Having Love In Your Life Doesn't Have To Detract From Your Career
Last weekend, I was freaking out. I had just quit my job.
Which was a decision I had made on my own, and am happy about. It was a decision to go after everything that I’ve ever wanted. Which is great, but scary. And a huge shift in my game of Life, so I was just processing.
I tend to do a lot of that.
But anyway, during my download, I happened to trip into a Facebook k-hole in which I was reliving my high school classmates’ Summers of 2015, some of which included young children of their own (which still makes zero sense to me). It was a lot of family, and friends and good wholesome fun (I grew up in the Midwest. There are lakes. Wholesome is a thing.)
This happens from time to time, and usually it’s met with some casual eyerolls and a mild disdain for social media as a whole. But this time was different. This time, I got it. Like, I felt what was happening in those photos. Love and family and important shit, ya know?
So naturally, I started to freak out.
Because, to the shock of any of my ex-boyfriends and those who knew me pre-2011, I currently, as of 2015, give and receive a lot of true, authentic, unconditional love in my life. The kind puppies elicit. That good ish. And, while looking at these photos, I started to feel all the feels.
Prior to now, I didn’t really care much about the majority of people I was around, with the exception of a chosen few (you know who you are). #squadgoals just wasn’t really my thing. That attitude extended to family as well, as they were a source of a debilitating amount of baby’s-first-heartbreak and I needed to erect some strict emotional and physical boundaries in order to develop as an adult.
So feelings are a relatively new concept to me. Ok, that’s not true, I just never really allowed them to surface that much. But these days, it’s like the goddamn San Andreas Fault around here. This is a good thing, my therapist would tell me if I had one.
What’s changed? Well, for starters, I’m in a relationship that takes unconditional love to new levels. I also have a new nephew I’m obsessed with, I’ve healed some deep family wounds, and I’ve found new soulmate friends. Oh, and I recently (in the past 1-2 years) figured out how to love myself unconditionally.
Essentially I have a ton more people in my life about whom I care truly, madly, deeply.
And when I care, I care HAM. So much so that it can sometimes feel overwhelming. So the fear that was creeping up as I was breaking down was the question of, if I could not only have it all, but could I LOVE it all?
I was afraid that if I were to spend all my love on my personal life and my relationships, would I have anything left over for my career, which I loved deeply and passionately and purposefully and usually solely for my whole life until now? Would I still be impassioned to support the women of this world, and to change how we speak to one another, and to create a self-love social movement? Would I have enough love to fuel the power it would take? Would I still want to dedicate my days to this mission? Would I still want to be there for any woman I met along my path who needed me?
That night, I voiced a significantly synopsized version of my afternoon existential crisis to my bf to get his thoughts. Now keep in mind, this is a man who finds the silver lining in everything (and not in an irritating, cotton-candy way) and who, 87% of the time, is either thinking about penguins or watching the disco ball in his brain twirl (his own words). I’m also convinced he has an IQ of 200.
Me: My love tank is filling up, to borrow a phrase from Real Housewives of Orange County’s Vicki Gunvalson. So what if I don’t have enough left, after the family and you and our kids and my nephew and my friends—what if I don’t have enough for everyone in this world I want to help? What if I can’t care that much? What if I don’t have enough space in my heart?
The smartest man alive: Well, wouldn’t it actually be that now that your love tank is overflowing, you can apply that love to everyone else?
Which is one of many reasons, silly to serious, why I love this man so hard. In one very matter-of-fact sentence, he summarized what took me an afternoon of downloading and Facebook stalking and barely visible tears and journaling and emotional flailing to comprehend: More love means more love.
I don’t know if this if your definition of having it all, but sounds pretty good to me.