Salimah Jones APRN, FNP-C
A few weeks ago, I saw the move “Girls Trip” starring Regina Hall, Jada Pinkett Smith, Queen Latifah, and Tiffany Haddish. Although this movie was quite explicit, because I am not easily offended, I did appreciate the humor in the movie. What was quite surprising to me was how much I identified with the main character Ryan Pierce, played by Regina Hall, who portrayed a best-selling author of a book entitled “You Can Have it All”. The message in the book was that women can have it all, meaning a successful career, wealth, beauty, a good marriage, and happiness.
The irony in the movie was that although Ryan had this public persona of all these great things going for her in her life, in reality she was struggling with a broken marriage, broken friendships, and self-esteem issues due to her inability to conceive a child. She wasn’t truly living this image of perfection that everyone else saw.
As a professional woman who has achieved a successful career while being married and raising kids, I have often felt that I carry this unrealistic image of perfection. I wanted to write this post debunk this myth, as I am not and never will be perfect. I am and will continue to be God’s work in progress. I encounter the same hardships that so many women have.
My marriage has experienced significant challenges over the years. I struggle with maintaining personal relationships with family and friends. I often fall short in my parenting skills. I wish I could say that my family has a home cooked meal and we sit down and eat at the dinner table several nights a week. We are lucky if this happens once a month. I wish I could entertain guests in my home, but 90% of the time there are piles of laundry on my couch waiting to be folded, dishes piled up in the sink waiting to be washed, and miscellaneous items all over the floors and counters waiting to be put in their place. This is the reality of my life as a professional woman.
I am constantly battling with my feelings of inadequacy. I hate that I can’t keep up with everything. I don’t want to hire a maid, a chef, or any other help because in my mind, this would be admitting my inadequacy. But why is this? Why do we as women put so much pressure on ourselves to do it all? I am sick of the fake and phony and it’s time that I be the first to admit that there is no such thing as having it all. The truth is every day there is a struggle over juggling priorities in my life. In order to accomplish one thing, I must give up something else.
If you are reading this post and are either contemplating nursing school or currently enrolled, or maybe you are already working in the nursing field; if you also are raising a family and/or have a job, please realize that “perfect” does not exist. The struggle is real and certain things in your life will take a back seat while you are pursing your goals. Learn to live with doing what you can and that real happiness comes from being the best version of you that you can be.
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About the Author
Hi I’m Salimah Jones, I am a Family Nurse Practitioner, author, and Founder of The Nursing Guide, an online community dedicated to helping aspiring and current nurses overcome life’s challenges to achieve their professional goals. Coming from a disadvantaged background, and having experienced the struggles of pursuing a career while working and raising a family, I am now dedicated to helping others find ways to make their dreams a reality. I provide practical solutions to help those who are struggling with finances, learning difficulties, motivation, work-life-balance, or lack of a social support system. I want to show you how to conquer any challenge so that you can become your own success story. Please subscribe to this blog and don’t forget to sign up for your free membership on The Nursing Guide Website. Connect with me on twitter @salimahjones.