Its not the princeBy Rachel Funk
at all that counts
'I am Woman, hear me roar." Or so we were told, the young women coming of age in the late '70s. We were learning that the definition of "woman" was changing, thanks to the strides made in the women's movement.
The buzzwords back then were "you can have it all." The "all" meant fulfilling the traditional roles of being wives and mothers, as well as exploring new career roles that had been unavailable to women in the past.
We were being sold on the idea that we could have the satisfaction that comes from marrying Prince Charming, raising beautiful children and having incredible careers.
Well, today I find myself looking back on how I went for it "all" and ended up with a new definition of what it was all about.
I decided to start with the career, hoping that I would stumble across Prince Charming somewhere along my path. So off I went.
After majoring in journalism at the University of Hawai'i, I was lucky enough to land a job at CNN in Atlanta, Ga. At the time, CNN was emerging from being Chicken Noodle News to the world information icon it is today. Women were a part of the network's success. We all wanted to make it in this competitive field so we worked long, hard hours under extremely stressful conditions.
(Remember the scene in the movie "Broadcast News" where that woman runs through the halls with a videotape in her hand? Running was part of my daily routine.)
BUT after a few years, I thought, "OK, what all do I have to show for my efforts? The answer: not much. I realized that if I had stayed there, the future held more of the same. I would still be surrounded by people yelling and screaming at each other when deadlines weren't met, and the news itself wasn't all that pleasant. Every day, it was more of the same: death, scandals, the recounting of planetary suffering in general.
I was miserable, in terrible health and I knew my life would continue downhill. So I left the bright lights of international television news and came back to Honolulu.
As for Prince Charming, let's put it this way, I tried looking for him but there was no sign of him anywhere. I couldn't even get a date with his stable boy. (The fact that I tried so hard would have scared the bravest knight.)
So I decided to focus on my health. I began looking into the alternative health scene and stumbled upon a new healing technique. I started attending weekly sessions and began to feel a lot better. I eventually started doing volunteer work for the center where the healing was done.
Now mind you, I was trained to be a journalist, not to be some airy-fairy, muffin-head healer, and I still intended to "have it all." But as I continued to work with people and saw them go through their own healing process, I began to see something unique emerging.
I found that I could express my desire to be nurturing by reaching out to help others, and those others could be anyone. Today, it could be the person who walks into our office. One day, it could be my own children.
I also discovered that all the skills I picked up on my original career path could be used in the day-to-day center operations. So now I feel like I do have it all -- that successful, meaningful career, and a fulfilling life.
And who knows, Prince Charming may still stumble into my life someday, but this time I won't have to try so hard.
Rachel Funk is the center coordinator for the International
Foundation of Bio-Magnetics Honolulu headquarters.
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