Penelope Says

Are you married or single, asks Penelope Trunk at the start of our career coaching call.  I have already told her over email that I feel split between the idea of having a child and birthing the baby of a new career.  She has already suggested that I put myself in a position to pursue a family if I wanted to have one.

Long term boyfriend, I answer.  I am crouched over a phone in a conference room at the office I go to every day from 9-5.  The service is spotty and so my face is pressed up against the window as if that would allow me to hear her message any better.

What’s wrong with your current job, she asks.  You’re a project manager so you have to execute other people’s plans rather than make a strategy of your own, she summarizes before I answer. That fine, she says, keep doing that.

My heart falls. What worked for me in my twenties – sitting enveloped in a second hand executive chair glued to a computer screen night and day –  no longer worked in my thirties.  And yet my current life – taking the subway into Manhattan just in time to sling my bag over a non-executive chair and head to a 10am meeting  – wasn’t working either.  I wanted a new plan.

I hear myself giving examples of how my tenacious attitude had benefited me in the past and how I would rely on what had worked before to get me where I wanted to go next. I sound like I always sound, smart, persistent, with a tinge of crazy.  I was tired of this voice and yet I could not bring myself to accept that there was a reasonable solution in sight.

To Be Continued…

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