Toward Contentment: My Own Account
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This personal and literary exploration of ambition and contentment in seeming opposition to one another was undertaken out of personal desire to explore and elucidate the role of contentment in the life of the author, considering how to best support and cultivate this psychological state which the author considers a resiliency. The exploration is grounded and contextualized through literature review, but employs autoethnography, by means of heuristic inquiry, as process through which the author examines her own experiences as the basis for the discussion. The author considers romantic and modern views of self in considering the means to living one’s best possible life, discussing the difficulty that the postmodern world of limitless possibilities presents the liberated western woman in cultivating contentment. Ultimately the author identifies one’s own perspective, and motivations in striving toward achievement as most fundamentally important in terms of reconciling the perceived conflict between ambitious striving and contented enjoyment of the present. This personal exploration and account is shared in hopes that others, perhaps specifically other women seeking to ‘have it all’, that is career, career development and family in a time of life during which a woman’s ambition comes up against the limits of her fertility, will either resonate with or be challenged by the shared account.