I have always been extremely career-minded. Even from the time I was little, I dreamed of success. I identify with Scandal‘s Olivia Pope in that way. It’s what initially hooked me on the show. I love how independent she is. I love how commanding her presence is. I want to be that type of woman.
But I don’t want to be Olivia Pope.
Because watching Scandal made me realize I want to be that kind of woman, but with an equally awesome partner by my side. For all of Olivia’s success, her personal life kind of sucks. Sure, that works for a show. But in real life, having the dream job with the dream confidence just isn’t enough for me.
I used to think I didn’t need marriage in my life. I always said that if I found the right partner, then I would take the plunge, but it was never something I was actively searching for. The result? I found myself in relationships with commitment-phobes and got a few bad experiences under my belt. Not that I was perfect in these relationships by any means. I was young. I had no idea what I truly wanted. And that opened the way to confusion and heartbreak.
I also wanted to be that independent woman who didn’t need a man. I still am that woman — I really don’t need a man. But I also don’t think women should be ashamed to want a healthy partner in their life. I think I always knew that the love story was something I secretly wanted, but I was afraid to admit it, even to myself. It wasn’t until I embraced those desires that I realized wanting a lifelong partner doesn’t make me weak at all. It makes me human. It makes me a better human.
Of course, that’s not to say that people who don’t want a relationship are wrong. In fact, it’s just the opposite. I think discovering and knowing confidently what you want and what is right for yourself is one of the wisest things we can discover. The humanity lies in the choice.
Unfortunately for Olivia, she is still far from making that choice for herself. And watching her ups and downs and her love triangles and her indecision makes it all the more clear that I am making the right choice for myself by making different and conscious choices.
For me, I want Vermont and jam. I just also want the high-powered badass job. The beautiful thing is that I don’t think I have to sacrifice one to have the other. I think having both is attainable. Hard work, yes. An impossibility? Absolutely not. It’s good to be alive in the 21st century, ladies. (Not that there isn’t still a lot of work to do.)
Olivia can keep her high-ranking office job and her power. I’ll take that man in my life who challenges me and pushes me while we both work to make a big difference in this world.