Do You Ever Feel Like You Don’t Deserve Your Dreams?
Beyonce is having babies and suddenly that’s all I want to talk about this week! I’m moving the conversations about Sally Yates (total badass!), Cat Marnell (I’m obsessed), and Taylor Swift (she’s under fire) to my Facebook page. Join me there! BTW: it’s not too late to join The Big Life Insiders — advance access to the book, freebies, pizza parties, Soul Cycle perks and fun mediation meet-ups! Sign up here.
Wanting What You Want
We talk about the “What Ifs” of having children a lot around my dinner table. What will happen to my career, what will happen to my life? There’s a deep well of anxiety there for everyone. It’s hard to decide to have a baby. And it’s just as hard to decide not to.
When Richard and I first talked about trying try to start a family, I cried, to be honest. We were drinking Bloody Marys and eating Mexican poached eggs at a bar in Chicago. I was 38, we’d been together for about four years. We were in love and committed to each other. But, frankly I was a little non-committal about having kids. Partially because I didn’t want to put myself on the line if it turned out that I couldn’t have them. But also I was devoted to my career and we had a huge, busy social life. I didn’t have that big drive to be a mother. When other women talked about their “ticking biological clocks,” I didn’t recognize the longing or the urgency they described. I think there was a part of me that felt like I didn’t deserve to want to have children. Does that make sense? All I’d ever wanted was a Big Life of adventure and experience. I felt rewarded in my career. I was in love with a hot, smart, amazing man. And so I said to myself, if the kids happened, great. And if they didn’t, I was okay with that too. I’m not sure that was really true, though. I think I wanted to have kids more than I wanted to admit, but a part of me thought that would be asking for too much.
I hear from so many young women that they feel unworthy of their dreams — they feel like they don’t deserve to even have the dream, let alone get it. They look around at the big job they just landed and think “How did I dupe these suckers into thinking that I could do something this big?” Or an amazing opportunity pops up and they think “Oh, well they’d never go for a girl like me, I’m not special.” It’s like wanting a third slice of pizza on girl’s night out, but feeling like it would be greedy to reach for it. And so you don’t, but you can’t stop hungrily eyeing it…and then thinking how lame you are to be hungry.
When the tears came at the end of that we-should-try conversation with Richard, they weren’t exactly tears of joy…it was relief. I felt like a huge hurdle had been removed between me and this thing I wanted but didn’t want to admit I wanted. That moment made it okay to want.
Beyonce deserves all her happiness and all the babies she wants. But you don’t have to be Bey to want something big. You deserve your dreams — the ones about work, love, money, sex, ambition, adventure and even family. All of them. Stop telling yourself you need to scale back, limit your desires, tread gently, be more special. If they don’t happen, that’s okay too. But it won’t be because you’re not enough.
Until next week.