This is 2019, and now, more than ever, it is the age of the power-house woman. A woman who wants a career that mirrors one that men have had for decades. One of success, exciting opportunities and determination. You didn’t spend all those hours in the library for the certificate to collect dust. If there was ever a time to want to be a career-driven woman, it is now.
As much as I strive for this, I too have crumbled from the pressure it takes. As we move into the future, we need to learn how to manage success with mental health.
I believe a good way to start this is to know your priorities; what you are willing to sacrifice and what you will draw the line at. For example, personally, I believe that my family and friends are my main priority. As much as I enjoy work, they will always be at the top of my list. If I have a deadline that coincides with an event, I work longer hours in the days leading up to the date to ensure that I get it complete before the event. You may love your job, but don’t lose sight of the people who were there before it.
I am aware that it is a lot easier said than done. Hence, knowing how to deal with the guilt is also another thing to practise. Whether it is thinking of all the work that needs to be done when you are back from a little break or knowing that all of your family/ friends are having a good time and you’re not there to join in. Guilt is an emotion that we all share, so knowing what is worth the guilt and what is not is vital.
As difficult as the guilt can be to swallow sometimes, take time to rest. Our bodies and minds need time to decompress and unwind. I recently read the quote: Nobody gets the best you when you’re running on empty. We all want to be, or at least give, the best that we can at all times. It might work every once in a while (we’ve all had that one night working until goodness knows what time) but living like that continuously is a sure-fire way to get ill. Your body will thank you for taking the time to rest.
The only true constant in your life is you. It is important to protect yourself. Keep them safe, keep them healthy – both mentally and physically, and make sure that they also have fun. Regularly. This is the only life that we have. As amazing as a career sprinkled with accolades and incredible opportunities is, it means nothing if you don’t have people to share the memories with.
Career opportunities are a one-time offer and it is difficult not to leap at every offer given to you. However, weddings, holidays and Sunday afternoons in the park with people you love are also one-time offers. Accept the offers that spark at the passion in your soul; you don’t want to look back on your life and realise that you wasted time on something that you felt mediocre about, but neither do you want to have regret at the opportunities that you passed at.
Sister, I stand with and applaud you for refusing to settle for a life that you deem ‘ordinary’. Relish in the opportunities our modern society has given us, but don’t do it at the cost of your happiness. You are more important than anything.
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