I’ve heard a few times this month, “I don’t know how you do it all.” Admittedly I do a lot. I work hard to balance the demands of my numerous roles–mother, teacher, department leader, grad student, web designer (I didn’t actually ask for that one), mentor, friend…Lots of women do these things, and lots of women do it better than I. I wasn’t always this driven. In fact, until about sixteen years ago, ambition was a foreign concept.
Throughout middle and high school, I heard that I wasn’t living up to my potential. If I would only stop being to apathetic toward, well, everything, then I would absolutely be successful. When I went off to school, it didn’t change all that much. It mildly helped that I was paying for class, but I didn’t work hard. I wasn’t a diligent student or a devoted worker. I just plain didn’t care.
Then it all changed.
Sixteen years ago, I met ambition. He was tall, dark, and incredibly handsome. He was a hard worker and oh-so-smart. At first, he was soft spoken and shy. He was awkward, and frankly, I was thankful that he didn’t sound like a girl. He knew music, literature, and jazz. He was good at math. I wasn’t, but I knew that I wanted to solve x when the equation was him + me. If I wanted to impress this gentleman, I was going to have to turn it up. What did I do?
“Dear Reader, I married him.”
The truth is that I don’t do it all on my own. Not at all. Not even a bit. I wouldn’t be able to juggle all that life throws at me without him. He’s calm and rational while I’m utterly emotional and a raging storm. He’s funny so I don’t take myself too seriously, and he reminds me that I can be rather selfish. Above all, he pushes me to be my best self because all I really want in the world…my only true ambition is to make this man proud of me.
Happy birthday, H.B.