On being a ‘career person’

28 Aug

Ask the 16-year-old me what she wanted out of life, and career wasn’t really a priority. I wanted to do something that made me happy. But, above all, by 26 I planned to be married and starting a family. Well, I’m 31. No kids, and the guy I thought I was going to marry was, apparently, never in love with me. Guess what, though? I actually have an amazing job. I’m Creative Director of a marketing agency. I get to write, drink lots of coffee, think up ideas, boss people around, and generally pretend to be Don Draper. 

Three months ago I was offered a new job with a bigger agency. It’s a huge step up. I was nervous, but my ex helped me to believe I could do it, and that I’d be happier if I did. He seemed really impressed that this agency wanted me. And I wanted him to be proud of me.

Three months later, I’ve just finished up my notice period and have 10 days off before I start my new job. 

Of course, in the meantime, he’s gone. 

Ever since the pizza of doom I’ve been convinced that I can’t do this new job. That I needed his support. That I won’t be able to concentrate. That I’ll be even more miserable.

Well, today (ahead of my official start date) I had a management away day with some new colleagues. It was a long day and it was tough. I thought about him a lot. I cried on the train coming home. 

But I got through it. 

I met some lovely people. I got my brain working again. I kept a smile on my face throughout. And, you know what? Putting on makeup and doing my hair for the first time in nearly four weeks (and wearing something other than leggings and a T-shirt) made me feel vaguely attractive.

Tonight I don’t feel so down because I’ve actually achieved something. And even if I’d agree with the 16-year-old me that I’m going to find true happiness through relationships and family, I’m lucky to do something that makes me proud and keeps me busy.

So when I see the non-stop Facebook updates of everyone I know getting married and having babies, at least I can think, “Well, hey, none of you get to be Don Draper.”

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One Response to “On being a ‘career person’”

  1. sowebrokeup August 29, 2013 at 12:34 pm #

    Absolutely. My first heart break was at 16 and I remember thinking that my 26 year-old self would be married and have her shit figured out. Here I am and I have so not figured that out…

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