What does it really mean to “have it all”?
It’s a debate that’s been raging since former Cosmopolitan editor, Helen Gurley Brown claimed we could have it all back in 1962. (Her definition of ‘all’ being love, sex and money.)
Some still agree, of course, like Deloitte boss Cathy Engelbert
. Others aren’t so sure. “It’s time to stop fooling ourselves that we can have it all in this economic climate” stated Anne-Marie Slaughter
in a viral piece for The Atlantic
I ask because, minus the kids, I have it all. The mortgage (a millennial with a mortgage… I know). The love. The great day job. The side hustle. The social life. The goals.
I’ve got my shit together and I’m completely burnt out.
It’s not enough to simply do your 9-6 job well and go home to vegetate on the sofa any more, amiright? You need to do yoga, and meditate, and be mindful, too. The hustle isn’t sexy without self-care. Self-care isn’t sexy without the hustle.
Us millennials don’t want to be seen as total workaholics, either. The Marissa Mayer vibe is no longer #goals. Killing it at your day job isn’t enough for our generation. We’re millennials, y’all. We’re meant to be entrepreneurial and creative and the right amount of “f*ck the system” without totally disregarding the system.
The Internet seems to have decided that being a #girlboss is, in fact, a hybrid of Sheryl Sandberg and a Bali-based yoga instructor. You’ve got to be successful, Instagrammable AND zen.
But I’ve tried desperately hard to have it all and be it all and it’s left me… well, kind of miserable. Creatively depleted. Unbalanced. (Hey, I never said I didn’t like the yoga way of life).
I’ve been the boss. I’ve done the sun salutations. I’ve ran the side hustles. I’ve worked hard. (Seriously hard. The unglamorous kind of hard.). I’ve flown business. I’ve saved a lot of money. I’ve spent a lot of money. I’ve travelled around the world. I’ve Instagram’ed the world. I’ve designed my life based on what I thought I wanted. I’ve been the boss of my own life.
And honestly? Experiencing it all and being it all is, in many ways, incredible. But here’s the secret I’ve learned:
“Having it all” isn’t about the monumental life events — the promotion, the wedding, the mortgage — but, instead, the moments. The pizza shared with your best friend, the laughter on the phone with your mum, the song sung at the top of your lungs. That’s the stuff that’s truly worth chasing and having. That’s all any of us ever truly have.
Everything else is just filler.
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