I write about balancing our professional lives and personal lives and the sacrifices that we make for one or the other. It is a balancing act indeed. But when the line is drawn in the sand, and you absolutely have to make the choice between career and love, which would you choose?
I know many people would be quick to say LOVE! All you need is love. Love is a many splendid thing. Love lifts us up where we belong. Love was made for me and you. Oh, crazy little thing called love.
To these hopeless romantics, I say “not so fast.”
Let’s examine this choice, but instead of thinking about what we would rather HAVE, let’s think about which we would rather NOT HAVE. Would you rather be single or unemployed?
I have been in both situations, having and not having both boyfriends and jobs.
For both, there is heartache. You wonder why you’re not good enough. There is fear and self-doubt. Your confidence is completely shattered. You ask yourself, “Why doesn’t anyone want me?” And, “wow, how did I manage to eat this entire package of Oreos in one evening?”
But when you lose your boyfriend, the pain is severe at the beginning. It feels like you were kicked in the stomach. It is a gut-wrenching pain. However as time goes on, it gets better.
When you are unemployed the pain is more of an ache. It hurts both the head and the heart. And the longer it goes on, the worse it gets. And rather than the rejection of just one boyfriend, you know there is a good chance of a dismissal from every cover letter, inquiry email and interview.
For me, unemployment is more heartbreaking than any break up.
A job gives you a reason to get out of bed. It is true that a boyfriend gives you a great reason to stay in bed, but at some point you do have to join the civilized world.
I have always wanted an exciting career more than a boyfriend. I wanted to feel like I was contributing something to a great company, to feel accomplished, proud and successful, and – most importantly – to be able to support myself.
To reach a point where I don’t have all of those feelings doesn’t sit well at all. I don’t feel sexy or pretty when I don’t feel confident and smart. I don’t like Unemployed Me. She is a scared, weak, unsure and sad version of myself. I certainly wouldn’t want to be in a relationship with Unemployed Me.
So if I had to pick, I’d choose my career.
If you’re reading this column, first off, thank you! But maybe you’re thinking that it’s pretty depressing. Losing a boyfriend or a job can be two of the most heartbreaking things you can go through.
However, we all know it’s not permanent. Once you put down the Oreos, you begin to think about new possibilities. When you are single or unemployed, it is now all about you. You tally everything that you do have and everything that you love to do. All of a sudden, these things become the most important to you, and you think about how you won’t forget about them in your new relationship or job.
I do have a romantic side, BUT I’d choose my career because I have to love who I am before I can think about loving someone else.
For most of us, fortunately, the line never gets drawn in the sand, and we don’t have to choose between career and love. Yes, there are times when you have make choices and sacrifices, and that’s the balancing act. You make it work.
And for the other times, when it just doesn’t work… well, it sucks. I know that. But I can tell you that there are new possibilities. Just have hope, and girlfriends or a mom that cheer you up, share their wine, and don’t mind you calling and crying from time to time.
And I also suggest dipping your Oreos in a glass of wine.