Would You Trade Success For Love And Family?

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daughter running into arms of mother father looking on
It can be difficult to balance a career and a family, but would you trade one for the other?

Recently, during a weekly therapy session, my doc and I were doing our thing, talkin' 'bout boys, my frustration with the ones I have met, and my recent relapse into dreaming about my ex; I was telling her that sometimes, despite being a relatively solitary person who enjoys time alone, I get overwhelmed with loneliness. I miss something I don't have anymore, that feeling of deep companionship.

It's something we've talked about often in the last year and a half since my biggie breakup; during that time, as my loneliness and grief waxed and waned, my career has thrived. The Frisky has become more successful than I dared to have dreamed when we first started it and I'm noodling with the idea of writing a book; both work and personal projects keep me busy and sometimes I feel like I need to pinch myself to confirm that my professional aspirations have been met with truly thrilling results. The Frisky: Girl Talk: I Want To Live Alone Forever

My love life, on the other hand, in the aftermath of my breakup from my fiance—with whom I had a relationship that, while not meant to be, was life-changing—has been lacking. Still, it's not something I give up on, and I often think and talk about my desire to have a family of my own. My therapist asked me, and I'm forgetting how we circled around to this line of questioning, "Would you trade the professional success to have the family you want?" It didn't take me but a second to decide. "You mean, would I trade a career that's still on a significant incline for a happy relationship and children? Yes. Absolutely."

Of course, she reminded me I didn't have to choose, that life isn't that black and white. The desire to "have it all" can be a lot of pressure, but so long as you're realistic about what "it all" means, there's no reason to have to choose between work and family. But her asking me that question served as a reminder that a busy career and the excitement of a new relationship are hard to balance at the same time. I don't think it's a coincidence that my career has blossomed while I've been single—I've had loads more time to focus on it. In truth, right now is not the best time for me to meet someone amazing and fall in love. I'm the first to admit that when I meet someone I'm excited about getting to know, I'm about as distracted as one can get. I think about him, oh, at least 50 percent of the time and that's a lie because it's probably more like 75 percent of the time, if we're talking waking hours. Not to mention the time actually spent together—needless to say, it cuts into the time I should be spending working on my book proposal, or, you know, doing my job. The Frisky: Girl Talk: How Couples Counseling Saved My Marriage