Often times people ask me, “If you could go back and redo one thing in life, what would it be?”
My response is generally, “I would have focused heavily on achieving my personal goals BEFORE getting married.”
As a married millennial, especially in today’s society, it is hard to maintain personal goals when your primary goal has now become to be supportive, loving and everything necessary to another human being. I imagine the same could be said for individuals who become parents prior to accomplishing all they’ve set out to do.
Being married as a millennial is tough because society is getting away from the traditional values in marriage, and for anyone under the age of 35 who tries to embark on this journey without having a solid foundation in what those values are, find it challenging to be married and be a millennial.
Why? Because being a millennial entails a certain level of selfishness in order to aspire to anything. The world tries to cram us all into this one small box, when we are out here trying to create our own buildings and enterprises. Well it’s already hard enough to do, but add a whole husband (or wife) in the mix and now you have to decide where your dreams fit into your new normal.
Let me back up and speak for myself for a minute. My husband is in medical school. [Insert middle-age woman’s smile and “Girl, medical school! You’re gonna be set” here]… because that’s typically the first response I get. And if anyone knows me, they know, I’m not at all enamored by the idea of being a doctor’s wife. I think it’s dope that my husband is journeying on this path to become an amazing physician and he will be one, but if God allows, we’ll be known as Dr. & Dr. Jackson.
You see, I had many goals and aspirations prior to marriage that, at first, were taking a backseat to my husband’s dreams. Because being a doctor would bring in the coins so let’s get him set first, right? It made sense in the first couple of years of wedded bliss, but it soon got old and I got miserable. To watch him grow and develop professionally while I felt super stagnant in my career was heart-wrenching and, if I can be transparent, led to a short bout with depression.
I had all of the excuses: I have to keep working a job I don’t necessarily care for because it pays the bills. He can’t work so I have to focus on making sure the home is taken care of so he can focus on school. I want to be an entrepreneur, that’s not gonna keep the lights on. Just wait a few more years and I can do what I love.
It was the idea of making a wrong move would leave us on the street. No one would ever suggest to him to stop going to medical school so I could achieve my goals because everyone knew that he would be the one to set us up for financial stability. I’d get my chance…eventually.
But again, people who know me know I’m not a patient person. I hate waiting and I often catch an attitude when I feel as if someone is preventing me from doing anything. God knows for sure because I have to hash it out with Him often, but in all honesty, He’s the only One who can remind me why I was placed in this position as wife and provider, for a time such as this and I’ve grown to be content in that.
However, passions don’t go away and they rob you of your sleep. So I started to ask myself, “What are steps I can take now to make sure that when Chris does finish school, I’m set to walk in my purpose full time?” Conversations were had between us and I was reminded that this man fell in love with me, primarily for my ambition anyway and to have lost that had severely impacted our relationship. So not only was my depression affecting me, but it affected him as well.
With his blessing and God’s guidance, I started making moves. Networking with other professionals, finding free resources to guide me toward a solid foundation, and
eventually investing in those aspects of my business that I knew would have a major return later on. It was not easy to do this because it was already difficult trying to have two people live off my little teacher’s salary, but God has made provisions in areas we’d never imagined. I know it’s because we have remained committed to sowing ten percent of anything we receiving into His ministry.
In this journey to press forward, in spite of feeling as if it’s not the right time, I’ve learned that there is truly no reason to wait, especially when God is the One who has given me the vision. What are you waiting for? The money, the time, the people? It’s not necessary. There are some aspects of your dreams that will require those things, but there are ways for you to take small steps toward your goals now without the funds and even with little support. I know because I am currently doing it. A network friend of mine, Kay Hillman, offers great advice for starting a business with no money.
There are 24 hours in a day, how are you using yours? Yes, rest! Yes, self-care! But take 30 minutes to an hour a day to invest in yourself and your goals. Maybe it’s after the children are asleep. Or you might wake up an extra hour early before going to your day job. It’s possible that a conversation needs to be had between you and your spouse to generate an understanding of how much time you need and how they can support you in your goals as you’ve been supporting them. Join an accountability group… I’m currently in one hosted by The King’s Daughter! Whatever you need to do, think about it and then actually do it!
Whatever reason has you waiting, find a way to get around it. Otherwise, you’re sitting on your gift and those assigned to be blessed by you walking in your purpose, are simply waiting too.