So, when I began writing I wrote about staying home and how important it is to me to focus on my relationship with my husband. Well turns out, staying home means taking on way too many projects. More projects than a girl can handle. I’m doing more now than I did when I was working.
During Christmas Eve, a family member was asking what I was doing these days. I told her just working a few hours as a nanny and then a lot of volunteer work. She asked me what I was doing with my life. I was puzzled to say the very least. I responded with, “well I’m in school so I thought if I worked less it would be better for me.”
Then I got the realest advice. She told that I was wasting my time and was disappointed that someone who was about to finish her third degree was not advancing my career. That really struck me. I didn’t know what to say.
I have tons of experience but it’s been almost a year since I worked a “grown-up” job or one that at least improves my resume. She said whatever you do, do not let that one year mark hit.
Then, just yesterday, I text an old friend to say “Happy Birthday.” After the usual pleasantries he asked me what I’m doing with my life. He said “you’re a real bread winner. When I saw you were wasting talents staying home I was so angry.”
I was so shocked. Twice in one month someone has questioned what I was doing with my life. I’m not sure anyone has ever questioned my motives before. They’ve always been so calculated and precise (except for meeting my husband, he was the greatest surprise since meeting a husband was not part of my five year plan).
These last two conversations have really opened up my eyes. I am standing in the way of my own success. Maybe I’m afraid of it? I’m also terribly afraid of failure. So, I’ve sort of put myself in this limbo. I go to school like crazy because that means I don’t have to go back to the real world and make something of myself. It’s the strangest sensation. However, I know I’m not alone. Some of my best friends have confided their fear of success to me as well.
Why do these smart women have this fear of being something greater than what people expect for us? Maybe society conditions us to fear this type of success? The type of success where we are the breadwinners, where smart women are in control of boardrooms and carrying the family financially.
I will say, I cannot let myself get sucked into this mindset anymore. It’s time to be a grown-up again. I laugh when I think about how I had a real job before I even graduated from Rowan and how after finishing my Master’s I was writing and editing multiple sections of a newspaper. And now, I intern and I pick up a 14 year old from school. What happened? Fear of success happened. It’s quite possible there could be some exciting news in the works. I won’t spill too much until it’s official.
Until then readers, share with me your thoughts. Do you have a fear of failure or of success? What holds you back? How do you get past it?