Tuesday, December 29, 2009

On being a smart woman

Something I wrote six months ago and didn't have the guts to post. Then I read this post at Just Jen and decided to throw my two cents into the conversation. A follow-up post may appear after I've had time to ponder.

The other day the Cobbler and I had a brief discussion of finances, specifically student loans, and I was suddenly struck by the fact that if things go the way we hope, he'll end up paying off most of mine. (The plan in brief: He gets job, we get married, we have lots of babies.)

Now, first off: I don't go around racking up student loans indiscriminately because I'm counting on living off my future husband's income. I've done research on what computer programmer type people make and it's a decent amount, generally, but not enough that we'll have piles of money lying around or anything. And even if that wasn't an issue, who wants to start off their independent adult lives thinking, "Oh, great, a big pile of debt I have to pay off before I can even think about chasing hopes and dreams and suchlike."

That said...the Cobbler and I know what our goals are. And one of those is to have me stay home with the kidlets. Even if that means that "his" money does things like pay off my debt, that I got because I was a stubborn thing and went to a private college when I had a full ride to a state school.

Perhaps the fact that I'm even slightly troubled by that idea is evidence of the fact that I was raised in a post-feminist world, where smart women get college degrees and cool-sounding jobs and don't get married until they've been on their own for a while and etc. You've probably all heard it. (If you haven't, I'll let the rest of the world enlighten you.)

Now, I am very grateful that I live in the twenty-first century. As much as I complain that I'd rather be a pioneer and live in a log cabin, there are definite perks to this era. If I had been born more than a few decades earlier than I was, the Cobbler and I might never have met or fell in love. I mean, seriously. We met at a scholarship competition. (We both lost, but I like to think that I won something better than a scholarship. :)) We fell in love during our first year of college.

And let me tell you that a long-distance relationship wouldn't be much fun without all the twenty-first century gadgetry. Skype is my best friend.

I am thankful for the opportunity to go to college, not just because of the Cobbler but because of me. Franciscan's been a blessing to me and maybe God would have found a way to make me who I am even if I'd been born 100 years ago...but maybe the reason I was born in 1989 and not 1889 was because He knew that what He wanted to do with me could only be accomplished by putting me in this era.

But I do not think that a smart woman needs to go to college or needs to have a spiffy white-collar job. And I don't think that raising kids is a waste of her mind and talents.

I, for one, plan on using everything I've learned to help my kids become everything God wants them to be.


Em said...

I wholeheartedly agree. And this is coming from a girl who has somehow managed to talk herself into graduate school! It frustrates me that to the world's view, I'm playing along with the game and embracing the idea that "smart women should become professionals." The smartest women I know ARE professionals: professional hearts, minds, and souls. A PhD or a Bachelors are institutional titles, indicating at best a good formal education. But they are not badges of life success. My mother taught me that. Her favorite job was not the one for which she was earned a degree, but rather the one that awarded her time to give love and wisdom to her children. :)

The Sojourner said...

See, you said it in a few sentences. :)