Firstly thank you to everyone who has followed our refreshed blog over the last few months. It’s been a great renaissance for the Girl Geek movement in Liverpool and we are so thrilled loads of you have got involved. Thank you also to our guest contributors who have inspired and educated me so much with their posts, it has been really interesting and I hope you’ve enjoyed their writing as much as I have.
I am not a Geek, least not in terms of technology, digital futures, or science and engineering. My extent of digital knowledge is turning my iPhone on silent. I do however satisfy the “Girl” element and wanted to talk about the conflicts and pressures that come with being a girl who wanted it all in 2014.
In the last 12 months I have encountered every disastrous relationship going, but my relentlessness to continue this pathway of repeatedly poor life decisions has honestly been something of wonder.
I’ve been cheated on, rebounded, fell for someone new and lovely, been ditched by new and lovely, found another OK guy who fell in love with his newly single female best friend, went back to the not-so-new and not-so-lovely and pursued that to the (literal) bitter end.
When I gave myself a minute to be single and reflect on what I was doing during that year I realised all my actions were out of panic and not one of them was to pursue proper happiness. My career during this time was flying but I was left feeling discontented and unhappy because I couldn’t achieve all I wanted in every aspect of my life.
I’m 26, I’m single, I want a kick-ass career but I also know I want children and a family. I don’t think that I am alone in these feelings. Don’t get me wrong, on reflection most of my actions in those relationships were entirely crazy, I wish I had walked away from most of them about two months before I actually did, but I was trying to force having it all. Therefore I think the main purpose of this blog post is to reassure all the women out there, it’s OK if we don’t! Or at least not yet and there are many reasons why:
A) We have all the time in the world
There seems to be a perturbing myth that to have it all you have to have it all now, maybe that’s more to do with my own impatience but I do believe there is pressure for a woman to be successful not only in their career as perhaps would be the main measure for our male counterparts, but female success is also measured by the ring on your finger, the size of the mortgage you have and the number of children you have planned. And if this isn’t achieved by 25 then you better book your ideas up because you’re running out of time!
We are now living much, much longer (bear with me here!). Healthcare, especially maternal healthcare, is improving and advancing every day, which means we have so much more time in which to do anything and everything we want to. We have access to so much more of the globe nowadays – international travel is so accessible both logistically and economically that, if the funds are available to you and you so wish, why not go exploring? Kids and houses and marriage and jobs and opportunities and life will come when you want it, for now let’s get happier taking our time. George Bernard Shaw once said “Everything happens to everybody sooner or later if there is enough time” and I think there is.
B) We have options
Want kids? Great! Have them whenever you want to and works for you. Want to get married. Great! That will happen for you. Want a fabulous career where you achieve everything you want? Amazing! If you have the will to then these things will happen for you, because you will make it happen. Want none or only some of those things? You can do that too. No decisions have been made for you.
In your 20s the world is literally your oyster. You have or haven’t gone to University, so that’s out the way. You will have made some decisions with regards to your career and what you want to do next, and if that’s not to think about it until next year then that’s fine too. My message in this is let’s not let any external force determine what works or doesn’t work for us, don’t let how anyone else has lived or not lived their life steer your decisions. Don’t feel pressured in any way into feeling or thinking or believing that your life should be lived in anyway other than how you are doing it now. If you want to make a change, do it because you know that is the right decision for you and your wellbeing.
The media now has a way of making women feel if they haven’t achieved the 15 points on a Buzzfeed list of “Ways in which your life is awesome” then you are somehow failing. I say to that – sod it. Life is a sweetshop of opportunity, get out there and make yourself an awesome pick’n’mix.
C) Fate and faith is a fine thing
I’m not talking about religion here. I’m not really sure what my religious beliefs are if I’m honest, but what I do believe is that there is some divining force which brings everything together how it is meant to be. Throw caution to the wind every now and then, have “faith” that “fate” will work it out for you.
I hope I’m not sounding like I’m advocating recklessness when it comes to your career or relationships or general life, I’m suggesting there may be a more peaceful way to live by allowing yourself freedom from the pressures of life by believing there is some plan for you. Of course you have a role in that and your decisions will guide your fate, but by believing that you have time and options you can go on whatever route you want, and each pathway will lead you somewhere prosperous. I wholeheartedly believe that no person is fated or determined to fail therefore fate is inherently optimistic, which I can definitely get on board with!
What I am leaving this year feeling is that everyone is destined to succeed. If I want it all, I will have it all. If I don’t have it all now, I will at some point. What is important to me is that I am happy, and productive and personally progressing. In 2015 I won’t be imposing a timeline on that, taking life as it comes and taking the time to enjoy it.
And hopefully avoiding shit men. 😉