Someone said to me recently - after I pondered aloud about a move back to Boston, "You sure do move around a lot."
"I don't, actually," I said. "I just never stop wanting to push forward. And if I come to a wall - like I am at right now with my day-to-day, I will start to wonder what is beyond the 'wall.'"
What this person was interpreting as fickleness on my part, after only having been back in NYC a year now, was me merely wondering "what else" is out there.
And that's the thing I always ask myself... "What else?" Not because I am bored with what I am currently doing... But because I want to add to it.
So I realize that I will never "have it all"... Because I don't believe that exists for anyone. And if it does, I find that incredibly sad.
So what prompted to get up just after dawn today to write about this?
Well, as I found myself woken up after a dream about a butterfly that turns into a kitten, I saw that my iPhone read it was 4:44am. So I leaned over and picked up my Canadian iPhone and started scrolling through stories on the Huffington Post app. And I came across this one by Anya Kamenetz about how, "Yes, We Can Have It All -- Here's What It Takes."
Kamenetz wrote the piece in response to Anne-Marie Slaughter's article in The Atlantic, "Why Women Still Can't Have It All."
In the Slaughter's article, she laments over her attempt to "have it all" being in a powerful DC position... Only to have to give it up after two years to move back to Princeton to be with her two sons and husband. From the sounds of it, her children did actually need a second pair of parenting hands in addition to what her husband was providing day-to-day.
But for Slaughter, her argument wasn't so much that women "can't have it all," it was more along the lines of, "it's hard for women - hell, anyone - to 'have it all'. You have to be willing to sacrifice something. And it is especially hard for women in powerful positions to 'have it all', because for most of us that means sacrificing family time."
At least that's what I took away from it. One could very easily argue that Slaughter "has it all" with her senior position at Princeton University and her family. And when you look at everything she has done in her career, shit, one could very easily argue "bitch has had it all."
But Slaughter wants more. And I applaud her for that and find it inspiring.
Which is why I very much disagree with Kamenetz's post accusing Ms. Slaughter of being "defeatist"completely misguided.
Kamenetz goes on in her piece about how she "has it all" and "works hard to keep it." But she doesn't seem to stop and realize she's a freelancer... It is easy for her to feel like she "has it all." And this is where she is also misguided... In not realizing that Ms. Slaughter was focusing on women being in top and powerful positions, and how it is hard to "have it all."
I agree that the tone Slaughter took with her piece was, okay, a little "defeatist." But if you actually read through the piece, you realize what she is talking about - that one of the reasons there aren't many women in powerful positions (CEOs of companies, Washington power players) is because it means having a schedule that makes it less conducive to having a family.
I wish it had come across in Slaughter's piece that the real theme is, "No one - especially women - should ever stop asking 'what else?'"
If I meet you and you tell me you "have it all" according to your point of view, I am going to tell you "you might as well go ahead and die."
What's the point of life, then?