It’s cold, raining and I had Just gotten back from a five day work gig in Burglinton Vermont and I’m exhausted to say the least. Not in a social mood, but my mother calls and because she’s my mother I pick up.
“Hi Mother! What’s up?”
Her: you back?
Me: yup just got back to Massachusetts
Her: Well Vana I don’t think this is a job you can do for too long. Remember you have two kids and a husband.
(Like Jesus be the filter and guide my tongue because this is my mother)
At this point I wish I had a cup of coffee to sip on..
“What the fuck does that mean?!” Is what came to mind, however that’s not what I said. Duh.
Now…..*sigh* This woman has been my biggest cheerleader my whole life and the one who convinced that I could still have anything I want despite becoming a teen mother. Usually I’m quick with a response or comeback but this one threw me off. It needed to be registered, thought out and slept on.
I’m certain she was and still is in my best interest, but I couldn’t agree on this one. After giving it some thought it became bigger than how much the statement affected me. I thought about how many other women (including her) have been told to slow down, leave it alone or wait til later on to live their dreams. My mother raised two girls by herself and doesn’t know the feeling of having a husband who is one of the best fathers a kid can ask for(He. Holds. It. Down!). Let me remind you that in the Haitian culture no matter how good of a husband you have or how many nanny’s you have a mother is still held more accountable for that child than the Man is. Can’t speak for all Haitians but it’s a pattern I’ve seen and heard often since a youth. The men often do what they want when they want while the women stay home and keep shit right. Because my mother was a single mother she had no one to watch us while she “went to fashion week” or to “obtain a college degree at night” like I was fortunate to do . Taking all of those things into consideration made me less angry, but also deciding that her opinion whether good intentions or not doesn’t have to be my truth even though that’s my mother. Period.
All I could think about was how many other women have had their dreams silenced because of cultural ways, opinions and or lack of spouse support? How many have already given up or didn’t start yet?
Well let me tell you that chasing your goals is a must and always WORTH IT. Even if it may cause friction at times. Truth is if my husband had to travel for work as often as I choose to no family member would judge. He’d proudly discuss the success with his friends and business partners over tea and plan to dominate some more. And guess what? I’d be right there cheering him on as I’ve done since forever. We, me, you want and deserve the same support. I’d have a hefty bag full of money if I collected each time someone gave a negative feedback about my career choices. Sometimes even on my way to the airport or bus terminal I’m dealing with the tensions of “another travel?!”. Each time it happens I ask myself and remind myself why am I going and what’s the end goal.
Our gut never lies. You know when you should go for it and you know when to take a break. One thing that won’t feel good both from experience and hearing other stories of regret is not taking that leap.
What I learned from this experience
My dreams are not up for debate.
People’s opinions whether good or bad isn’t my truth unless I say so.
There isn’t always a second chance, sometimes you have to leap at the first opportunity.
Use the silence button. Aka “no opinions being considered at this time”
What about you? Ate your dreams currently up for discussion?