Sunday, 11 November 2007

Motivation and Drive

It's always interesting, albeit frustrating, to me that I find so much motivation and drive in feminine pursuits and so little in masculine pursuits. On the one hand, it only solidifies for me that I really am wired to embrace my traditional role. But on the other, it's torture that I have to table so much of my feminine side in my current (and hopefully temporary) lifestyle.

I came to Jolly Old England on a special visa that will allow me to work without a work permit. It's somewhat elite, I guess, and is based on what I've achieved thus far academically and professionally.

If you detect a note of underwhelmed ambivalence on my part to what is, I know intellectually, a major accomplishment, you would be correct ;)

My quest to live the fairytale of unapologetic femininity, where I can really and truly be a girl 24 hours a day, has put me in a strange world of forced motivation. Until my Prince Charming comes along, I'm forced to be self-sufficient and play both roles...I'm forced to participate in the masculine world of the workforce.

It was three months ago yesterday that I arrived in London and I have to admit, I'm just not trying that hard to find a job...I'm trying, but finding the motivation to do so is utter torture, the only payoff in finding a job is that it pays the bills ;) But it doesn't serve any higher purpose in my mind...in fact, it takes away from my femininity.

I'm lucky to have been born with a decent amount of intelligence and while I very, very much want to find my prince charming someday, I don't want to just sit in a holding pattern until then, doing nothing with my life. So my academic and professional career has been impressive, by most standards, because I'm smart enough that I can "get by" very well even when I'm not interested in something.

So here I am, 30 years old and pretty accomplished in my career...and I spend nearly every day dreaming for more time to devote to what really matters: supporting a man, cooking, decorating, etc. When I'm asked in interviews why I want that particular job or what my career path is, I have to fake enthusiasm.

I have a pretty promising interview next week, but I've had to prepare a pretty complicated project for the interview. And though I'm well ahead of the game and it's nearly finished, getting to this point has involved every motivation trick in the book: I've tried to bribe myself with treats if I accomplish a certain milestone, I've chopped work periods into 30 minute blocks, so I don't have to torture myself too much...and I constantly remind myself that by next weekend, it'll be over and finished. But still, I dread each second I work on it...it's just so boring and pointless. And it's taken me away from feminine activities. With each milestone I get through, it's just part of the torture behind me. All this will achieve is that my bills will get paid and I can have fun for now. It doesn't serve any greater purpose...I'm not honing skills that matter and I'm not making anyone's life better.

But - in the brief snippet of domestic life I experienced, I found myself obsessively and tirelessly striving for perfection. I spent weeks planning perfectly coordinated meals, with details such as the flavours of one course leading appropriately to the flavours of the next. I created a schedule for myself to ensure that I had time to complete my tasks properly - a schedule with details such as waiting until late in the day to clean the kitchen, so it would be most tidy when he came home. And I took happy, gleeful pride in presenting him with a cold and just-prepared drink upon his arrival. In short - I put 1000% effort into my homemaking abilities and every second of the planning and doing were bliss. I'd created pages upon pages of spreadsheets, I'd researched the perfect combinations of ingredients for the meals, all of that taking hundreds of hours and there was nothing I'd rather have been doing and I was sad when it was over.

But this project for my interview...I've put forth about a 40% effort, I've spent maybe 20 hours on it and even that much was difficult. I don't really care how it's received and I'm looking forward to its end.

So again...I don't think there's any doubt where my motivation and drive lean toward, but will I ever get to live that dream world of cooking and cleaning all day? Or am I stuck in a world of PowerPoint for eternity?

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

I can't resist the urge to make an introduction! Have you seen this http://www.gumtree.com/london/46/13658346.html

from N de S?

I have never met N de S, but he sounds an interesting gentleman and, just perhaps, a soul mate.

Tara on the Hill

Cinderella said...

Thank you :) He and I actually emailed briefly a few months ago and we're just not compatible, such is life!

Egghead said...

I actually do not think the pursuit of a professional career at the present time in your life is contradictory to your feminine aspirations. The fact is that you do not have a man to care for right now, and being an intelligent woman, it is harder for you to find somebody who has the intellectual aptitude to match you.

I have an extremely intelligent female colleague (I work in academia). She is highly respected for her scientific merit, but she manages to preserve a feminine and compliant attitude.

Being in the job market will also enhance our chances of meeting the right man--somebody who is resourceful enough to match you--and you will have a chance to show other women that professionalism can be combined with femininity.

I hope you get the job. You will be a fine example.

Edward said...

hi cinderella
i enjoyed reading your post.
especially when you mentioned about planing a meal for your man to the last detail.

i think you would run rings around Nigella lawson and Martha Stewart.

i can really seeing where your heart lies. You have that passion to be wonderful traditional wife. it's a shame our society does not value that.

i firmly believe that a woman should always wear either a skirt or a dress.

Actually for the home i think it is wonderful to see the wife in a full skirt and apron.
i am reminded of julianna moore in
the movie "Far from heaven"

Love reading your blog
cheers
Ed

Anonymous said...

Cinderella,

Sorry it don't work out.

Hope you find your Prince Charming,

Tara on the Hill

Egghead said...

I was reading your excellent blog again and it struck me that you write a lot and very eloquently about your general position in the ideal relationship. But what about discipline, the (almost) inevitable dark side of a blissful relationship. Will you tell us your thoughts about it?