I’ll conclude this exploration of Undecided with my answer to question 3.
3. Which woman do you relate to the most? Which one pisses you off? Is there someone you don’t understand at all? Do you think this is all a question of privilege?
First, Jane is the woman with whom I most resonate. Starting in chapter 1 and continuing through the end of the book, the Kelleys described 27-year-old Jane, a woman who wanted the perfect life. At one point during their interview she said she wished everything from spouse to job had been provided for her. She had difficulty with indecision especially when it came to leaving one job for another. Finally, she thinks she has found the best job in the best location, but in the end, she is still upset. She tells the authors that maybe it’s not the external that needs fixing, but the internal — and nothing is scarier than doing a full-life reset.
Jane’s life resonates with my own so well! I’ve worked in three different financial aid jobs, not because I really wanted to, but because I had the skills. The most recent one, I was really starting to love because of the studies offered by the school and the opportunities I was given by staff and faculty. I might still be at that job today, but that’s a story not necessary for this blog. Those times when I quit one job for another were gut-wrenching. I knew I was no longer satisfied with the current job and THOUGHT I’d be happy at the next, but telling my first boss I was leaving was one of the last things I wanted to do. I felt guilty I was letting her down, as if this was the worst thing I could possibly do to her. I was more concerned about her feelings when I should have felt comfortably selfish about the opportunity I was giving myself.
Environment doesn’t mean much to me; though, I do like to travel. As an employee, as long as I was always coming back home, my husband would probably let me go anywhere.
I think I know what I want to do with my life right now given my current limitations, but I’m still not sure if it’s the right choice. I’m still stuck in Jane’s dilemma of wanting that elusive perfect job.
The women I didn’t like or didn’t understand were those who had plenty of money and therefore time to decide what worked for them and what didn’t. I wish I was in that situation. So many of us women have been told we can do anything and we better start doing it or we’re going to be homeless! So, yes, in some regard, I do see the option of choice as one of privilege. There are women who have the luxury of trying on one job after the other with no real consequence or fear of failure. Then there are other women, like me, who feel like they can’t fail AGAIN either emotionally or financially at their next job.
At this point, I’m going to move on slightly. There are 11 discussion questions at the end of Kelleys’ Undecided, but I’ve decided those are more private for me.