Sandra Gibbons

Sandra Gibbons

lives in beautiful Northwest Arkansas. She writes about parenthood, lessons learned, and creating moments of happiness.

Quarter-Life Crisis, Part II

First things first, I want to share a minor update with everyone regarding my unemployment. There may be some scoffing and head-scratching, but I thought it best to be open on my happenings. As of now, I am currently working at Hooters. Yes, Hooters. Now, before jumping to conclusions on my decision to work there, I wanted to share my thought process on this.

Ultimately, I need income that will help keep me afloat. Before quitting my last job, I did plan ahead and make sure I had a decent cushion, but I’d rather not dip into those funds if possible. Since I’m the type of person that freaks out when their checking account approaches a certain number, I immediately set out to find a job to prevent that from happening. While mindlessly sifting through various job postings on Indeed during the wee hours one morning, I stumbled across a Hooters girl opening. Flexible hours and shifts. Until finding that posting, I came across a variety of full time 8 to 5 positions within a 10 minute drive from me. Full time positions, 5 days per week, little to no flexibility. The whole point of my moving home was to take time and discover myself, and to bravely reenter the real world with my new found knowledge and expectations—not to quickly jump on the next time-wasting, crap chute that describes corporate America. As it were, I rejected the option of falling into old choices, and decided to do something I would have never, ever considered doing in the past. Hello, Hooters.

My plan is to limit myself to working 2-3 shifts per week. It’s not much, but it’s exactly what I’m looking for at this time in my life. I’ll make some money to stay afloat, be able to keep doing my hobbies, and just enjoy and plan different things during my continued free time. No business casual dress codes. No annual performance reviews. No productivity ratings, no office politics, and no staring at a computer screen 9-10 hours/day. It’s the little things.

With that, I hope you understand my temporary decision in working there. After all, it’s my quarter-life crisis, right?

In Quarter-Life Crisis, Part I, I told you I was doing a bit of soul-searching and that I had come to terms with certain aspects of myself. Well, here it goes… I don’t truly give a shit about being an independent woman. I think it’s overrated, and often times, leads to a jaded and empty lifestyle (remember… this is from MY experience and lessons learned). While being independent is cause for pride and permits a sense of freedom, it ended up being my jailer for things that really held value in my life. It created this false sense of self-sufficiency and kept me from being who I really was—in friendships and relationships. I found myself constantly putting on this facade of being a responsible, strong woman in a love affair with solitude… when the entire time, I was coming apart at the seams. I remember telling friends and family that I was never getting married—that I didn’t see having children in my future, but those were massive lies. I do want to find a man who feels it in his bones to want to care for me. And I want to care for him. Perhaps I haven’t met him yet, or perhaps I’ve already crossed paths with him in life, but I no longer deny wanting to find and marry that truest friend for me. I do want to have children. Maybe one day if the circumstances are right, that will happen for me. I’m not going to force it, and I won’t settle for something out of desperation. I can only hope it happens.

My blog’s headline is Recovering Independent Woman, Extraordinaire. I think it’s important to make clear that my crisis is a product of society’s expectations for women today. There’s so much pressure to be this do-it-all, powerhouse businesswoman that I constantly find myself battling with what I want to do versus what I think society expects. It’s no longer sexy to be a homemaker. Instead, there are television and online ads ramming the independent woman image down our throats—there are ads showing women happily working in specialized fields or as corporate executives. TV shows depict beautiful women in powerful positions living the high life with no real mention of a positive home life. Popular shows that actually do show homemakers are the likes of Desperate Housewives… which I find to be complete trash. I can’t possibly be the only woman out there wondering what happened to the grace and gift of being a housewife?? And this doesn’t just affect women in society. It seems like men have lost that edge that once made them so irresistibly desirable. It’s almost as if men today don’t really know what their role or expectations are in a relationship because women presume to “run the world” and be independent. Men have lost the ‘A’ to their Alpha, and I can’t help but feel this has made our society a confusing and broken place. Men are now drawn to that woman who seems to have it all… while barely recognizing the woman who, more than anything, wants to make home life for her man feel like paradise.

I am an independent woman in recovery. My nature is to be home with my family, and that’s the most important thing I’ve come to realize in the past couple of months. And I don’t want to fight the core of who I am any longer, so I’m not. Does that mean I want to sit at home all day and never work another day in my life? Definitely not. But I now know what I want most out of everything. There is nothing wrong with wanting to create an amazing home life, empowering your man, and teaching your children to be the most exceptional human beings possible. It’s beautiful.

The independent woman dream is not for me. I don’t want to spend the best years of my life confined in some cubicle working my ass off so that a company profits from my time and energy. I would rather focus my time and energy into things I have a say over. I’m in no way trying to bash women who embrace their independent lifestyle. I’m only trying to encourage those, who like me, feel a different purpose for themselves. It’s okay to pursue that. With all the craziness in the world, it’s not a bad thing to want to create a stable and welcoming home life.

Hello, Heaven

Quarter Life Crisis, Part I