Doing it for Oneself

“A woman who is willing to be herself and pursue her own potential runs not so much the risk of loneliness as the challenge of exposure to more interesting men — and people in general” —Lorraine Hansberry, American playwright A Raisin in the Sun

A friend of mine sent me this quote a couple of days ago, meant to inspire my drive for changing life (especially given the fact that we’ll be moving abroad among people who do not speak our language). My initial reaction was thumbs-up… yea! for women pursuing their own potential… but it quickly went downhill when the pay-off is “exposure to more interesting men.” Yes, I suppose it’s true. But if I could just use my red pencil on her quote and and make the payoff “exposure to more interesting [people]” I’d definitely get behind it.

But why is it that the focus of making improvements or changes in oneself is too often to get a man, a husband. It frustrates my inner “I am single, hear me roar” voice. As a woman, I cannot, and should not, spend my life focused on how I can find a husband. I can’t even imagine such a goal (though there are those in my family who wish I would spend a little more time focused on it). Thing is, I don’t recall seeing inspirational quotes for men telling them to embrace life and follow their dreams so that they can get a wife.

I may well end up single for the remainder of my life and there’s no way in hell I’m going to spend the next 40 years tweaking with my life so that some unknown man will find me attractive enough to marry. That doesn’t sound any more appealing than my married years that I spend tweaking my life for some man to stay married to me.

So, I will take Hansberry’s quote and manipulate it slightly. I will pursue my own potential, teach my children to pursue theirs and who knows what the benefits will be, but I’m sure it won’t be loneliness.

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