Sunday, October 31, 2010

day 7 : when I grow up...

I want to be a princess.  A real princess. With a tiara and ribbons and frills and beautiful dresses to wear everyday. With children and stand mixers and a kingdom of my very own: one that is modern with glass walls and state-of-the-art technology. Maybe something like this:

The Casa DeLeon in Paradise Island, New Providence/Nassau, Bahamas: one of the badass estates for sale on

Nice, right? Every few months, I get onto the Architectural Digest website and just drool at all the beautiful houses, like this one. Excuse me, did I say houses? I meant $*#@ing palaces. No man (or woman) should even be allowed to own residences like these. It's a waste of resources and an insult to philanthropy and world hunger.

But I want one. So bad.

At this stage in life when my peers are starting to move out of the idealist dreams of youth and into the concrete goals of adulthood, I find myself still fantasizing about an ambitiously fairytale life, surrounded by beauty and immersed in the simple joys of love and life.

It'd be nice to be accomplished - to live a fulfilling professional life where I thrive on learning and cultivate a spirit dedicated to service and, hey, maybe make some money along the way. But what I want - what I really, truly hope my life looks like in 10 years - is almost a nightmarish vision of domestic bliss.

I want children, and I want them relatively soon. Two, at least, before I'm 33. A girl and a boy. I want to be married, hitting my fifth anniversary. I want to live in a beautiful place. It doesn't even have to be an Architectural Digest palace...just somewhere beautiful. With a brand-new kitchen and wide, open spaces, and high ceilings.

The thing is I don't even know if it's possible. Going forward, the modern woman seems to be all about career and independence - about shoving domestic bliss up society's proverbial ass. Family can wait, and so can marriage for that matter. We're all living longer anyways, so what's the harm in putting off children and putting yourself on a pedestal for once? Be selfish, do something for yourself!

What I find interesting about this is that, were I to make the choice to move forward, as they say, and develop my professional career, I would receive all kinds of support. It would validate my parents' hard work, my expensive education, and the hours and hours of sleep I've lost as a slave to achievement. On the other hand, if I decided to drop everything and dedicate my life to family and home, I would've pretty much damned myself to disappointment and a lifetime of "Oh, you're a stay-at-home mom? How nice..."

I acknowledge that there are ways to make it work. That's the point of an entire blog. However, I also acknowledge the fact that it is a struggle that comes with (what seems to me like) more than its fair share of sacrifices. Having a child at any point in your medical career means inconveniencing others - finding people to cover for you. If you're missing work, someone has to take on your patients. If you're not at home, someone else is raising your child. These compromises are not worth the time saved by pursuing a career and building a family life at the same time. Inevitably, one side of your life will suffer, and to me, that seems like the ultimate sacrifice - not being able to do better than a half-assed job.

When I grow up, I want to raise my own kids because, in the end, my time with them is limited. I want it to happen soon because my father is getting old, and I want my children to be able to play with their grandpa. I realize if I don't walk the professional path now, I'll be walking it alone later, but there's always time for that, isn't there?

The funny thing about growing up: you spend your whole life thinking about it, but I imagine it's never what you expected when you get there.

1 comment:

yifan said...

So I'm here instead of writing my paper which I haven't started yet and is due tomorrow :(

That coach looks REALLY misplaced. I can't stop staring at it...

Personally I think it's possible to have a medical career and a family, I suppose you can't be super good at your job and be on top of everything, but juggling the two are definitely possible. My friend's parents are both doctors, but they have three kids and all of them grew up wonderfully - so I think a successful career woman can definitely have a well-rounded life and an amazing family, and I especially don't doubt your ability to do so.