I love you all. I didn’t grow up with one, but I still appreciate what mine probably would have gone through were she alive throughout my childhood. She’d have to deal with my eye rolling, snark, mouth of a sailor, and inability to hide the disdain on my very expressive face whenever someone tries to mansplain things to me. I imagine that right about now, exactly one week before I turn 28, she’d be asking me when I plan to start a family or settle on a career or start brushing my hair regularly.
But my mom is not alive, and so no one is entitled to tell me that being a mom and wife is “much more fulfilling” than living on my own and building my career, and that I’m “missing out.” And it works the other way around: I’m not entitled to tell you that I think being without children is pretty awesome and fulfilling and I’m having so much more fun than you har har har.
In Who’s Afraid of Marie Curie, Linley Erin Hall briefly explored the concept of women being harder on younger women in science and technology than some men are. In so many words, she said it was most likely because they, themselves, had a rough time getting into their career without being discriminated against. If they had to go through the sexism and ageism to get to where they’re at, then other women should have to walk a mile in their shoes to get to the same level, right? Of course, most of us know that women are harder on other women even outside of STEM, but I never really thought about it until Hall mentioned it. Everyone who was ever irrationally hard on me when it came to my life choices were all women, and that bums me out. Call it women-on-women hate or jealousy or whatever. It’s just gross.
We’re all trying to live Our Best Life™, and that means a life not like anyone else’s. I’m not sure if I want to have kids or not, because my brain is currently preoccupied with more selfish thoughts like where do I plan to live when my lease is up this summer, what do I want to do next in my career, and should I get the white mocha latte with raspberry syrup this afternoon (yes, Jenn, you’ll be in a better mood after it).
I always welcome advice from other women who have wisdom, insight, and a different perspective on life than I have, so long as they do not tell me that I’m not living my best life when I know I am. If my mom was not given the gift of a longer life, long enough to be able to nag me about always wearing old band t-shirts with holes and drinking so much coffee, then you cannot nag me either. Not sorry!