Monday, December 31, 2007

Good Advice: Stop Waiting for Your Prince

I heard an interview with the legendary Eartha Kitt on the radio this morning. Talking about the fact that she made her own way in the world, she said something that I think fits nicely into the concept of taking care of ourselves:
I always thought of myself a sepia Cinderella, and look, I'm still looking for my prince, but the prince turned out to be me. ... Everything I want in my life I have to pay for myself.

Kitt was talking about economic self sufficiency, of course -- despite singing songs like "Santa Baby," she bought her own sables -- but the same principle applies to self defense. Waiting around for your prince is chancy -- he might not ever show up. And even if he does, he might not be able to protect you. Even worse, the guy who can do the best job of taking care of you may not be the one who has your heart.

Learn to take care of yourself. Then you can choose your prince on your own terms -- or choose to do without one at all.

photo of Eartha Kitt by Carl Van Vechten

1 comment:

lapetitekimi said...

You're absolutely right. Eartha Kitt is an amazing woman.

Ideally, I think every woman should be self-sufficient and happy with herself before she considers any lasting relationship. I've seen young women with no education marry just to get away from a small town or a bad family life, only to discover it was a mistake. She feels trapped in that mistake because she didn't take time to get educated or get some sort of trade skill, so she's afraid to leave the husband who is providing for her. And if there are children at that point, that just makes it worlds more difficult.

A woman who can provide for herself will feel much more secure in herself and happy about her lot in life, whether she actually needs to provide for herself later or not. At least she has a choice and doesn't need to fear becoming destitute.

After high school, all my friends were getting married and having kids. I was the only one attending college. I worked a little to help my parents pay for a associates degree at the local community college. I studied on the side for various certification exams. In the end, it paid off. I was able to live on my own, travel, and have fun for a while. I never felt pressured to settle for a man I didn't love. I found an amazing man who was in law school when I met him. I now have a fantastic well-paying job, a wonderful husband that I have the ability to support as he starts his own practice, and a nice home.

All this while my old friends are struggling to meet ends, having children they can't afford, wasting away in unhappy marriages... I think you can understand why I highly advocate that all women find some way to be self-sufficient. It can make a world of difference.