I had an interview for a new ambulance company last week. It was one of the first interviews I’ve done in quite awhile, and I’ve got to admit that I went in incredibly unprepared. There was no googling common interview questions and preparing answers, no scanning through Forbes’ website to see what the wealthy look for when they’re interviewing prospective employees.
There was, however, a two minute pause while I attempted to come up with my best strengths for the interviewer. I can’t even brag about myself well. The majority of the interview was spent pulling answers out of my ass and thinking about how much I needed to pee.
One question stuck out to me, though. I was interviewing for a paramedic position—nothing special or out of the ordinary. For those of you that don’t know, paramedics have a fairly high turnover rate due to rapid burnout and abysmal pay. For someone that functions somewhere between a glorified babysitter and a mobile nurse, we don’t get paid shit.
The interviewer asked me what my future plans were. This was one of the easier questions, and I immediately began rattling off the most socially accepted answer. I’m currently taking prerequisites for nursing school and hope to become an ER nurse. The interviewer smiled and congratulated me and we quickly moved on.
My cookie cutter answer is not what my future plans are. Can you even call them plans when they’re more of a pipe dream? A fire department would be lovely, PA school would be the best option if only I could find the time, money or patience. But even these aren’t my future plans. A career isn’t really in my plans, to be honest.
My plans involve little faces and swollen feet. Helping my oldest make toast for breakfast and kissing my husband goodbye as he goes to work. Teaching my babies to read, to grow carrots, to feed chickens and collect eggs. Learning how to make soap with a baby on my hip and bread in the oven.
My plans involve going on adventures with the little ones in the woods, collecting leaves and rocks and anything else they find exciting. My plans involve dogs, and chickens, and maybe goats if I can manage it. A few acres in the middle of nowhere with a few tiny foreheads to kiss at the end of each day before climbing into bed with the man of my dreams.
I’m 21, and none of my plans in my life are set in stone—save one. Family is my biggest plan, the only one I refuse to waiver on. My biggest dream in life is to be a mother to my husband’s children, and raise them in a way my own mother—a small business owner—never had the opportunity to. I dream of raising them on a small piece of land with trees to climb and lawns to run through. To be a mother sounds like the most exciting adventure.
Socially, this really isn’t acceptable. As the only girl in my extended family, I’ve been raised to believe that my only life choice is college, a career, and then a family when I have time. My parents always had big plans for me, and I love them for that. I’ve never even thought to share my life’s ambition with other women my age, who will most likely gasp at how “anti-feminist” I truly am. Sometimes, it almost feels embarrassing to admit that my biggest life goal is digging in a garden while my kids chase frogs.
To me, and for my life, there’s no greater ambition than to raise the next generation of thinkers. To have the power to teach my sons that they’re allowed to show emotion and be loving, to raise my daughters to know that they’re just as competent, intelligent, and worthy as any man. To teach all my children to love nature, take care of the earth, and to give to others as much as possible. Mothers and fathers are given a unique opportunity to teach little people what is right and wrong, and I look forward to that chance.
We’ve created a culture that’s gone from one extreme to another, and each extreme just keeps demanding women to fit into a certain box. Feminism means we get to break out of that box, but what if I’m perfectly comfortable sitting in my little box, as long as the door is open? Feminism doesn’t have to be about being a strong, independent woman—although there’s no reason I can’t be that even as a wife and mother. Being a feminist is completely about the right to choose whatever makes you happy in your life, and I’m lucky enough to know exactly what will make me happy.