A fellow student created a forum asking graduating students to express their passions and goals for their life. I’m amazed by the many noble and possibly world changing passions that many of my peers have. If they haven’t begun accomplishing them already they are well on their way. I’ve thought a lot about this and really wanted to have this great, inspirational passion. But I don’t. Yes, I’d like to change the world for the better and do something really amazing with my life. However, as very fortunate individuals I think there are two main things that we sometimes are afraid to openly say we want. Or at least what I’d be afraid to say I want.
The first is to make enough money to pay off my loans, buy a house, and live comfortably. It just sounds so greedy and unambitious. A few decades ago these weren’t “problems” for most. My parents could grow up and assume that with an education they could buy a home and provide for a family. It wasn’t a guarantee, but it was more attainable than it is now. Despite all this, I still feel embarrassed to say that I came to school to make more money. I would love to help people, I even a few ideas, but in a list of my priorities, it’s about getting myself settled first. It makes me feel greedy and self-serving. Maybe I am. But are those really that bad?
The second affects a lot of women I know. If we have children and want to stay at home and not work, is that a failure? A waste? A friend of mine said something perfect:
Getting an MBA is having the freedom to make choices
I don’t know if that was the exact wording. It’s definitely the gist. I just made it into a quote to emphasize how amazing that statement is. If I could use a thousand GIFs to express my love of that statement it would be filled with YASSS, Hallelujah, bowing, cheering, happy tears, etc.
But back to the quote, as women with MBAs we’re expected to rise and break that glass ceiling. Saying we’d be willing to stay home and raise children can make us feel like we are letting down our gender. That all the money, time and effort was pointless. As a woman, usually our harshest critics are other women. If we work hard and achieve C-Suite dreams, then we’d have people saying we’re bad moms. Not there for our children. Trying to do too much. But If we stay at home and take care of children, then we are betraying women. Setting a bad example for other women. It’s a lose-lose. However, we’ve educated ourselves not to fulfill what other people want us to fulfill, but to be able to do what we deem best for our own lives. So then why does it still feel so shameful.
I hope to do great things. I hope to make a difference in the world. If that’s raising decent children or doing pro bono on the side while I make a living to provide for myself, is that really so bad. Can that still be passion?