When I Found Out It’s Not Our Job as Women to Dream
Living today in this era where women are glorified honestly hallucinates me into thinking that women actually has the chance to go as big as men do. It’s all out there, with Emma Watson demanding for equality with He for She campaign, and take a look at Ellen DeGeneres! She’s a strong, working woman who has it all. So I thought, what makes women different with men in terms of dreaming big to be on top?
Inside this hallucination I lived in, I damn well forgot one crucial thing.
I wouldn’t have remembered what it was if my mother didn’t sit me down after dinner last night. Like always, I expected a normal chit chat about homework, friends, boys, and et cetera, and it was a nice conversation for a while.
She said, “So I looked up in the internet about the jobs that you can get if you want to take either International Law or International Relation in university later.”
I was a sophomore, this was a regular topic. She always reminded me that I need to decide early of what I want to do in the future once I graduated High School.
I nodded, telling her to keep going.
She continued, “You see, you can’t be a major player in the business since you’re not going to be able to travel around.”
I processed the sentence.
So she was assuming I wasn’t planning to spend my youth helping people around the world and make difference. That wasn’t the plan. I honestly did plan on traveling my ass off, go wherever I was needed, and leave my family behind for good causes. Once I’m done with helping the hungry children, I’ll come back home to my awaiting family and husband and spend time with them until I’m assigned to go to other place.
So I asked her, “What if I choose to become a major player?”
She considered it. “I thought you said you wanted to settle down early?”
That was when it hit me.
I didn’t need her to explain how it won’t work out between raising children and chasing my dream. It was apparent I had to choose either one. It was like two different path laid out ahead of me, and I felt so angry so suddenly at once. I didn’t want to get to the point where I feel absolute hate to the fate that was chosen for me, but it was still irritating nonetheless.
I have always wanted to raise children early. Hell, my timeline says I need to get married at twenty if I wanted to have a child by twenty one. What I forgot was, I also had a different timeline that says I was to graduate university with top marks at twenty, have a job contract with a big organization that works for good cause right after, and then I wait for the next term to start my Master degree.
So I didn’t need her to tell me how overwhelming things can get if I was so determined on having it all, except…
“Well, why don’t I marry a guy who works for the same cause as I do? That way, I get to be in the same region as him if we were to be assigned outside the country. A diplomat once came into my school and told me about this, he said married couples would be arranged in places that are not very far from one another,” I informed her. That’s must be a good plan.
She nodded, but I knew I was fighting a losing battle against my mother. She always has a rebuttal prepared. “That’s only works if you get a good guy from that department who wants to marry you under that condition. But what if he’s an architect or some big company’s manager?”
What she said was the truth. I didn’t like it, but I know what is right when I hear it. It irked me so much to the point I could’ve cried that night. I am a woman. I was to be a mother one day, and looking for income would not be my main responsibility. My children would be what I have to focus on 24/7.
So where’s my dream going to go with that knowledge in mind?
It pained me so much. I’ve always wanted to get out there, help the suffering people, make speeches, and inspire people with my words. Despite what I am capable of, I’ve always wanted to work for the people and not sitting flat on my bum in front of a computer in some company.
How am I supposed to do that if I want to have children?
I considered waiting, but even that only lasted for five minutes. Who in their right mind would want to marry an old lady in their thirties? No, cross that thought.
At the end of the day, I didn’t reach any conclusion. I wasn’t willing to throw my dreams away and look for some other job that I won’t be interested with. The thought of not doing anything and completely depending on my husband in the favor of looking after my children was unfavorable in every way, but I wasn’t also going to have my children and husband move to different places every three or four years.
“Be realistic,” is what my mother told me. “Your responsibility is not to work, you have a husband for that. Your job as a woman is to look after the children you’re going to have one day.”
I understood that, but what I also hear from the sentence was, “You have a whole life written out for you. It’s not your job as a woman to dream.”
I understood that alright.
Still, I didn’t like it one bit.
To all working mothers out there, raise your glass. I aspire to be you.