When people think of “having it all,” they don’t think of having everything they want – they think of quantifiable success: the proof that you’re happy, loved, successful. Unfortunately, our pursuit of these things – money, marriage, etc. – has us chasing symbols and believing they are the same things the experience they represent.
While men are under the pressure to succeed at one thing, women are held to a different standard: do it all, and do it well. Unfortunately, many people go through their lives never realizing they don’t even want all the things they’re chasing, but here are a few things that the girls who do understand:
1. Society wants girls to “have it all” more than girls want to “have it all.”
Society wants women to prove their worth. If they aren’t doing something quantifiable, they seem useless. This is why it’s more common that women are expected to have nice houses, beautiful physiques, great jobs, loving relationships, shiny hair and enough time to blog – and men are lauded for even just having one of those things.
2. Wanting to “have it all” is usually a supplement for feeling like you don’t deserve what you really want.
Nobody really wants to “have it all,” because nobody really wants “it all.” It all is stressful. It’s difficult. Especially when it’s not anything that makes you feel intrinsically happy or fulfilled. Very few people want “it all” in the way they think they do. It’s just a supplement for feeling inadequate to achieve the things that actually matter.
3. There are no finish lines.
“Having it all” is an end-goal. It is a mental snapshot. It is an idea of how “good” your life is based on how things seem, or appear. You get the job then you have to keep working at it. You find the relationship then you have to keep loving. “Having it all” is not an accomplishment, it is a balancing act, one that you often have to sacrifice for.
4. “It all” is a very specific set of things.
Having “it all” rarely means having “everything you want.” The reality is that people far overestimate what their wants are in compensation for their needs that aren’t being met. That’s where we arrive at the idea that bigger, better, more grandiose will make up for it.
5. The most crucial life skill is being able to give the f*#k up.
We’re essentially taught to never give up on anything, no matter what, so we never really learn how to let things go when it’s time. Rather, we aren’t taught how to give up without feeling like failures. Yet, the most important piece of success that nobody acknowledges is being able to give up on the things that don’t matter, or on the things you don’t really want.
6. There are many different ways to measure a “good life.”
And very few of them have to do with “how much” you have, but how much you’re grateful for, and how much energy you put toward what matters.
7. You probably can’t ever have “it all,” but if you work really hard, and choose from a genuine place, you can have the things that matter most.
That’s all anybody ever wants anyway… the idea of “having it all” is just an emotional buffer, something aspirational to strive for in place of the few important things you really want your life to be about.