps and swimming lessons and it starts getting REAL.

With that being said, I say this with the complete understanding that a lot of success comes with sacrifice. I am talking about the kind of sacrifice that entails me giving up my lavish shopping sprees at the JCREW or the Nordies Anniversary sale (sooooo guilty of this offense), living solely off of PB&J, giving up my beloved Sonic Happy Hour dirty Diet Coke runs, or selling my car to help pay for grad school and in turn buying a junkier one without AC--which is literally death in Arizona, and even sacrificing my 5 pm Pilates class to go pick up the kids from their soccer practice (obviously these are my future kids I am referring to). These are all worldly sacrifices that in the end don't necessarily make you a better person, they just make you more glamorous. These are the types of sacrifices that allow a means to an end. Not the kind of sacrifice that requires you to stall your intellectual growth as a human being.

Trust me, I get it. I am still living with my parents, and if I didn't I would be eating Cup O' Noodles and drinking Capri Suns every night. But, I am heading towards a direction in life that I can say with 90% certainty, will supply me with the tools and credentials needed to provide a great life for my future family. Is it too much to ask for a guy that has a similar said life plan? No, I don't think it is. But I think guys get offended if I expect that. I just think it is only fair that spouses feel like they can ask each other to sacrifice equally. The term "happy wife, happy life," comes to mind. If you allow me to express myself through whatever avenue it may be (beauty, law, med, dental hygienist school, etc.) then I will gladly do the same for you. Loving and supporting one another is key to a healthy relationship.

At the end of the day I just want someone who will walk in stride with me, keep-up, praise and adore me. Isn't that what it is all about? A partner who will not only applaud me for my accomplishments but hold me accountable for when I am not being true to myself and the goals that I have set for myself. All of these qualities are what I look for in a man. I want to do the same for him! I want to be someone's number one fan, confidant, and ally. I want an equal. Someone who won't feel like I am demeaning them just because I have ambition. Lifting each other up, and supporting each other 100%. It is time to practice what you preach, dudes. You say you want smart girls, then start encouraging rather than discouraging us from achieving our goals. Maybe it is time the cultural tables turn a little bit.


  1. Haha Amber I absolutely LOVED this post! You are not crazy at all or unrealistic for wanting all of these things. They are exactly what you should want. I have totally felt this way before, in one way or another, and I am happy to tell you that he does in fact exist! Its funny because some people make me feel "behind" in life, unintentionally or not, because I didn't get married at 19 and I don't already have a child or 2. I am 26 and still not planning on having kids for a while. In fact, I would really love to go to medical school. About 6 months ago when I was telling my husband how much I wanted to go to medical school and become a surgeon and how much I wished I had really gone after it earlier in my 20's, he said "you should do it!" There are some incredible, sexy :) men out there that are willing to make sacrifices to give you everything you want. Be patient and sure as hell don't ever settle! Hold out for the Ryan Gosling replica, or the real one haha, because it is more than worth it. I did and I wouldn't have it any other way :) Babies and "traditional families" are amazing, but there definitely is one right path for everyone. Can't wait to see your post in a few years about passing the bar exam. PS you are an extremely talented writer!!