After a particularly arduous work week, I was left feeling demoralized and borderline desperate. I started imagining how much easier things could be if I had a partner to fall back on if things went awry.
The fortuitous arrival of my latest Netflix pick put things into perspective for me even if it was in a somewhat obvious, hyperbolic manner. After watching “An Education” I once again realized how dangerous it can be to put all of your eggs in one human basket.
(Spoiler alert) In the movie, young Jenny falls for the charming David, who promises to take care of her and provide the lifestyle she has always wanted. She subsequently gives up on her Oxford ambitions and drops out of high school to throw everything into planning her life with David who naturally already has a family unit. When Jenny finds out, she is devastated mostly due to the fact that she is left holding the bag full of consequences she filled in her haste to shortcut her way to a glamorous life with a marriage.
While the story line was extreme and most relationships wouldn’t yield the unfortunate results the young heroine experienced, it can be very easy to lose your individuality and independence when some prince charming waltzes in and offers the world you’ve always wanted.
I know a number of girls who have gotten themselves into precarious situations as they fall comfortably into the false sense of security a relationship can offer. I’m not saying that a man will inevitably leave. A number of unfortunate circumstances could result in a woman, who is resting in a life built by man who loves her, to suddenly find herself on her own. For this reason, it would behoove any woman to position herself so that she can support herself (and her family) if need be.
Doing so doesn’t mean she has to don a power suit and become a highly paid executive. It doesn’t even necessarily mean she has to work outside the home; in fact, I commend those whose lifestyle allow them to stay at home and raise a family if that’s what they choose to do. However, neglecting to develop a skill or hone talents that would allow you to be independent simply because you found a man (or woman for that matter) who is willing to provide a life can be dangerous.
There was a time I could have easily become the girl who put the fate of my life in the hands of someone who could leave me with nothing but the talents I neglected because I depended on him to deliver everything I could ever want. Part of me went through college expecting that I would only work a few years before I would have a family and never use my degree again.
I’m embarrassed to even be admitting this, but if my “one” had come along early in my college career I may have graduated just for the sake of graduating and never fully discovered what I love to do. While there are days I wish I had someone who could offer a safety net should I ever lose my job or want to quit, I do consider myself fortunate in that circumstances required me to find my passion and learn how to use it to provide for myself. It’s added a new dimension to who I am and I hope that new dimension is part of why my future mate falls for me.