Proud Of Myself


When you can't put "got gay married before it was cool" on your resume

by Aly Windsor

Proud Of Myself | A Practical Wedding

Two weeks after I was told my job was safe for at least another six months, I lost it. My boss called to break the news and I sat, slumped, listening on my purple couch while he explained why it was a solid business decision, nothing personal, that he might be able to get me other work somewhere, yadayadayada.

I’m a crier but I kept it together until we said our goodbyes. Then I sobbed. Then I lay in bed for a few minutes with my partner who wasn’t feeling well and could just barely console me.

Then I got up and marched back to my computer to email a good friend from college who has become my career counselor over the years. We both work in media, though it should be noted that he’s at rockstar level and I’m more like a roadie. Within minutes, he replied: “Don’t panic, lots of opportunities, especially with your background.” He told me to polish up my resume and send it to him so we could workshop it ASAP and he could start sending out inquiries.

That sounded like a solid plan… if only I knew how to not panic and also could avoid the dreaded polishing-up-my-resume part.

In those early soul-crushed moments, I thought about how this was the first time in my life I was finally (though rather late) making enough money to feel like a real adult—which was nice since I’m married with two kids and a mortgage.

I wallowed in my impostor syndrome and its main symptom: the fear that I never deserved this job anyway and I’ll never luck my way into another that pays so well—especially not when I have to work remotely from a small Southern city. Then I cataloged the reasons why I’m ill equipped to capitalize on “lots of opportunities” especially with my “background,” which, even though my friend has known me for sixteen years, I’ve obviously completely snowed him on.

A week passed this way but, lucky for me, I had a deadline for a Pride-themed essay for APW to put me out of my self-defeating misery. It was going to be about how occasionally people refer to my partner and me as friends even after we clearly identify ourselves as partners and this is a bullshit micro-aggression that needs to end.

But I had trouble mustering up my indignation. Instead I got stuck on the word pride. I read Meg’s essay about feeling proud of her past choices, even the ones that seemed to defy logic. I thought of my tumultuous late teen and early twenties years and my mood lightened, if only a little, when I compared me now to me then. Then I remembered something my littlest kid did a few weeks ago. Following one of the first in a series of successful pooping-on-the-potty experiences (sorry, non-parents), my son put his hands on his hips and said, “Fwee-year-olds are ALWAYS pwoud of ourselves!”

At the time, I thought this was super adorable. But now, in my job loss malaise, his little voice rang in my ears.

Man, I thought, it must be nice to always be proud of yourself. I wish I could feel more like that instead of always zeroing in on my failings. But I was three once. When did I go from feeling pride on a regular basis to feeling it fleetingly, if ever?

I could write a whole book on the how and why that happened. But the more significant revelation to me was this: my three-year-old feels proud of himself so often because he’s comparing his achievements and abilities to what they were yesterday or last fall. Meanwhile, I’m comparing my achievements and abilities to what I wish they were or what I thought they’d be by now. And that, clearly, has not been working for me. If I follow his lead, though, my entire outlook changes.

(Cue the opening piano notes of Dolly Parton’s “Light of a Clear Blue Morning.”)

Not only did I too learn how to use the potty, but I also learned to read and write. I survived grade school bullying. I graduated from high school early to go into a treatment center to fight like hell against my anorexia. I took control of and ended a toxic relationship with my father when I was seventeen, after which I spent two months working on a sanctuary for rescued farm animals clear across the country in the middle of nowhere where I assisted in the round up of escaped Brahman (read: very large) cattle by having them chase me and a feed bucket back through a gate, I pried grumpy arthritic pigs out of mud pits, and I helped castrate eighty-some sheep.

I went to college, fell in love with a girl, and came out to my family—even the ones who were anti-gay—and didn’t feel bad about myself for it. I shaved my head. I survived my devastating breakup with that first love, mostly on the floor and with lots of alcohol, but I did eventually get up.

Later, I recognized my self-destructive drinking and drug habits and quit them. Then I ended a three-year romantic relationship with an older, emotionally abusive and pathologically manipulative girlfriend. I beat a relapse of my anorexia like a boss, plus I set out on a long path of healing from a sexual assault that occurred in my teens. I finally found a healthy romantic relationship and I graduated college with honors. Then I willfully ignored disapproving family members, the state constitution of Georgia, and the opinions of the majority of the American public to plan and pull off a glorious big gay wedding to celebrate my unlawful marriage to the love of my life.

I started a business with no business-starting experience and supported myself and my grad student spouse with it for almost four years. At the same time, I battled infertility. Then I became a mom… after three days of labor… to a kid who didn’t sleep longer than two hours for the first year of his life. In this fog, my partner and I mutually acknowledged our serious marital problems and sought therapy to address them. Also, I rescued an injured hawk from the middle of a busy street, pressing on even when she woke up, mad as hell, just as I was getting her into a box to transport her to the vet.

After that, I had another baby in the drug-free, water-birth delivery of my dreams (no judgment there—this was just my own goal that I wasn’t able to achieve with my first) and moved with my little family of four to a new, much smaller city where we knew no one and I withstood full-time, stay-home mothering to a two-year-old and an infant for a year in what sometimes felt like near total isolation before I got a part-time editing job and was promoted twice in short succession.

I found my own skin cancer before it spread. I pulled myself out of a panic-induced nervous breakdown following said cancer. Then I wrote about my summer of panic and that essay was published in a book.

ALL THE WHILE I NURSED TO LIFE AN AVOCADO TREE FROM A PIT. (That takes patience and dedication, people.)

Today, as I sit typing this abbreviated list of my life’s accomplishments on my purple couch a week after my boss’ bomb dropped, I feel better. I may not be able to put “proficient in ending toxic relationships” or “got gay-married before gay marriage was cool” on LinkedIn, but resumes are a selective accounting of our achievements and abilities, and the selections are never the most important ones anyway. And, lest I forget this lesson, I’m printing out my list and posting it in my home office (where I plan to also get to work on polishing my resume—soon!).

I know I’m lucky that I never felt shame about my sexuality—only frustration and anger with people who are idiots about it. But I have felt shame about pretty much everything else, and I’m tired of those same old, painful, and useless thought patterns. Losing my job in the gay-sacred month of June turned out to be just what I needed (along with some help from my loved ones) to relearn how to feel proud of myself for more than just my rainbow connection.

Plus, yesterday, while waiting for showers to pass before we got out of the car, I asked my boys the classic question: “What do you want to be when you grow up?” My rascally five-year-old responded exactly how I expected: “A police officer with a big GUN!” My confident little three-year-old’s response? “A MOMMA!”

I bet you can guess what I felt in that moment.

Happy Pride, y’all!

Take it, Gossip.

Author’s note: That picture above is one of my favorite photos from my wedding because I think I look like a badass. I’ve always felt weird about sharing it before so I haven’t. Till now.

Aly Windsor

Aly Windsor is a Southerner at heart and in practice, even if it does make her fear for her life occasionally. She’s also a writer, editor, mom to two rascals, and partner to a sociologist professor.

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  • Erin

    Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. This is the essay I needed to read today. I’m the author of the “Between the Cracks” essay from a few weeks ago. A few days after I heard my essay was going to run, I found out that my company was acquired by a competitor, and I won’t know for a few months if I’ll get to keep this job I love or not. (Bonus stress: that timing works out to right around my wedding). I felt like a fool and a fraud reading my essay all about how I’d built this great life knowing one of its pillars was suddenly shaky. My FH kept reminding me that this doesn’t take away anything I accomplished. He was right, and your essay really drives that point home, too. Good luck, Aly. And if I were a hiring manager, I would be totally impressed if you listed all those life accomplishments on your resume.

    • Aly Windsor

      Emily, I missed your essay when it pubbed so I just went back and read it. And boy could I tooootally relate. Your FH is right: losing that job, if you do, won’t erase your accomplishments. It would just open the door for new ones. And already having one impressive job under your belt will only help. Of course it’s easier for me to say that to you than for me to really believe that for myself. But it’s true. What’s that Ani line? “We never see things changing, we only see them ending.” More truth.

      • Erin

        YES to that quote! And just to show that it really is about change and not necessarily loss, right after posting my comment, I found out I actually survived the phone screening call I thought I’d bombed yesterday, and now I have a real, in person interview at a major TV network. I applied for a million of those before landing my current job and never got a single response. This time, I didn’t even apply. They sought me out on LinkedIn (also a first for me). So sometimes we are actually moving forward when we think we’re falling down.

        • Aly Windsor

          “So sometimes we are actually moving forward when we think we’re falling down.” YEEEEEESSSS! (And congrats on getting the interview!)

    • Meg Keene
  • Bets

    Call me crazy, but depending on your field and your audience, I think you can actually put some version of “got gay married before it was cool” on a linked in profile summary. I’ve seen writers have some pretty rad profiles — check out the APW intern profiles for instance.

    Hugs!

    • Aly Windsor

      So I confess I got on LinkedIn long enough to check out a few of my friend’s traditionally impressive profiles before I slunk off to Facebook to drown my inadequacy feelings in other people’s vacation selfies… Then I got email alerts that those few friends had looked at my profile and I felt worse–and also a little stalkerish b/c they obviously went to mine b/c LinkedIn told them I went to theirs… Ahh! But knowing there’s another way to do LinkedIn makes me want to try again. Thanks for the tip!

      • Jules

        You probably know this, but if you don’t want people to see that you viewed their profile, you can turn that off. :-) It does turn off your profile stats though.

        I quit Facebook long ago and have no regrets about it. I wish my ex-roommate understood; she was in town and asked me what made me “finally decide to quit”. I….didn’t know I needed to give you a reason? We have to explain an opt-out instead of an opt-in? But it was because I didn’t need it. Happy?

        • Aly Windsor

          I DID NOT KNOW THAT. Thank you! And yeah, I often wonder what I’m still doing on FB. Though I do like seeing pictures of my far-flung friends’ kids. And I’ve hidden or unfriended everyone who irritates me, so it’s not anywhere near as energy-sucking as it used to be.

          • Jules

            I wish I could enjoy Facebook in its pure form without reading too far into everything. I’m a conscientious person in general, so the idea that someone could post five pictures of her new engagement ring without (on some level) wanting to boast about it is beyond me. And yet I’ll still consume all the fodder out of guilty pleasure!

            When/if I get to the point where I can see things as reflections of the people who post them AND NOT MYSELF, then maybe I’ll rejoin. I still think things mean more than they appear to, but not everything means something.

            As for LinkedIn, I think it can be a kick-ass tool for the right target market. I always check out potential hires’ LinkedIn profiles, and the right picture/summary/experiences/interests help me form that first impression. I apologize in advance for giving unsolicited advice, but – add a summary! Change your tagline (if you’re job-seeking already)! ADD LINKS TO YOUR AWESOME ARTICLES! :) (And no one else does this, so it really makes you stand out.) Add other interests – it gives even MORE dimensionality.

            Granted if I were looking to hire, I would also google the person and a lot of your stuff comes up anyway, BUT linkedin can be a good way to centralize it all. ANYWAY. Good luck with everything. I found your article really inspiring because we often don’t talk about the climb enough, only the summits.

          • Sarah

            Oh man, I have many opinions about this. When someone posts 5 pictures of their engagement ring, or any pictures really, they totally *are* boasting. Facebook just lets us pretend we’re not because it made it socially acceptable? I kind of miss the days when it wasn’t acceptable to brag about material possessions (like did your parents ever tell you not to talk about what you got for Christmas with your little friends, because someone might not be as fortunate as you?).

            Though, I do this too. Like, when I post pictures of the awesome dinner I made I’m bragging about what an awesome cook I am. It kinda…sucks, all around.

          • Lauren from NH

            At least dinner is something you worked for. I feel much differently if people post up pics of finishing a race or a home project, they worked hard and should be proud, vs. look at my fancy vacation, look at my expensive ring. I am a facebook minimalist myself. It just feels too much like shouting in a crowded room of a couple friends and a ton of loose aquaintences, “Hey, look at me! Cool, right?” I am much more of a let’s talk on the phone if we are friends or even better, face time :)

          • ElisabethJoanne

            You never know what’s going on that you don’t see on Facebook, even if it’s happening via Facebook’s software. I was asked to post wedding photos, and probably asked to post pictures of my engagement ring. Yes, there are ways of posting such that very few people can see it, but after a few requests, I’ll post to a whole list, rather than just to those who asked. It’s rare that I post anything personal (as opposed to a link to a news article or something) to all my friends, though.

          • vegankitchendiaries

            This is the exact reason I quit a few months ago. I’ve been having these thoughts for a while and one day I thought, ‘Well I can’t quit now… I have to show the world my wedding photos in July!’

            As soon as I realized that’s even how I was looking at my wedding (‘accomplishment fodder’ for my newsfeed) I deleted my account that day because who am I, a Kardashian? Dan Savage said last week that there are numerous studies showing time spent on social media being linked to depression and I believe it.

            (If you share your wedding on Facebook, YAY FOR YOU! I have spent many joyful hours on FB looking at friends’ weddings!!! But, for me, the “image crafting” aspect of facebook makes me cray-cray – especially when I fall into the trap myself. It was too easy.)

          • Lauren from NH

            One facebook pet peeve I have is people my age posting up for Mother’s Day or Father’s Day. Spend time with the person! Say those words of praise to the person! It just feels to me that it turns what should be a day of genuine appreciation into once again a mostly artificial or staged Facebook popularity contest. People who are slightly older and have crossed over into parenthood then I see it more as owning you and your spouse’s new roles and celebrating that. But my peers…ugh everything it fodder for facebook.

          • vegankitchendiaries

            TOTALLY!!! YES!!!!!!

            if you’re interested, this article is almost wholly responsible for my ultimate departure from FB. (I still instagram, mind…. a girl needs a vice!) ;)

            http://waitbutwhy.com/2013/07/7-ways-to-be-insufferable-on-facebook.html

          • Meg Keene

            You can’t leave FB! Where else will I get my secret parenting advice?

      • Sarah E

        Sounds like the friend-turned-career-counselor could give you awesome advice here, but for me, LinkedIn just doesn’t make sense. It doesn’t really serve my professional goals (bohemian as they are). Maybe double check that it’s a valuable tool for yourself?

      • vegankitchendiaries

        DO NOT STALK EX BOYFRIENDS ON LINKEDIN.

        I also learned the hard way, years ago, that everyone can see what you’re up to when you do this…

  • Jenni

    Wow. There is so much to digest here. This line hit me right in the gut: “It must be nice to always be proud of yourself. I wish I could feel more like that instead of always zeroing in on my failings.” Your analysis for WHY we don’t feel proud of ourselves is 100% spot on. I feel impostor syndrome rearing its ugly head when I think about what others have done. He has this many papers published …. she’s traveled to this many countries …. But if I stop and think about all the things I’ve done, objectively pile them together in my mind, I’m able to feel pretty good about it. It’s a constant battle though, to try and think in that way, rather than negatively.

    Why do we not have ‘resumes’ for life? It should be a bullet-point accomplishment if you raise a kid without another partner, or plan a wedding with an overbearing family, or hold a loved ones hand in the hospital and make them laugh. Reading all of the things you’ve gone through, I can only be impressed and awed at everything you’ve overcome. Seeing all the challenges you’ve faced, I must agree with your friend that with “your background” you’ll overcome this bump in the road. Maybe not immediately … God knows I’m familiar with the slow agonizing process of finding a job …. but you will.

    • Aly Windsor

      Thanks, Jenni! Make that bullet point list of your life accomplishments. Post it on your wall or in your bathroom or where ever you’ll look at it often. I’m serious. It has already helped me a ton.

    • Josie

      This reminded me when I was in college and we had to create a marketing plan to sell a “product”. The product we had to sell? Ourselves!
      We had to sell our own strenghts, and convince people that the “product” they were buying was the best for them. The point was to highlight every single little thing about us that could set us apart and would make us the best option in the market. Having to write about yourself in this way, always in a positve light and thiking of yourself as the last Coke in the dessert was a very powerfull exercise in forcing us to recognize ALL the good within us.

  • Kats

    This. What she said. This is awesome. And honest and real and legitimate and oh-wow-thank-you-bookmark-please. There are, occasionally, times where it’s just darn good to read something that helps remind you that you’re not the only one feeling these things/thinking these things, and that even as we’re all working our way through our various individual paths, there’s a lot of overlap along the trail.

    Also, that picture is stunning.

    • Aly Windsor

      Thanks, Kats! That’s pretty much my whole essay/life strategy: reveal my insecurities and secret pains so that we can all come out of the darkness together.

    • scw

      yes, that picture IS stunning! I love it! I was so excited to see it because I recognized Aly’s face from her other posts.

      I feel like APW has become a space where it’s safe to share these insecurities and secret pains (to lift from Aly’s comment), and I’m really glad it exists for that.

  • Jules

    Applauding all of that. If you got a life report card, you’d get an A+ in resilience.

    Pride month is…tricky for me right now. I am struggling with dealing with what I think is bipolar II, initially mis-diagnosed as major depression (two episodes) back in my teen years. I’m working up the guts to re-enter the tumultuous, often frustrating, sometimes terrifying world of psychiatry. And…people don’t really “get” bipolar. I feel a lot of embarrassment so far. It will take awhile to be honest about it.

    • Sarah E

      Best of luck in working through mental health care again. I recently met a friend who has bipolar in my yoga instructor certification class. Through her sharing in class, I saw a brief glimpse of the difficulties she faced both from managing the disorder and from the social stigma. It sounded like the help of some majorly supportive mentors and friends, along with her personal path with yoga helped immensely. So good luck again and I hope you find some peace amidst all the struggle :-)

    • Aly Windsor

      Thanks, Jules. I’m so sorry you’re feeling embarrassed about your your mental health situation. I took meds for a time to get through depressive episodes and while I know that’s not the same as what you’re facing, I was also embarrassed. When my 80-something grandpa told me that that’s just life, you take and do whatever you have to to survive and thrive, I was like, oh, really? That’s how it’s done? He’s almost 90 now and a WW2 vet so he’s obviously knows a thing or two about surviving. He’s also one of the dearest, most supportive people I know. Feeling his acceptance of me and my survival needs helped me accept them for myself.

      Kudos to you for getting to where you are now and I hope the people who really matter to you can help you keep going on the path to where you want to be.

  • Amanda L

    I don’t know about anyone else, but to me, you sound like a rockstar!

  • jashshea

    1. That picture is 100% better than badass, for which we don’t have a word.
    2. I love your writing and just went back to read your piece on your wedding. Keep kicking butts.

    • Aly Windsor

      Can I make it my LinkedIn prof pic or would that be weird? ;) (Thanks!!)

    • Class of 1980

      Badass and pretty. I always think Aly is beautiful. I don’t think she can take a bad photo.

      • Aly Windsor

        Oh no no no. I take plenty of terrible photos. I just delete them all before they reach the light of the internet. Do not be deceived by my meticulous self-editing! But thank you. :)

        • Class of 1980

          Please, girl. You can’t explain away the pretty! ;)

          • Meg Keene

            EXACTLY.

  • Jessica

    I’m bookmarking this piece for those days where I don’t feel like I’ve achieved enough. Thank you for sharing! Your life sounds amazing!

    • Aly Windsor

      Thank you and you’re welcome! :)

  • Sara

    Man I am so supremely jealous of your avocado tree growing skills. Having one of my own is a life goal of mine – I just have a black thumb when it comes to caring for plants.

    While our life paths are pretty different, you just gave me a serious kick that I needed. This passage was something I needed to hear:

    But the more significant revelation to me was this: my three-year-old feels proud of himself so often because he’s comparing his achievements and abilities to what they were yesterday or last fall. Meanwhile, I’m comparing my achievements and abilities to what I wish they were or what I thought they’d be by now. And that, clearly, has not been working for me. If I follow his lead, though, my entire outlook changes.

    Thank your three your old for me :) You both reminded me that the future is a moving target – its what I’ve gotten past already that’s the real accomplishment.

    • Aly Windsor

      I’m not a plant genius, by any stretch. But somehow I made this guy work (the only one, it should be noted, from at least 20 avocado pit-sprouting attempts). So maybe that’s the other lesson? Just keep eating avocados, er, planting seeds? :)

      • Sara

        I suppose I can struggle through some more avocados in order to get to that one perfect pit :) Your tree looks fab, just making me more jealous!

      • http://kara-tanoue.blogspot.com/ Kara T

        That’s a sweet tree. In my mind, you’re a plant genius.

      • Fiona

        Amazing! How do you do it?

  • Sarah

    Wow, this really resonated with me. I recently realized that I completely fail to revel in my accomplishments. It’s like, I just expect that of myself and get on with my life once I’ve accomplished what I set out to do, without any celebration or anything…and then, anything less than achieving that accomplishment is just, horrible horrible failure. I’m trying to be nicer to myself! Changing my perspective to that of your three year old’s will probably do me much good. That and some celebrating! I recently took the LSAT and killed it.

    • Aly Windsor

      CONGRATULATIONS on killing the LSAT! Play that Gossip video, turn it up, and dance, girl.

  • Improvised Bride

    Thank you thank you thank you for this. I struggle with the Imposter Syndrome ALL the freaking time — it’s like an invisible 50-lb backpack full of sand that I just want to remove and abandon. Thanks for the reminder that doing that is something I can control. And my partner is struggling with a seriously shaky job situation and its brutal effect on self-confidence, so this piece resonated extra deeply with me today.

    Also, your legalization adventure and DOMA posts are two of my favorites. Your voice is so vivid, fun, and strong. Good luck in everything — and I hope you’ll keep posting here.

    • Aly Windsor

      Thanks! I’m sorry we share this burden but I think the more we all realize how common this feeling is, the easier it will be for more of us to put it down. You know that rockstar, career-counselor friend of mine? Dude is literally at the top of the writing world and even he has struggled with impostor syndrome. When he told me that, I was dumbfounded but also a little relieved. We’re really not so different after all.

      • Improvised Bride

        I know — isn’t that the strangest part? I’ve had conversations over and over with people who are serious rockstars at whatever they do, and so many of them confess the same thing. One of these days, I’m going to take that to heart for real and kick all this self-created doubt to the curb.

        Also, did you really raise an avocado tree from a pit? Can I tell you the number of times I’ve tried? So many sad, moldering, slimy efforts. You have magic, I tell you.

        • Aly Windsor

          I did. I really, really did. Even if I sometimes don’t know how. Scroll down. I shared the picture in these comments.

          • Improvised Bride

            I saw it & I loved it. I’ve got an avocado waiting in the fridge at home …. and now I’ve got some renewed plans for the pit when I’m done. Your entire list of accomplishments is amazing (and more are coming, I have zero doubt about that) but wow, the avocado plant has got me inspired! :)

      • Class of 1980

        I have a friend who does amazing work with people suffering from post traumatic stress syndrome and he feels like he is still 19-years-old and can’t believe anyone listens to him. ;)

        • Class of 1980

          Wait. That’s PTSD, so it’s a disorder, not a syndrome.

  • JSwen

    Great post. I was in a similar situation last summer except I was canned in a much more dubious manner. Having small projects to focus at least some of my professional skills is what kept me from going under, emotionally. I had two projects to do and then got engaged (and we all know that’s a project). So now a year later, one project has ended, the second is sllllowwwwwly coming along, and the third (the wedding) is in less than five weeks! I also put my updated resume on every job website possible, became an “elite” user of LinkedIn, and talked to every recruiter who called me. Interview Thursday, so my fingers are crossed. My industry doesn’t have a lot of opportunity so I’m sure you will get something in the works sooner than later!

  • Class of 1980

    ” … after which I spent two months working on a sanctuary for
    rescued farm animals clear across the country in the middle of nowhere
    where I ASSISTED IN THE ROUND-UP OF ESCAPED BRAHMAN CATTLE BY HAVING THEM CHASE ME AND A FEED BUCKET BACK THROUGH A GATE …”

    Maybe I’m weird, but this sounds thrilling to me. ;)

    • Aly Windsor

      It was kindof awesome. Also maybe not smart and definitely dangerous but it worked. :)

  • StevenPortland

    Thanks for such a great post. I needed to read something like this today. Favorite quote: “My three-year-old
    feels proud of himself so often because he’s comparing his achievements
    and abilities to what they were yesterday or last fall. Meanwhile, I’m
    comparing my achievements and abilities to what I wish they were or what
    I thought they’d be by now.” So true! And then you made me laugh with the avocado line. Thanks!!

    • Aly Windsor

      Thank you, Steven! It might be a little absurd how proud I am of this plant… :)

    • Grey

      That quote. Just last night I was a hot mess about feeling like a piss-poor adult in that while I’m in my 30s, I’ve had 0 relationships that lasted longer than 4 months and have spent the vast majority (like 99%) of my adult life super single. When I get into my relationship death spiral, nothing else matters — the fact that I’ve got degrees and a job and friends and overall a decent life become irrelevant and all I can think about is the fact that I feel like I’m a single loser and failed to do what everyone else seems to have done by now (not supported by data, I know, but within my social and family circles…). In any event, this piece and three-yr-old wisdom is a good kick in the butt.

    • laurasmash

      Yes. That quote is exactly what i needed today, too!

  • Fiona

    Aly your three-year-old is absolutely precious. Also, I really took this message to heart: ” I’m comparing my achievements and abilities to what I wish they were or what I thought they’d be by now. And that, clearly, has not been working for me. If I follow his lead, though, my entire outlook changes.”
    Thank you!

  • http://cafeaubride.blogspot.com/ Catherine

    Wow, I love this. Aly you rock. I have long admired your awesome Southern family through the APW telescope (non-creepy) :)

  • Caitlin_DD

    This piece is so good. The fact that amongst all things, the avocado warranted all caps is the icing on the cake! ;) In all seriousness though, thank you. obviously many of us needed to hear this.

  • Meg

    I really love this! you should be proud :) I like how it’s peppered with things like rescuing a hawk and growing an avocado tree. Is it too early to buy your book when I’m not planning on having a family for a few years haha

  • LydiaB

    Thank you for this article. And yes, you look like a hot hot hot badass!!

  • Rachel

    Oh my word – this is incredible. You are an awesome writer. You are profound. You look – and sound – seriously bad ass. We should all be required to write essays like this, the non-resume resume. This is incredibly moving and hardcore and made me cry and made me want to stand up and dance too. Seriously, you are so rightly proud – go you!