Being born in the early 1980’s, I was raised that being chained to the sink, ironing my husband’s clothes, preparing dinner and rearing the children wasn’t the only option I had. I was liberated to be the master of my own destiny. For this I am grateful. However, I have learned that with this great power comes great responsibility.
I was growing up in a time where the third wave of feminism was all around me. In school we had guest speakers come to enlighten the girls on career options for women. I specifically remember all the Year 3 girls being corralled into the library to hear all about the campaign they had come spruik. The program was called, “Hand a Girl a Spanner” and was being presented at schools around Australia. Hearing this phrase still makes me light up inside. I had no interest in being a mechanic, but I was damn happy that I had to option to.
Now, please don’t get me wrong. I applaud feminism and what it has done for my gender, but I do not classify myself as feminist. If I had to give it a name I would say I’m more of an ‘equalist’ as I simply can’t comprehend one person believing they have more rights than another. This just doesn’t compute for me. We are all here, we are all made of the same stuff and arrive the same way. Same rights. Simple.
In saying this, but I am greatly indebted to the brave women who fought stoically for me to enjoy the freedoms that I have today. I freely have a legitimate option to choose my own destiny and the believe that I should have the same work place rights as men. This is thanks to the strong and successful women I watched on TV growing up, who loudly and controversially campaigned for women of the 90’s and beyond. These were the power suit wearing, shoulder padded, blonde frosted, corporate women of the 90’s who became my heroes. Think CC Babcock….
The point I was leading to centred around the fact that I have been gifted with the power to do whatever I want and be whatever my little heart desired. I was entitled to “have it all”, but what exactly was “it”? For most of my life I thought “it” looked something like this……having a successful, high flying career, while maintaining a live-in show home, raising a family and staying super fit from all the cardio work outs I would be doing. Every minute of every day would be jam packed with awesomeness and I would just be sailing through life, smiling and enjoying my success. I would be happy because I “had it all”.
That’s how it looked in my head anyway. The reality of this was that I was able to achieve a great deal of my goals and there were a few years of my life where I thought I had this in a bag. I had the world believing that I was living the dream and for a while I even convinced myself. But the cracks began to appear and I couldn’t hide my imperfections from the world any more. My body shut down and I had, what the medical professionals have told me, is commonly known as a mental breakdown. It stopped me in dead in my tracks and brought me completely to my knees. And you know what, that’s exactly where I wanted to be.