I came upon a tv show called Being Mary Jane. It depicts a middle-aged career driven, very successful, gorgeous black woman, who has her own tv show on a major broadcasting platform. Mary Jane Paul basically has it all together, or so it seems. While watching one of the episodes, I was casually scrolling down my Facebook timeline on my cheap phone and I found one of my friends posting about her major success, becoming an executive before 30 and how she worked her ass off, how she’s living her dream fabulous life and that she doesn’t want family and children. Why I’m bringing this up here, is because of the striking contrast between what a grown up, beautiful, successful woman, represented by MJ wants, and what my friend doesn’t need at this moment. MJ has sacrificed a lot to be where she is, and I’m guessing so did my friend, but in the end is that enough? Neither of them is considered to have played their role perfectly, otherwise, there would be nothing to make a tv show or write a Facebook post about. Let me put it this way: by today’s standards, by the time I’ll be thirty, that’s in 3 years mind you, I am required to have a prosperous career, fruitful marriage preferably with 2 kids, a house or a flat of my own and a car, oh and also a retirement plan, a set vacation schedule and a good care package for my parents and grandparents. All the while I can barely figure out what to have for breakfast. I cannot do my own finances; I cannot even learn how to drive a car because I’m terrified of losing control over it. All my life is out of control, I absolutely cannot afford to lose control of another wheel. You see, there is so so much pressure on us, on women. We are expected to be well mannered, well educated, now we are required to have an aspiring career because all of this gives us more value, makes us a better asset for our husband. Once we get married, we are required to bear children, stay in shape and look after our household. If one of these boxes is left unchecked, then we are considered flawed goods. We are expected to be a certain way, look a certain way, to behave a certain way, or not to behave because hello, we are feminists now… only one thing that we are not expected and not encouraged to be, is ourselves. We shouldn’t be apologetic for choosing a career over family or vice versa; we shouldn’t make an exception or a rarity out of women who have both, we shouldn’t make this life hard for the ones that don’t. this world is a messed up place already, don’t add more to it.