No promises, no demands. Pat Benatar had it right. But its not just Love that’s a battlefield–its the whole darn era when we’re supposed to be fighting for ourselves, our dignity, our respect, and our place in the world–those equally anticipated and feared years of being a “20-Something.”
I’ll never forget a discussion that a group of young women leaders had with Harvard President Drew Faust at an event designed specially for Women in Leadership. One young woman raised her hand and asked about them–the battlefield decade of the 20s. “What if they don’t turn out to be the best years of my life?” President Faust was quick to correct the error. “The 20s are not the best years of your life.” What she was really saying was that its not some golden era that will come and go in one fast decade and use up all the “good” years your life can muster. As if there’s even any one definition of what a “good” year is.
As a soon-to-be 19 year old, I know the 20s are imminent–but geez, they’re not all that’s out there. I know that I, along with about a dozen other girls in the room that day, sighed with relief when President Faust assured us that the 20s were not going to be perfect, and urged us to realize now just how not perfect they would probably be. Regardless, I still firmly believe that you should never lose sight of your dreams, even when you haven’t reached them yet.Think of it as that perfectly designed cocktail dress that you’re hanging in the closet for now–just waiting for the perfect night to break it out and wow the crowd.
If you always fight to defend yourself and who you are, you’ll find that it’s really no battlefield at all–nope, that’s just life.