I just finished a wonderful conversation with one of my South Korean clients.
Prior to coming to the US a few years ago, she was busy working as an administrative assistant between South Korea and Japan filing paperwork, setting up meeting, responding to calls/emails, attending business trips, you name it!
When her husband received notice that his job would require him to move to America, she wasn't concerned because it would only be for 2 years and she saw this as an amazing opportunity for her to take a break from the hustle & bustle of her professional life to devote more time to nurturing her child, perfecting her English skills and learning more about the US.
Fast forward nearly 5 years...
They're all still here.
They've gotten their green card and they've purchased their first home (AMAZING).
Her husband's career has skyrocketed.
Her daughter has made tons of friends here in the US and has done exceedingly well as learning English and acclimating herself to the American school system (which btw is VERY different from that in SK or Japan).
They've been working with me for 3 years just about so needless to say, they're English skills have improved tremendously.
I asked my client if she missed her former life in the Far East and she responded "not really". Although her life has changed quite drastically, along with her priorities, she's grown very accustomed to her life here in the US. She works part-time for a reputable company, she's consistent with her English classes, she's got tons of international friends, exercises regularly and is truly having a wonderful time. She doesn't see herself as "dependent" on her husband because for the most part, married couples where she comes from share EVERYTHING with little to no regard for who's contributing what.
This made me think about life in America and how different our values are.
In my specific context, I've been raised to be very independent so as to never have to count on anyone financially. I've been taught that women should always keep their own money so in the event that she needs it...she has access to it. Depending on my husband for financial reasons is simply not something I'm accustomed to as it's often deemed a negative attribute of a woman but having clients who open my mind to how other marriages work is yet again why I love what I do.
I know that by choosing to start a family while being an entrepreneur, there are inevitably going to be sacrifices that I'll have to make in order to ensure that I can be fully present for my newborn. This is quite unsettling for me, though I recognize I should be really excited about the chance to expand my family! This conversation with my client really opened my eyes and nudged me in the direction of finding a greater sense of balance in my marriage and also letting go of past ideas of what independence looks like.
To be continued...