Recently I saw the movie “The Five Year Engagement”.
What stood out most for me after watching the (about half an hour too long) so-called Rom-Com, was the question the movie explores of how far would you go for the one you love?
Would you give up your job to move to a cold, unfriendly city so your finance could take up their dream job? And in the process, take a huge step backwards in your own career.
And if I wouldn’t / hadn’t been prepared to make this selfless sacrifice, well what does that say about me and my own relationship with my husband?
Coincidentally our twelve-year-old daughter asked a question along these lines a mere two days before I saw the movie.
While enjoying a family session of Glee, we watched the central characters Rachel and Finn wrestling with the same question.
“What was more important to you and Daddy, your career or love?” asked our girl.
Which is not an easy question to answer, and certainly not after a long hard day at work and the standard pick-me-up-and-give-me-enough-energy-to-cook-dinner glass or two of wine.
On the one hand, I want to carry the torch for the sisterhood. I admire the work of our feminist forebears who cleared a path so women can, if they want to, have a career as well as a family.
I am grateful that as a young mother of two children under two, who discovered to her total surprise she was not in fact suited to being a stay at home mum, society (and my husband) accepted my choice to go out and work.
While I am still struggling to find the perfect career for myself, I acknowledge my sense of self-worth and identity is at least, in part, reflected by my answer to the question – “Occupation?”
I want my daughter to feel it is ok for her to follow her dreams, whether she continues to dream of becoming an Olympic swimmer, or something a little less lofty like working as a primary school teacher.
On the other hand, my girl has a big heart full of all the romantic notions typical of her age. Last week I had to ask her to change her mobile phone voicemail message from “Chloe Tomlinson, One Direction lover”.
No, Tomlinson is not her surname but apparently is the name of one of the members of the infamous boy band. You know, the ones who recently toured Australia – cue lots of tween girls screaming.
I have no desire to deprive her of any of her romantic ideals of love. I possibly even encourage them – I once devoted a blog post to asking whether she could have already met her soul mate as an eight year old.
But in truth, is my love for her father so overwhelming, so all-consuming, that if he asked me to move to somewhere like say, Dubbo, I would say “Yes, how soon”?
Whatever it might say about the state of my marriage, I confess the answer is a resounding “No”.*
Which I guess means the answer to how far I would go for love is – as far as it takes to get somewhere with a good beach, decent coffee and boutique shopping strip.
Cheers till next time,
* The husband read this post prior to my publishing it. He feels it is “ironical” I am contemplating whether I would move for him. He likes to remind me that if it were not for me, he would still be happily living in Burnie NW Tasmania, and would never have left there to move first to Perth and then to Melbourne.