I used to be defined by one singular character: ambition. As early as 9th grade, I knew that I wanted to be a journalist who wrote long-form investigative articles. And for nine or 10 years, everything about my life was focused around that one goal: where I went to school, how I spent my “free” time, who my friends were, even whom I dated. It’s not an exaggeration to say my drive consumed my life — and I was perfectly OK, even pleased, with that. I seriously believed that at long last I would finally be happy when people bought magazines with my writing in them.
The thing is, ambition for ambition’s sake turns out to be a hollow way to live one’s life. It’s a means to an end, of course, but considering that the target you are shooting for is constantly shifting, it can also be exhausting. Don’t misunderstand me: I’m proud of my accomplishments — articles I’ve written, interviews I’ve conducted, maybe a few lives I’ve affected. But if I could go back in time and change a few things, I just might do it.
And the first thing that I would change? I would not have dated so many men whose careers I envied. Life is hard enough when you’re putting unreasonable expectations on yourself to succeed, but it’s damn near impossible when you’re comparing yourself to someone you’re sleeping with. Keep reading »