The Pressure of a Modern Woman

Two and a half months in. It took me nearly two and a half months or so to accept and settle the fact that no salary and compensation package was big enough for me to ever sacrifice my own personal growth and happiness. Initially, I was scared that the decision to quit my job meant that I would somehow leave a permanent blemish on my work record. However, while things could have ended on a better note, I tried telling myself that it could have been worse.  Thankfully, I learned that sometimes you just need to let things go even if it means letting go of a role that originally fueled your enthusiasm and hunger. Yes, as nice as it is to be open and optimistic, that kind of magical thinking would have left me feeling extremely unsatisfied and thwarted. Pros? Now I am able to spend more time pursuing a role I can actually see myself thriving in. These kind of uncertainties definitely led me to experience a medium level of stress. Frankly, it's all I ever think about nowadays. Next to that was this --- does this mean my mom wants me to help her in the kitchen now? Which leads me to my next curiosity --- did Steve Jobs ever sit down and think about the dinner he's about to cook....Okay, I'm only bringing this up because it seems like everyone around me is putting more pressure for me to be domesticated now that I have so much free time on my hands.

So here are my thoughts on this. I have plenty of friends who wake up early, go to work, go home, clean the house, and prepare a meal for their respective partner. At the end of it all, the highlight of their day goes back to the very notion that they can sit down at a table and share a meal with someone they care about.

More recently, I started to imagine how nice it must be to desire and obtain that kind of comfort and stability. But before I could allow myself to settle for that state of mind (not that there's anything wrong with it, it's just not Khanh), I accepted the fact that it wasn't the kind of life I would have wanted for me.

If I haven't put it out there already, I absolutely adore my boyfriend. He lifts, he cooks, and on top of everything, he knows how I like my coffee and eggs in the morning. I giggle at the idea of having cooking nights with him, while catching up on the latest episode of Suits. I also giggle at the idea of me coming home with groceries and preparing him a meal for once. That's also me giggling at an idealistic Khanh. Realistically, I couldn't envision a future where I had to put on an apron every night, wait for my partner to come home, and be completely happy with my life. I always had the thought of, well if I worked hard enough, I wouldn't ever have to worry about how the meal gets on the table. It'll be there when I get home. My concentration is less on my culinary skills or lack thereof but more on what I can do to further my talents, contributions and performance in a professional setting.

I feel all sorts of pressure but it mainly stems from the very fact that I so badly want to make my parents proud. While their wishes for me include settling down, finding a good husband, having a stable life and job, the ones I have for myself are extremely different. I want a partner that can challenge me, a life that is constructed with series of losses and wins, and a career that can sometimes be all too consuming but equally gratifying.

Old me would have immediately wanted to apologize to my parents and my boyfriend for not knowing how to cut a watermelon and/or making something aside from cup ramen. But after writing all of this down, I figured it's better to have a healthier and more open approach and who's to say I can't perhaps learn how to cook killer meals while slaying every new professional venture? We'll see how it goes. Let's keep our fingers crossed and hope that I don't burn the house down.