She almost had it all.

The click of her heels commanded power.  Her shiny blonde bob and pristine black suit commanded perfection.  As her long legs strode effortlessly into our eighth grade classroom, she commanded my attention.  And she had it.

Exuding confidence with each stroke of the chalk, she consulted the blackboard with bravado.  And there it was, staring back at us, in big, bold, all caps lettering: DON’T MARRY THE DOCTOR, BE THE DOCTOR.  The room of doughy, wide-eyed prepubescent students was silent with confusion.  I mean, what did this woman mean exactly?  And why was I supposed to ditch my dream of Mr. Perfect only to take on all the hard work myself?  I dismissed her as some radical, women’s lib know-it-all and quickly went back to my fashion doodles.  Be the doctor – was she joking?

It’s taken me 10 years to realize the power behind her message.  At 24, I appreciate the sentiment with a full heart and fierce admiration. 

A few weeks ago, a close friend explained she (happily) sacrificed professional goals for love.   Her love of teaching had to take a back seat to her new bundle of joy.  She got married, had a family – the whole-nine-yards of marital, familial bliss.  Only from where I was sitting, the perfection of a happy home life didn’t seem so blissful.  To me, it seems like a prison I’m not yet ready to visit.  OK, prison is a strong piece of imagery, but you get the point.  It’s not that I don’t want a great marriage or a beautiful baby, it’s that I want my career — and maybe some secret part of me wants it more than the former equation. 

But when she told me she made this choice, my heart shivered.  Why in life do we have to choose between the happily-ever-after or the professionally-ever-after?  What happened to the beauty of chasing our own dreams?  And if we give up our dreams for the current reality, are we inevitably incomplete of the beauty of personal potential?

Is it possible to believe in the impossibility of having it all?  Call me crazy, but I know I do.  10 years ago, and even two years ago, I was in love with love.  I would do anything, sacrifice anything for the possibility of love.  It wasn’t until a beautiful love I shared shattered to pieces that I realized love is important, but not as important as loving myself.  I spent so much time nurturing a meaningful relationship that I forgot to nurture my own dreams.  Without those dreams, those ambitions, what kind of partner will I be?  How can I ever be happy with someone else if I feel unfilled with myself? 

I also learned I don’t need another body to use as a leaning post.  If I can’t learn to lean on no one but myself, how can I ever offer anything but neediness to someone else?  The beauty of having and holding your own dreams and aspirations is that they individualize you and create an innate sense of independence.  It’s freedom and it’s absolutely beautiful.  And let’s face it, what’s sexier than ambition and drive?

I don’t want to depend on a man for anything – money, love or fulfillment.  Sorry Tom Cruise, but you will never complete me.  I want a man to share my dreams with, to share my story with –and trust me, it will be one fun ride.  I want a man to fall in love with my dreams as much as he does my soul.  To me, that’s fulfillment.  That’s love. 

Thanks to some pretty powerful advice received during the peak of my adolescence, I’m not going to marry the writer, I’m going to be the writer.  I’m going to marry the man that falls in love with the voice of my writing, the beauty of my prose.  As Mitch Albom wrote, “I am in love with Hope.”  And I have great hope about the possibility of having it all.

2 Responses to “She almost had it all.”
  1. loved this !
    i’ve never understood women who r ready to leave their dreams for the man they love might sound nice of them ..but true love doesn’t ask u to choose ..and i could talk about this for hours.. but Paulo Coelho said it all before : “the love that prevent you accomplish your dreams is not a true love”
    thank u ..really enjoyed reading this .

    • jordanleah says:


      I completely agree… without my dreams, I wouldn’t be the person I am. Nothing is sexier than a person with drive and ambitions! Thanks for your continued support! 🙂


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