Ryan calls me from the office. I say, “Don’t talk to me now. I’m sulking.”

He says, “Okay. What are we doing about the five-year sales projections?”

I say, “I told you. I need ten minutes.”

“Nothing is going to change in ten minutes,”

“In ten minutes I'll be more pleasant on the phone.”

“Okay.” He hangs up.

I eat two waffles and then I write on the calendar how many calories I can eat for the rest of the week to make up for the waffles. Then I take out two more waffles and while they’re cooking, I change all the numbers on the calendar.

Then I look at my email, and there is another missive from Guy Kawasaki telling me that I am underutilizing Twitter. He even took a picture of two tweets he thinks I should respond to. He sent the picture to me.

He thinks I should give 140-character career advice.

Here’s some advice I think of immediately:

Don’t start a company in a recession.

Don’t have kids if you want to live on the edge of financial sanity.

Don’t get a divorce when you have a startup.

So probably I shouldn’t be writing career advice on Twitter right now, in the middle of sulking. But Guy is super nice to me. Always steering me well. So I need to take some of his advice.

Hummingbird604 tweets that his job search is frustrating.

Here’s some advice: Drink. Alcohol will make job listings look much more interesting.

Ryan calls again. It’s been ten minutes.

He says I can’t use the credit card until we close a bridge, which we have almost closed a million times but it didn’t close.

I want to tell him shut up about the credit card because I am so hugely the majority owner in this company, but it’s actually his credit card. This is a glitch. Or an unfortunate oversight. Or a moment of incompetence. Or all of them. But anyway, I use Ryan’s credit card. Sometimes I want to say, “Look, at least you’re building up a good credit rating.”

But Ryan is not the type of guy who cares. I mean he cares. But he just wants to be a millionaire by the time he’s thirty.

Sidenote: When I was his age, I stayed away from guys like him. And anyway, do girls ever have that goal? I don’t want to be bad for women here, but the only by-thirty goal I’ve ever heard from a woman is kids.

So Ryan tells me not to use the credit card and I remind him that I am still in sulking mode.

He says, “Why are you sulking? The email from Erik wasn’t even that bad this morning. “

Erik is our board member who I am not really sure if he thinks its okay that I’m using his name. But maybe he can just tell people it’s a different Erik.

So I misread Erik’s email and am sulking about it, but Ryan points out that it was actually a very reasonable email.

This is why I like Erik. And Ryan. They are both reasonable, measured, calm guys. This is the kind of person I need to be around.

Because here’s what I did next. I told myself that I had to put on makeup to go to work. You have to do that if you’re a girl and want to be taken seriously. I know you think I don’t care about being taken seriously because I’m writing stuff about sulking over board members, but you know what? Writing these posts is fine for my seriousness level. Trust me on this. Because my blog gets a lot of traffic, so shut up.

But what is not okay for being taken seriously is having a sulking day and not putting on makeup. Wait. Here. I am linking to research. Because I am right.

So I put on makeup. and it looks good because even though I hate it, I had lots of lessons on how to do it from my LA-stylist friends. If I stand in the perfect light, I look perfect. If I miss my sulking moments, I step back a little to see who I really am.

Okay. I’m going to the office.

At the office, Ryan says “Are you ready to do the sales numbers?”

And Dan says “Did you see the crowds for Obama on CNN?”

I say, “We have to go to see the speech. Where are we going to see the speech?”

Ryan leans back in his chair. He is the adult in this equation, watching the kids get out of doing the dishes or something.

We think we’ll go to a bar. But we can’t get parking. The we think we’ll go to Ryan's apartment.

“No,” I say, “we have to be part of the community. This is about community.”

We walk six blocks to the bar. No small feat in Wisconsin weather.

The bar is packed.

Ryan Healy, Ryan Paugh, and Dan and I watch the speech. Together. Ryan Paugh and Dan do shots with the guy next to us.

Obama talks about leading the world and bringing peace.

We watch the speech. We clap. I am grateful to have friends to watch with. Wisconsin is lonely a lot. But not now. I am not sulking.

And the guy next to us says his son was killed in Iraq. He pulls out photos. Hands us each one. And says that his son wanted so badly to come home and tell people how terrible the war was for the people of Iraq. But he never came home.

The man told us that this moment would mean so much to his son.

Ryan Paugh says the perfect thing: He says he won't forget this story.

Dan says the perfect thing. He says thank you for telling us.

I do not say anything. I cannot think of a perfect thing. Except that I am happy. Happy to hear the speech. Happy to work with people I adore. And happy that I was there to listen when someone needed to talk.

62 replies
  1. J
    J says:

    I liked that the ending of this post surprised me; I really didn’t see that coming. And sullen is a place you almost have to visit sometimes, you just can’t get too comfortable there.

  2. Holly Hoffman
    Holly Hoffman says:

    Guy is right. You need to Twitter more. And engagingly, not just “blam – here’s my random thought, see ya.”

    Aside from that, get your head back in the game, P. You sound untethered, floating further away from ground. You’ve told us time and time again that it’s not easy. But it won’t kill you… unless you let it.

    Finally, my goal by 30 is certainly not to have kids. I just want to be better than I was at 29. I do want to be financially free by 45. Does that count?

  3. Beckie
    Beckie says:

    I love the fact that you make connections between the seemingly disconnected. Having gone through a divorce, I sometimes surprise myself at the way I react to what I hear or see or do throughout my day. And it’s not really about the divorce, it’s really about how we connect with others. So nothing is ever really disconnected then, is it?

  4. Alli Gerkman
    Alli Gerkman says:

    Loved the post. Especially the end. But if you really think the only goal-by-thirty you’ve ever heard (really?!?) from a woman is to have children, it might be that you’re just not listening.

    • Amy
      Amy says:

      I am a new reader on your blog and as much as I liked this post — I could relate to you the entire way through and loved the end, I’m going to agree with Alli.

      I think it hurts your credibility as a -brazen careerist- if you’ve never heard women under 30 have goals other than that related to marriage and children. I mean, (and I say this genuinely), maybe things are different in Wisconsin than the East Coast. I know I’ve personally had this goal tacked to my office wall since I was 23 — “Have a seven figure net worth by 30” – It helped me start and sell a company and endure the trying times of financial distress as a result. Most of the women I associate with have similar goals. Then again, perhaps I attract associates who have no interest in ranking reproduction as a life accomplishment.

      I appreciate the -honesty- of your blog – they way you write it as if you are speaking and will keep reading for a little while in the hopes to mine more good tidbits than not.

    • J
      J says:

      Being married and/or having kids is the only goal I’ve expressly heard women state that they want to get done ‘by 30’ as well.
      Doesn’t mean they don’t have or express other goals, but the only one with a real, definitive, do or die timeline that I’ve heard is the marriage and/or kids thing.

    • Nisha
      Nisha says:

      I second Alli and Holly before that my by-thirty goal is definitely NOT kids. There are plenty of women who do not share that goal…

  5. Tiffany Monhollon
    Tiffany Monhollon says:

    You do need to Twitter more. Guy is right. And respond to people, like Holly said.

    Here’s why: It’s therapy – if you use it to talk to people (too). And I want you to discover that and then write a blog post about it. (And how I am right or I am wrong, whichever it ends up being).

    (Yes, ok, I’ve changed since the last time we talked about Twitter, because since then I followed everyone else’s advice that we both thought was stupid at the time. And really, I get it now).

    And also, follow me because you still haven’t. And then I can tweet to you and you will see it. Or DM you and say things I won’t post in the comments section of your blog.

    http://twitter.com/tmonhollon

    But also, thanks for this post. It’s funny, because you mentioned the difference between the types of goals guys have and the types of goals women have – and I think the real issue is, women are better at multitasking than men anyway. So we want to be a millionarie by whenever and also have kids. But it turns out, the ridiculous lack of ability to multitask is what makes men actually become millionaries by 30 – because it means they are focused on that.

    This is particularly a difficult point for me right now because two of my friends have had misscarriages in the last monthy or so, and they are both pretty well under 30. And both very career-driven people. And this stuff is tearing them apart from the insides.

    So thanks for being a woman who says, I am sulking about things and that’s ok.

    • Penelope Trunk
      Penelope Trunk says:

      Tiffany, I love that you order me to follow you. On my blog. Hilarious. And I’ll do it.

      And thank you for the twitter advice. I worry that I will bore people on Twitter. I also worry that I won’t be able to keep track of so many people. But I think I am getting the hang of twitter and I am worrying less.

      I also like what you wrote about miscarriages. It’s sad. And I’m sorry for your friends. But it happens all the time. I had one. Almost every woman I know has had one. But we never talk about it. We need to talk about it more. So thanks for doing that.

      Penelope

      • The Office Newb
        The Office Newb says:

        Penelope,

        I LOVE your tweets. It’s hard for someone to be witty and clever in only 140 characters. You may not be taking full “business” advantage of Twitter, but I find them really entertaining.

      • Mark W.
        Mark W. says:

        Penelope,

        I’m just now getting caught up on reading some blog posts. James over at ‘Men With Pens’ wrote a very good post on the same day as this post titled “Twitterranting: On Ego Pedestals and Auto Following” with many good comments in the comment section included – http://menwithpens.ca/twitterranting-ego-pedastels . The discussion includes who follows who and for what reason, etc.

        Mark

  6. professor godwin
    professor godwin says:

    Penelope- Sometimes by saying nothing, you are giving people just what they need to hear. I think you just need a vacation to someplace warm(er). Its been proven that long, cold winters make people

    -G

  7. Kristin T.
    Kristin T. says:

    What a great post. I love having this glimpse into the mind and experience of a very real person on inauguration day. We have to keep telling these stories: your story about feeling sullen and then realizing you have much to be grateful for; the story of the man whose son died in Iraq, and how much this moment would mean to him. They’re all stories pointing to why it’s important that we come together at critical moments.

  8. Erika
    Erika says:

    I love your honesty. This, too, was the perfect thing for me today. Thanks for being real and for sharing all the ups and downs. It really helps.

  9. MediaSlackers
    MediaSlackers says:

    Penelope – I have been disappointed with some of your other posts over the past few weeks and this was a refreshing reminder of your ability to write from the heart. You have a gift to be able to express your feelings, thoughts and beliefs when you are not being vengeful, negative or otherwise distracted. Keep up the great work like this. Thanks!!

  10. Greenman2001
    Greenman2001 says:

    What information would you need in order to decide whether the statement “The war is terrible for the people of Iraq” is true or false? Is that statement any more provable than the statement “The Bush Administration was terrible for the people of the United States?” Having a conversation with a stranger in a bar is a little like your putting on makeup: it both makes you feel better even while completely masking matters of consequence.

  11. Erica Douglass
    Erica Douglass says:

    Hi Penelope,

    You wrote: “And anyway, do girls ever have that goal [wants to be a millionaire by thirty]? I don’t want to be bad for women here, but the only by-thirty goal I’ve ever heard from a woman is kids.”

    Okay, so the good news is, you know me. And the better news is, not only did I have that goal, but I achieved it at age 26. So now my goal is for $1M per year in income by the time I’m 30. Which, being 27 and getting ready to launch a new business, I’m pretty confident I can achieve!

    But then again, I see your point. Most women wouldn’t set that goal. Most women wouldn’t set it because they would be afraid they wouldn’t make it, or because it would make them look bad even if they did make it, or because other people would see them as evil corporate overlords, etc. I can see through all of that and announce my ambitions proudly, and my audience and friends celebrate with me when I achieve them.

    But I also scare off a ridiculous number of women. Only the really strong ones are still my friends. Like you. ;)

    -Erica

  12. Joselle
    Joselle says:

    This is beautifully crafted post. Most importantly, it is truly heartfelt and reminds us of what really matters.

    I love your tweets. In fact, yours and Kristin Hersh’s (http://twitter.com/kristinhersh) are the only ones I actually read because they are like small poems or a great line from a novel that you have to underline. That, or your kids said something funny that you repeat. I love that. The fact that you don’t tweet as much or in the same way as others is a strength. I have yet to read a banal or poorly written tweet from you. I like the idea of 140-character career advice, though. You have a real knack for packing a powerful punch in such a brief space.

  13. Sam
    Sam says:

    I think just listening to the guy was probably good. You are right, sometimes people just need to tell you something and you just need to listen. You don’t always have to try to come up with the perfect thing to say.

  14. Kristin Shaw
    Kristin Shaw says:

    I’ll admit it. I have a baby time line. I’m married, well under 30 and have a plan: we’ll stop trying NOT to get pregnant at age x, we’ll make a concerted effort by age x, and so on. So yes, having children around age 30 is one of my “goals” or rather, priorities. Why? I’ve always wanted to have kids, so just like achieving career success or relationship success it has to be a priority. It can’t be on the backburner lest it be forgotten or put aside because it’s inconvenient.
    But there’s a selfish reason too, and it might explain why men don’t feel the same pressure. I feel like at 30, I’ll have a good enough career under my belt that I can take some time off for a pregnancy and then return. I’ll be established enough to make this happen yet still young enough to not be daunted by mothering and holding a career at the same time. I can hopefully drop the pounds quicker than I would at 40 too.
    Men don’t have to think about the effects on their body and stamina. I do. So I’m going to plan to do the best thing to accomplish all my goals: being the mom, professional, wife, etc…

    • Tina
      Tina says:

      From Ellen:
      “I’m a 24 year old female, and I have the the goal to be a millionaire by 30. It’s going to be hard to achieve because of my massive student loans, but I’m still working my ass off to try and achieve it. Even if I don’t get to a million by 30, I’ll at least have achieved gaining a large net worth and being completely debt free.”

      Ditto. My situation/ plan exactly.

      From Kirsten Shaw:
      “I feel like at 30, I’ll have a good enough career under my belt that I can take some time off for a pregnancy and then return. I’ll be established enough to make this happen yet still young enough to not be daunted by mothering and holding a career at the same time.”

      Interestingly, the book Freakonomics by Stephen Dubner and Steven Levitt makes the point that children tend to do better at school when their mothers are aged 30+ at the time of their first child, because they are more established in their careers, more likely to be better educated and more likely to want the baby, compared to younger mothers.

      I’ve always wanted kids after 30, for the same reasons as Kirsten. What I hadn’t expected was to be completely blindsided by the strength of the hormones that hit sporadically in your 20’s. Maybe this “kids by 30” goal is how many women deal with that little subconscious voice that says “getting pregnant would be a really good idea”. Even though your brain thoroughly disagrees.

  15. Joe S
    Joe S says:

    Guy is both right and wrong.
    Right – in that you should use twitter more.
    Wrong – in that you shouldn’t follow his lead using twitter. He twits general news. I prefer to get that from CNN.

  16. Morgan Norris
    Morgan Norris says:

    Thanks for posting. You write your thoughts well, and that alone encourages other people to think and explore what’s in their own heads.

    It’s good for everyone.

    It’s also good that you can realize you’re sulking. Today, I thought I was fine. I felt the same as yesterday, and the day before, and the day before. I am a writer and I am always turning things in to people who edit their own edits and talk in circles, but today someone called me. On the phone. With a happy tone.

    They said, “this is the best piece I have ever read from your team.”

    And that caught me off guard, so I said thanks and hung up.

    And then I cried. Big, huge, ifeelsorelieved (gasp) (deep breath) icantbelieveihavebeenholdingthisinformonths tears. In my cube.

    Sixty seconds later I realized I had been sulking for months, and I had gotten over it in minutes because I was reminded that some people care enough to be there to talk when I needed to listen.

  17. JB
    JB says:

    Nice headline. It ties the stream of consciousness writing together so well, making it seem like more than a journal entry. You actually have fodder here that you could expand to quite a few posts, such as taking time to pull yourself together and not just reacting, twitter career advice (and why it might not be a good thing), how community is important in developing working relationships.

    But I’d like to know how you come up with headlines. It’s something I need to work on and you always seem to be able to grab the reader.

    • Penelope Trunk
      Penelope Trunk says:

      I like that you noticed the headline. Thank you.

      One person I learned a lot about headline writing from is Jared Sandberg at the Washington Post. He writes a career advice column, but he refuses to give advice. So his editor always puts the advice in the headline, as if to announce: Here’s what you can get from this week’s column.

      -Penelope

  18. prklypr
    prklypr says:

    This amazing post totally makes up for the typo-filled babble from yesterday. Heartfelt, interesting, totally out there and open. Wearing your heart proudly on your sleeve. Re: twitter, I think you should use it how YOU want to use it – for business, for pleasure, for hook-ups. Apologies to Guy, he seems like a great mentor, but not everything in your life has to be about Brazen Careerist. Maybe twitter will be your release, that place where you can go to say things you might not want to blog about, or say things you might want to blog about but are looking for feedback. Whatever.

  19. JB
    JB says:

    Also I still don’t get the emphasis on being a millionaire by 30, or any age really. Is money still that important? After the implosion the markets have gone through recently, in part because of personal greed and wanting more than we can afford, shouldn’t we have other goals? Isn’t that what President Obama wants to see out of this new generation (I think I saw a reference to “Generation S” for service, but I can’t find the link)?

    Maybe the goal should be to be self-sufficient, support a family, and give back…or something. Build something.

    What happens after you make that first million or buy that first Lexus? You want to make more money, and then you want to buy a Hummer. And then it escalates. That’s what got us into this mess in the first place.

    I expect more from people who are trying to rewrite the rules in business.

  20. Ellen
    Ellen says:

    But Ryan is not the type of guy who cares. I mean he cares. But he just wants to be a millionaire by the time he’s thirty.

    Sidenote: When I was his age, I stayed away from guys like him. And anyway, do girls ever have that goal? I don’t want to be bad for women here, but the only by-thirty goal I’ve ever heard from a woman is kids.

    I’m a 24 year old female, and I have the the goal to be a millionaire by 30. It’s going to be hard to achieve because of my massive student loans, but I’m still working my ass off to try and achieve it. Even if I don’t get to a million by 30, I’ll at least have achieved gaining a large net worth and being completely debt free.

    This is actually how I found your blog. I subscribe to about 20 different personal finance blogs, and one of them referenced yours.

  21. Marco
    Marco says:

    You amaze me. There are times that I am inspired by your words and other times you just piss me off so much that I want to rub your blog completely off my screen. Your postings occasionally remind me of the earlier Simpson’s episodes where what happens in the first 10 minutes might have nothing to do with the rest of the show. And then sometimes, it just all gels together. Your a whiner and a complainer and very transparent about it. And maybe that’s why so many of us keep coming back, because we know there’s no BS to what what you have to say. (Please, please, please apply as a speech writer for our new president!).

    Actually, you remind me a lot of myself. And… Hey! You’re single now! I know! Let’s get married! I like dogs and children and start-ups and 6 block walks to bars in the freezing winters. What a match it would be! It would be so… Oh, wait… I’m already married. I’m married to someone similar to a Ryan or a Dan…. someone who keeps me level-headed and lets me sit out my sulking, funks and is nice to people when I’m not. She’s someone who I adore, too. Nice we have those people in our lives, huh?

    Thanks for your thoughts and inspiration… this time!

  22. Joy-Mari
    Joy-Mari says:

    Damn that headline of yours; it made me read your post. I’ve been saving your last few posts for a rainy day. Such as today, actually.

    Oh, and I understand why you’re feeling overwhelmed by Twitter: you’re following more than 1k people. That’s a crazy amount for anyone. Perhaps you could follow fewer people?

    Joy-Mari

  23. Raul Pacheco
    Raul Pacheco says:

    Thanks for the link to my tweet, Penelope!

    *sigh* Yes, searching for a job is frustrating. Particularly for someone like me with a PhD (in environmental studies, of all things). For some jobs, I’m considered over-qualified. For some, I’m considered “not the perfect fit because we kinda like the fact that you study water governance but you don’t do climate change so you are not exactly what we want but you sound cool so why don’t you send us your CV anyways even though we won’t look at it. Kthxbai”… for some others, people want my social media advice. GRRR.

    Drinking… probably, on a Friday night. I’ll try that.

    Thanks again! I may bug you with questions about the job search! :)

  24. Diana Maus
    Diana Maus says:

    I thought you might be interested to know that sulking doesn’t stop when you get older. This was a good read but it is more geared to my 30-ish daughters than me. I had my kids before 30, had college and successful career, and retired very early to do I don’t know what. I used to think I knew but by the time I got here, those dreams had expired.

    I love Penelope (for being Brazen), but can someone point me to the post about deciding what I want to achieve before I’m 60? (Millionaire is probably out in this economy)

  25. Richard
    Richard says:

    I’ve been reading about your hunt for investors. I’m not sure that you represent a good investment opportunity. Your type of business most likely needs to bootstrap itself into real revenue and real margins. “Professional” angels and VCs need huge returns to make up for the risk. I can’t see you building an attractive investment profile for them if you haven’t done it by now.

  26. Raven
    Raven says:

    I think sulking can be good. But, you can’t do it too long because then you just morph into a weird sort of depression about something that probably didn’t matter all that much in the first place.
    Also, it’s especially good when you can can surround yourself with people who can snap you out it and bring you back to the center of where you need to be (and not necessarily where you want to be).

  27. sophie
    sophie says:

    From one who’s way beyond 30: There’s much more to life than being a millionaire. In fact, looking back, that would be the LEAST of my goals.

  28. gregcnorca*aim
    gregcnorca*aim says:

    This post sure had a ton of replies, Im watching the start-up funding issue like a daily soap opera. J.R. Ewing and Dallas meet Penelope and Madison. Hoping you close your bridge funding soon and we can all celebrate at Burger King or whatever(at least, that is what i would do). Money really does solve life’s small problems but not really the big, deep seated ones.)

  29. Maya
    Maya says:

    Penelope,

    I loved this post – you say so many little things that paint such a beautiful picture of your life amidst all that VC/funding madness …

    I can vouch for the fact that you are using twitter more – you followed me back (@thinkmaya) just recently after ages …

    Twitter is great – cause you do not have to keep track of people – just use a good tool like tweetdeck. If people really want to get your attention they will @ you or DM you.

  30. Alisa Bowman
    Alisa Bowman says:

    I’ve been reading your blog for about 4 months, and this is your best post ever (during that time period of course). Yes I am trying to help you get out of the weepy place, but I also mean it. This post rocks. You did a great job showing your inner world and balancing the inner you with something substantive that people could learn from. I didn’t plan to read this a.m. because I’m in a rush, and here I not only read the whole thing but also clicked through to comment.

    BTW: I think it’s ok to put negative dry humor tweets out there. The economy sucks, but humor doesn’t. We all need a good laugh.

  31. Mark W.
    Mark W. says:

    I can tell you two things for sure. The sky is not falling and you still have your sense of humor (calories on the calendar).
    You say – “So I misread Erik’s email and am sulking about it, but Ryan points out that it was actually a very reasonable email.”
    I think I may have got the following advice from an article link on the BC site (‘In The News’ section)- http://money.cnn.com/galleries/2008/fortune/0804/gallery.bestadvice.fortune/index.html . The following advice from Indra Nooyi (Chairman and CEO, Pepsico) was my favorite from 25 top accomplishers – business and life advice.

    “My father was an absolutely wonderful human being. From him I learned to always assume positive intent. Whatever anybody says or does, assume positive intent. You will be amazed at how your whole approach to a person or problem becomes very different. When you assume negative intent, you’re angry. If you take away that anger and assume positive intent, you will be amazed. Your emotional quotient goes up because you are no longer almost random in your response. You don’t get defensive. You don’t scream. You are trying to understand and listen because at your basic core you are saying, “Maybe they are saying something to me that I’m not hearing.” So “assume positive intent” has been a huge piece of advice for me.
    In business, sometimes in the heat of the moment, people say things. You can either misconstrue what they’re saying and assume they are trying to put you down, or you can say, “Wait a minute. Let me really get behind what they are saying to understand whether they’re reacting because they’re hurt, upset, confused, or they don’t understand what it is I’ve asked them to do.” If you react from a negative perspective – because you didn’t like the way they reacted – then it just becomes two negatives fighting each other. But when you assume positive intent, I think often what happens is the other person says, “Hey, wait a minute, maybe I’m wrong in reacting the way I do because this person is really making an effort.”

    Assume positive intent with the email. However, as great as email is, it definitely has its limitations.
    If it wasn’t an effective email or questions still remain, ask questions with a reply email or pick up the phone depending on importance and urgency of the matter.
    Don’t sulk, over-analyze, or procrastinate.
    Easy for me to say but it’s my advice.
    You saw the inauguration with the community which was definitely a good thing to do. I hope you also did the sales numbers with Ryan. :)
    Are you working on a BC business model post by any chance?

  32. Michael
    Michael says:

    Penelope –

    What makes our lives meaningful is when we can be surrounded by people who care about us, inspite of us. This is what makes community so powerful. True, real community is about people accepting us with all of our warts and blemishes, even on the days we just want to sulk for no good reason, they embrace us and love us . . . and sometimes we can only sit and be still and allow the love to come in and be accepted by us. Good for you to step out when you did not want to.

    Blessings,

    Michael

  33. Paul
    Paul says:

    I have so many “by thirty” goals. It’s hard to fathom sometimes. All these things I haven’t done, and have to start planning for, or I’ll be considered a failure…
    And all before I turn 30. It’s quite overwhelming.

    Oh, did I mention I turn 47 this summer? That could be a problem, right?

  34. Jessi
    Jessi says:

    Hi P,

    I disagree with Guy about Tweets. This is probably good advice for some bloggers, but what is so great about your tweets is that they're all personal. It's just you. It lets us peek into parts of your life that you probably won't blog about, or gives us a hint of things that might be coming.

    It's the clip of Next Week's Episode at the end of a show. Like when you tweeted:

    "To the guy I want to date: I'm wet. Back now from a walk downtown. Raindrops on my nose, squishing when I'm kissing, someone who is not you"

    It was so exciting – €“ is this guy going to be mentioned in the blog? Will he become a main character? Who were you kissing?! And then we never heard about him, but we’ll just have to live with that.

    Even though the career advice is the first reason I came to your blog, I stay because of you. If I'm in need of advice I look through the archives for relevant articles. I think of your blog and your twitter like I think of Dooce's – I don't subscribe to her twitter because she might say something profound in 140 characters, I do it because she makes fart jokes.

  35. Terry Hickman
    Terry Hickman says:

    I can’t speak for the business, but you can write. You willingness/ability to be as raw as you are is an amzingly appealing and endearing quality, even on topics that aren’t particularly relevant to me.

    I don’t know how you do it, but it is fascinating reading. Keep it up!

  36. Pirate Jo
    Pirate Jo says:

    My ‘by-30’ goals (as a 22-year-old) were:

    * get a job that pays $20K a year so I can finally quit my second job (I was 25 before that happened)

    * get my tubes tied (I was 34 before I found a doctor to do it)

    Never considered being a millionaire – that only happened to people who already had money to begin with, or actually knew how to make a million dollars, or won the lottery. It was completely beyond the realm of comprehension for me. Now I just don’t care. I don’t need a million dollars and sure as hell don’t want to work that hard.

  37. Donna
    Donna says:

    P – What you’ve achieved (among numerous things) that so many 30-, 40- or even 50-year-olds haven’t is recognizing what you *really* need — in the moment when you can actually do something about it. Versus waaaaay after the fact.
    Which means you’re able to step outside yourself without getting wholly absorbed in the current moment. (And it means you can figure out what’s at the heart of your reaction to Twitter/Guy’s suggestions.)
    And don’t be too hard on yourself. As you so wonderfully point out to us, in this blog and in so many others, there are more important moments and opportunities to embrace this tidal wave of stimuli called life. And more important than Twitter in so many instances. :)

  38. Kate
    Kate says:

    My ‘by 30’ goal went unrealized, but it wasn’t about kids. It wasn’t about money, either. It was about the level at which I would be doing my work by that time. I direct plays, so it was about the size and quality of the venues at which I wanted to be working regularly by the time I turned 30. Didn’t happen. Still fighting for it. Sullen happens in the course of that endeavor.

  39. Dale
    Dale says:

    People often chide you for being too open, and at one time I did too. But the truth be told, both I and my wife have benefitted from the openness of others which includes sharing negative situations they’ve have been through, how they dealt with them, etc.
    This is particularly true in the case of marriage relationships where myths abound! People we share with are always suprised that we had big problems and continue to have relatively minor ones. Going into a shell only makes matters worse, but so is sharing with people who don’t care, can’t or won’t help. But when the chips are down, and it is storming it’s better to put in any port than to try to ride it out alone. There are always those who can help, sometimes we avoid them because they tell the truth:)

  40. curiously random
    curiously random says:

    “By-30” goals are crap. Twitter is crap.

    Why can’t people relax? What is it with this frantic need to get ahead and make the big money as fast as possible?

    Quickquickquick don’t miss this do it now network until your ears bleed but get ahead make more money make it now.

    By 30 I had two kids, a divorce and no financial security. By 40 I just want to have friends in interesting places so I can visit them and enjoy their company. I’ll bring the wine. I don’t want to burn out before I have the chance to meet my grandkids. Maybe that’s why I’m not making six figures?

    And is it just me, or does that Guy fella look smarmy? Really, his website is so full of “look at me, I’m fantastic.” Eh, I’ll pass.

  41. Rose
    Rose says:

    As a follower of yours on Twitter, I don’t think you are underutilizing Twitter. Your general flailing in your life makes me feel way better about the flailing in mine. It makes it easier to take your advice. Sometimes I find your posts infuriating and sometimes I find they move me to tears. And part of what makes those extremes possible is how real you seem trough your twitters. Now, I realize I am funding you in no way (other than blog traffic and word of mouth), but to me your twitters are perfect.

    Also, I drank while applying to jobs last night. You are right. It was not only more interesting, but I had the courage to talk myself up. Something I struggle with usually. So thanks.

  42. Mneiae
    Mneiae says:

    I don’t know if I’ll have kids but if I do, I certainly want them before I’m 30. When I reach that age, I hope to have already had children if I’m having them. Perhaps that’s why women panic when they turn 30: they think they should already be married and have children.

    My parents were 34 and 40 when I was born. This is actually quite typical in my community; the dad will be around the late 30s or early 40s while the mom will be a bit younger. Almost everybody’s parents at my high school followed this pattern and decade+ gaps between parents were not uncommon. It was strange to go to college and realize that other people my age had parents as young as my cousins.

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