Commentary by Denise Laurin
The film struck a familiar chord for me, as it reflected back to me what has been the guiding force in my life: how to successfully combine a creative vocation with a meaningful family life.
I can see it all clearly now that I am on the other side -in my fifties with a 21 year old daughter . Since I grew up in the 60’s and 70’s, in an Italian family where waiting on men was normal, the idea that it is unfair that women have to choose between career and family never really occurred to me.
My response for a long time was thinking that having children was simply out of the question. I wanted to be an artist, which was a very consuming life path. At 34, I decided life wouldn’t be complete without a child, so I ventured into that unknown territory called motherhood. Having my daughter helped me see life differently. In fact, I have no doubt that having her in my life has enhanced my creativity. Like the women in the film, my days revolved around taking care of my child’s needs and fitting my work around her. There were many late nights. I was constantly tired.
For many of us, we are forced to juggle a number of realities: we have to earn money, we are compelled to express ourselves creatively and we want to be able to spend time with our children. What I propose is this: even though we might not be able to pursue our passions full-time, we can keep the big picture in mind and take opportunities to move closer to our goals by keeping them in focus. Remember, it is not just a feminist issue here, we are also dealing with a society that demands results NOW, SUCCESS before 40. As the book Art and Fear states, those who go on creating learn how not to stop. No matter how difficult life gets, just keep the pursuit of your dreams going in some concrete way.