Those of us who grew up in the post-women’s rights, hip-hop generation were raised to think we could have it all.

Many of us grew up knowing that one day we’d get the degrees we wanted, marry the love of our lives, have some babies (or not), travel the world, and still have a banging career. We’d be fulfilled personally and professionally, and still look absolutely fierce in the process.

Although some have been able to achieve this life, several of us are finding that our ideal lives—our ability to “have it all”—comes at a high price.

When I was younger, I also had these same visions of grandeur. I planned on being a 21st Century Claire Huxtable, replete with a handsome husband, a house full of kids, and a powerful career. However, the older I get, the more unrealistic some of things seem. And while the visions haven’t quite died, they have definitely undergone a major renovation.

Sure I have my degrees (and the student loan debt to prove it), a good job (that I lowkey hate), and a child (only one, I’m taping out!), balancing these things not only leaves me feeling completely worn out and overwhelmed at times, but they aren’t as much fun as I once thought.

The older I get, the more reflective I am about my life. While I love a lot about where I am in this moment, I definitely need to adjust my definition of “having it all.” I’m no longer concerned about a “powerful career,” but rather one that fulfils me and truly utilizes my gifts. And I no longer dream of hearing the pitter-patter of several little feet; my son, in all of his five-year-old glory, is more than enough.

Adjusting my expectations to fit my real life instead of my ideal life has definitely helped me enjoy where I am right now while I work toward the future that I want.

But what do you think Clutchettes and Gents…can we really have it all?

Let’s talk about it!

 

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  • Well, what I define as “all” to me, I don’t have yet. Is it achievable and realistic? Absolutely. And I refuse to quit trying.

  • binks

    I fully agree with those who said it depends on your definition of “all”. For some people all means having the house, kids, career, dog and picnic fence while for someone else it could be being a stay at home mom or living in a loft apartment and spending most of the time writing and traveling with zero interesting in marriage and kids. I think first we need to find out what is “all” to us. Not everybody should strive and aim for the ideal standards that is thrust upon us from day one. I do believe you can have it all but just expect the time management, proprieties, and hard work that comes with it. Nothing is a cakewalk not even when you seemingly have everything you wanted in the palms of your hand, after that it is a juggling act.

  • Isis

    I believe a few select people have it all. The rest of us just watch from the sidelines

  • In fact fifty percent or more of older adults have no sleep complaints… Once counterproductive medications have been eliminated the physician ..

  • KGDC

    Being from ‘Da Hood” I loved The Cosby Show, but never found it realistic. I just liked the IDEA of them. A doctor who is seemingly never at work, a partner at a law firm wife who is seemingly always at home… AND happily married with relatively decent kids? Yeah… it was a bit of a pipe dream to me. As I grew older, went to college and started to expand my network I found something startling… it CAN happen.

    A mentor of mine is a doctor (cardiologist) in the DC area and his wife is (stunner) a partner at a law firm. They’re Black, have 3 (well-adjusted) kids and are TOTALLY in love. Not that fake-out, playing for the masses love that is way too easy to spot – but truly and MADLY in love after 20 years. They’re also surprisingly avaiable.

    WE (AA) can have whatever we want and then some. We only limit ourselves by the stereotypes and perceptions we allow others to place on us. I realized that I was only defined by what I limited myself to be. What I also found is that MANY of the really up-and-coming/successful AAs don’t make the news. In fact they are ignored – by US and the media. We gawk over celebs and reality TV wannabes (like Nene is really anything to live up to)… but ignore the TANGIBLE and readily ACCESSIBLE AAs in the community that have 100 times more to offer.

    Can we have it all? No, we can have what we WANT.

    • Jessica

      I just graduated with my Bachelors and will back for my Masters. I always wonder about this. I love your post. One question: Is that couple happy also? If so, you have definitely restored my hope.

    • KGDC

      They are ABSOLUTELY happy. My wife, family and I are happy to know them and to know that two successful and independent people can not only make it work and prosper, but exude the confidence in a relationship that comes from not being caught up in the “what can you do for me” mentality, but a mindset of how they can bring their talents together to make a better life for their family and mentor others. They BOTH have a truly large mentoring spirit. They can take the time to nurture others because they nurture each other. They resolve their differences like adults and seek wise counsel when they are at an impasse. Through them I’ve been able to meet and surround myself with other like-lifestyle Black couples who don’t get bogged down in how the media portrays the AA family. Make no mistake, a lot of it is a reflection of our bad choices… but a lot of the positive images are hidden from us.