The other day I came across an article in a fashion magazine about that old feminine ideal of having it all. The myth that we, the fragile sex, can have a successful career, a family, a stable relationship and money while still managing to be pretty, sexy, fashionable and intelligent. Note that I say myth, and not concept, because that what it is, and will always be, if you, stressed out folks out there, haven't realised yet: being good at everything is nothing more, nothing less than pure utopia. It is a phony ideal of life. And more to the point, it's utterly unfair to women. Men don't go through this kind of dilemma - or at least, not the ones that I know. Most of the men around me (the non-gay ones) are either focused in 1)Make money, 2) Have sex, 3)Be recognized for whatever they do so they can have numbers 1 and 2, and 4)Have a good time after and while they're working at numbers 1,2 and 3, which includes drinking, drugs, bungee jumping, gambling in Vegas, or whatever takes their fancy. The ones with kids and relationships are either 1)Bored, 2)Too busy fucking around to care, 3)Thinking they're too hot to be having sex with just one bird, so they better get out of it ASAP. Some of them care about their looks or think about clothes, but never more than once a week, and even them it takes a right pickle for them to do anything about it (say, a girl that looks horrified at the sight of their naked beer gut, or a pair of torn jeans that exposes their disproportional god-given male qualities). So I suppose, with few exceptions, men in general don't go about fretting that they can't have it all, simply because they don't want to.
Now, in my case, the have-it-all ideal assumes an entirely new proportion. On top of wanting all of those things that make up the myth, each category is divided into several sub-categories, making the whole thing sound, well, decidedly AMBITIOUS.
I'll give an example (the most obvious of the other obvious ones): career. I don't want to have just ONE career, for many reasons, the strongest of them being that 1) I have way too many interests, 2) Which makes me want to be able to explore at least some of them at lenght and 3) Which also scares the monkeys out of me to be defined by any single one of them.
I'll translate: right at this moment I'd very much like to write a novel and short stories, colaborate with magazines, create an ethical fashion label, learn to knit, sew and draw properly, take street fashion pictures on a weekly basis, and become an assistant of someone with an established career in any of these creative areas. In my little deluded head, I believe I am perfectly able to do all of the above at the same time, so I've written a weekly schedule in which I dedicate a few hours everyday to each task/project, carefully designating special slots for exercising and socialising on a regular basis.
BUT - and there's always a but - on top of everything I also need to find time to run a small (tiny) business in which I buy, style, photograph, edit, update, promote and send vintage clothes to remote corners of the world, and all on my own.
The result: a frustrated, overly disquieted version of me at the end of every single day because OBVIOUSLY I cannot complete 25% of my meticulously drawn daily schedule.
It goes without saying that each and every aspect of my life suffers too. I skip daily runs and yoga sessions because I'm already late to finish whatever I'm working on, I neglect friends and boyfriend because I always think I could be carrying out a project instead of engaging in meaningless chit-chat, and when I am around other people I struggle to pay attention to what they say because my mind is racing with things I ought to be doing.
The relationship part, I don't even want to go there. My other half favourite choice of words is "What did I just say?", because he knows I'm endlessly pretending to listen to him. Not to mention (the shame!) my nightly predilection for books or another episode of Six Feet Under instead of sex.
God. My neck hurts.
So how on earth I'm gonna manage to have children and a house and (oh, I forgot), enough money to support this insane lifestyle, that's what I can't even think about thinking.
And there are still women out there who say we can have it all. I'd kill whoever invented that.