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Isn't it pretty?

Friday, April 01, 2005

One Source of My Discontent

Okay, get ready for some kvetching, because I am annoyed. I was told earlier this week, via a man who I was considering dating, that I am not serious about getting married. Why am I not serious about getting married? Because I want to go to graduate school. Now, this irritates me quite a bit. For quite a few reasons. The first reason is because I don't see marriage and graduate school as necessarily mutually exclusive goals, and I am not quite sure why this guy felt that they were. Lots of women go to graduate school while being married and raising children. Many of the people in my school are married and have children. Do their spouses feel that they are not serious about their vows just because they want to pursue an educational or professional goal for themselves as well? I doubt it. The second reason it bothered me is because I don't understand why someone would rather I am stuck in a boring job that I hate than spend a few years pursuing a dream, even if that means that I have a bit less time at home. Doesn't the eventual reward of having a meaningful and satisfying career outweigh the cost of two years of having to focus on my education? The next reason is because I don't understand when this person would have me go to school. Right now I am single, and I feel like it is the best time for me to pursue my education. Maybe it means that I don't have quite as much time for dating, but I would rather take the time now than after I get married and want to start a family. I would rather steal time from myself than anyone else. If that means that dating is not the #1 priority of my life right this second, then so be it. I would assume my future marriage will be happier because of it. Another thing that bothers me, and I hate saying it, because I don't consider myself a feminist, but I do believe it is a factor here, is that I honestly don't think anyone would have made that remark to a guy. I have had these kind of comments thrown at me several times in the past when I mention that I want to pursue educational goals. Who says that a woman has to be only a wife and mother? There is nothing wrong with the woman who wants that for herself, but some of us want more. I personally know that I would not be a good stay-at-home mom, and I would think that my future husband would appreciate my desire to do what I feel is best for my entire family. I feel I will be a better mom if I take a part-time job outside the home. Why would someone not want me to be the best mother I can be? Maybe the person who made this remark didn't mean it in such a derogatory manner. He is at a different stage in life than I am - he already had the opportunity to pursue school and has a job that he is very happy with. So maybe that was the basis for our failure to connect. But I have to say that it bothers me for someone to dictate to me what my top goals in life should be at this moment. Not every woman my age is the same, and not all of us have the same focus. I think an effort should be made to accommodate and understand those of us who are working incredibly hard on our own, to secure a happy future for ourselves. It doesn't mean that I am not serious about getting married. It means that when I do get married, I want to be happy with myself, because I think that will benefit my marriage greatly. And if graduate school is a step in making that happen, I am going to pursue it with everything I have.

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