by Wendy Sachs
A colleague of mine recently said to me without irony, “I think that you think you are destined for greatness.” He didn’t say this as a compliment. It felt more like a zinger – an accusation along the lines of who the heck do you think you are Missy, wanting so much more out of life? Isn’t this Popsicle stand good enough for you?
Wanting to keep the peace, I bit my lip and said almost nothing. But the snarky words have been gnawing at me. Shouldn’t we all feel destined for greatness or at least want to do great things with our lives? The fact is, what motivate me are fears of failure more than the belief that my fate will be fabulous. And as it turns out, fear is
a fantastic motivator. But because this comment on my character came during Women’s History Month, the few weeks set aside each year to recognize the tremendous accomplishments American women have made, I found my colleague’s statement not only condescending but also ironic.
The bittersweet truth is that at one point many of us women did feel destined for Big Things. We were the “Sesame Street” and “Free to Be You and Me” generation who were told to aim high and dream large and anything was possible, even if you were as awkward as Big Bird. But as the reality and routines of life crash around us each day, it’s easy for us moms to feel that our dreams have been aborted, interrupted or at the very least deferred. Kids, mortgages and the utter exhaustion and chaos of managing the two have a way of sidetracking and dashing lots of dreams, which is perhaps why we moms need to be reminded, not belittled about our potential for greatness.
Maybe this is why I am totally infatuated with Michelle Obama and how she is redefining the role of First Lady, sculpted arms and all. While Americans are furious with Wall Street and the greedy bums who are getting bonuses at a time when there are apparently more unemployed people in America than the entire population of Pennsylvania, there is some sunny news coming from the Beltway – coming from our nation’s First Mom – the person with no doubt, the greatest gig in Washington right now.
Read more at How Does She Do It?