Think back to when you were in junior high and high school. How did you picture your adult life? I recently asked a few women entrepreneurs – all business owners – ages 40+ to 60+- to answer that question:
Norma: As a teen, getting my driver’s license, and finally feeling in control of my life. I pictured that I would be independent and self-sufficient! A wonderful feeling. So career was important and everything that would put secure that vision for me. I also pictured that if I married it would be later in life, and that the person I would marry would have already had a previous marriage; so I pictured an adult marriage at 40+.
Candace: husband, kids, nice home, famous fashion designer
Margie: I thought I’d be a school teacher.
Paula: Successful ad agency executive living in a big city (thought often of Chicago). Married in my late 20’s/early 30’s. Two kids. Nothing actually worked that way.
Chris: A successful life from my eyes as a teen was married to someone I love and having young kids. I didn’t really think money or working or vacations. Being happy was my view of success. Also being able to own a dog, that was always in my mind’s eye.
Deborah: married with children living in the suburbs with a dog and a station wagon and I wanted to be a nurse.
With the exception of Norma, whose idea was more advanced than her peers, most envisioned some form of “the plan” as their future. At what point does that mold of that planned life get broken? At what point do our daughters learn that they are in charge of creating their future?
Well – I am pleased to say that it may have happened. Credit the Internet or a generation of two income families, but whatever the reason, this up and coming generation appear to understand that their future is of their own making. Gone are the days of going to college for an “MRS” degree.
I recently asked a few of middle school young ladies to answer the same question and here are some of the answers:
Emily Doing what you want, making some money and moving forward.
Helen living and working in Europe
Devon being a famous artist
Elli making enough money to live on my own
I’m excited about the future. Although history has shown a tendency to be repetitive, I’m hopeful that this younger generation of women will mature and grow into adulthood without the stigma of what their perfect life has to be as defined by others. Is history repeating itself? Hopefully only the parts we want to keep. What is your take on the situation? Do you find that young girls are planning a life by their own definition or is “the plan” of married with children and a white picket fence still alive and well?
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