I have been blown away by the comments on my last post. I am so appreciative of the kindness and support and all the ideas so many of you have shared.

I asked myself: why am I so reluctant to do Patreon? Melissa has been telling me to do it for years. And now so many commenters are telling me to do it, too.

The first, most obvious reason is that I’m terrified of rejection. As a writer I’m used to being rejected. It’s how writers get better. But I’m not used to being rejected by you. I feel like I have a much closer relationship with you. If I try Patreon and it doesn’t work, I would feel dumb. Like I thought you like me but you don’t actually really like me.

Also, I feel ashamed. I feel most ashamed that my parents are not helping me because I think everyone will think, “If her parents won’t help her then she’s not worth helping.”

One of the people in the comments – the one who everyone ripped apart – reminded me of the advice I gave her: “Pick yourself up and move on, your kids need you.”

It hurt to read that. And I have to admit I was happy that everyone told her to shut up. But as the day wore on, I started to like that advice. Which is probably why I gave it to her in the first place. I have to figure out how to keep doing what’s best for the kids.

So, I have to do Patreon because I can’t spend my life still seeing myself through my parents’ eyes. I hate even having to write that. I’m too old.

The other thing I learned from reading the comments is that I’m a lot like Britney Spears. I am good at earning money but not at managing my life. It looks like it’s just money that I can’t manage, but really it’s everything. I have a veryvery hard time getting through a day like a normal person. Someone said that the times I’ve been functioning best is when I have someone there keeping me grounded. And they’re right.

A lot of my life I’ve had an assistant. If you are good at work, then work comes with an assistant. Well, that’s what I used to think — that I had an assistant all the time because I’m so good at work. I used to think investors always paid for my assistant because I’m so valuable. Then I realized they pay for an assistant so I don’t do things like have my car break down in the middle of an intersection and get the kids out of the backseat and walk home and then disappear for a week trying to get my car back. I did that once. But it was not a week — it was only three hours because I had an assistant who called me and figured everything out.

When I stopped working 100-hour weeks my assistant disappeared along with my job. I thought that would be fine because I was moving to the farm. But I didn’t realize the farmer had no intention of helping with childcare.

So I had to hire an assistant. And then the boys needed to go everywhere and the assistant didn’t want to do all the driving, so I hired a driver and then I basically had two assistants. The only way I transitioned from two assistants to zero assistants in Swarthmore is I told myself this is temporary.

The boys are used to having me and one other person run the family. I think the kids know life runs better when there’s someone with us. The kids don’t expect that person to be a father — because obviously I’m not good at picking that sort of man. But the kids do expect the person to be an assistant. They’ve spent most of their life seeing me with an assistant. My kids feel comforted by hired competence.

So, I am going to hire a full-time assistant to manage my life and my finances. I have had this type of person before. I know how to do it.

Just writing this makes me so happy. My phone service gets turned off all the time because I forget to pay the bill. I don’t get our prescriptions refilled on time; sometimes I spend all month worrying about the prescriptions and we still go days without medicine. Having an assistant back in my life will give me so much peace.

One of the biggest barriers to getting someone to help me is that I don’t have a steady income. Money comes in waves, which is not helpful for making life more stable. In the past, my startups have paid for the assistants so they don’t suffer from my crazy cash flow.

So, here’s my plan:

I do Patreon and I use the funds from Patreon to hire the assistant who will then manage the funds from Patreon and also the rest of my life. Melissa has built an empire by being the god of hiring assistants. She’ll hire mine.

She hires for startup founders who can’t tie their shoes. I pine for the days when I was simply a startup founder who couldn’t tie my shoes. Now it’s my shoes, and the kids’ shoes, and it feels like there are 50 million other pairs of shoes as well, even though I know there are not.

Get it? Not? Knot? For shoe tying?

I’m showing you how hard it is for me to focus on logistics enough even to get this post done.

What I want to do is write. If Patreon can make my income stable, then I can solve most of my problems. I can still do the things I like to do – career coaching and personality type stuff. But that’s not consistent income — and I’ve come to terms with the fact that if I want to create consistency in my life, I need to change.

You have all helped me recognize that having an assistant is not a luxury for me. And now I can see more clearly that asking for help is OK.

So here’s the link to my Patreon. I had so much fun putting Patreon together. I hope you like it.

When we went to my son’s piano teacher to say goodbye everyone was so sad. My son and the piano teacher are so close. The teacher said to me, “He’s very lucky. You’re an amazing parent to have gotten him here with no help. My parents didn’t do that for me.”

I need to hold that picture of myself in my head. My parents didn’t do that for me, either, which is why I so much want to be able to give both my kids what they need. What my kids need now is stability, and I’m getting that by asking for help from an assistant, yes, but really, from all of you.

74 replies
  1. Ellen
    Ellen says:

    I’m really happy to read this post Penelope. Congratulations for taking good advice. The most important line of this post is, “What I want to do is write.” I would love to read another book from you.

  2. Erin
    Erin says:

    I think Patreon is one of those things where everyone in your life sees you need to do it before you do it so when you finally do it the people who have been supporting you all along are so relieved and don’t need a blog post, they just click and support. But we write the blog posts anyways. Maybe we write them for ourselves.

  3. Carol of Kensington
    Carol of Kensington says:

    Jordan Peterson has made so much money on Patreon that’s he’s starting an online university. You’ve figured out that he’s my idol, right?

    I’ll sort out my contribution later today, well done, it’s the way of the future. We can now pay the teachers we get value from and avoid the toxic rubbish.

    I get so much value from your writing and advice, thank you!

  4. Don
    Don says:

    I’m so glad you did this.

    In a more complicated way it is helping me.

    Your honesty (why is that so rare anymore? (rhetorical)) grounds me and lets me learn from you.

    Sorry…didn’t mean to make this about me. ;) I’m thrilled that you are doing Patreon!

    P.S. Thank you for the link to the laundry list…I hadn’t seen that before. It is extremely helpful.

  5. Coriander
    Coriander says:

    I’m sitting at work, tears running down my face. I’m really proud of you for trying Patreon. You just be you, because we like you already.

    One thing you you might consider – having an open value tier from $5 to $19. You don’t need to give people anything at lesser amounts – I know you’ve undervalued your normal prices already – but some people just like to help and those small amounts add up. (I say this having watched lots of artists on Patreon.) Feel free to ignore this if it doesn’t feel right for you.

    • Niki
      Niki says:

      I agree with Coriander. I signed up for the Liz tier thinking that I could up the amount to, like, $10/month, not realizing it was strictly $1/month…. Anyways I hope you achieve/exceed your goal, Penelope!

        • Ginger
          Ginger says:

          When you click on any of the “Join $x Tier” buttons, you are taken to a “Choose your tier” page. If you scroll down to the bottom, you can choose “Custom pledge” and enter in any amount you want. This pledge is per month like all of the other tiers.

          I checked out Amanda Palmer’s Patreon page. She has lots of tiers including the “Custom pledge” option which seems to appear on every Patreon page I’ve ever visited. But it seems like people aren’t seeing or understanding the custom option. Maybe just simply having more tiers makes it easier for people to pledge.

          • Niki
            Niki says:

            Thank you for that info, Ginger! I just went back to Patreon to up my monthly pledge to $10. I thought I might then have to cancel my original pledge of $1, but instead Patreon automatically adjusted my monthly pledge amount (so, they only charged $9 for my custom pledge instead of $10.) Many of you probably already know this, but I thought I would add this bit for the tutorial :).

      • Liz
        Liz says:

        You can change your pledge every month, though it always charges you retroactively for the previous month

  6. Liz
    Liz says:

    Seriously, consider adding a $1 tier; it can be for the pure pleasure of supporting you, or for access to blog posts. Amanda Palmer has near 12000 patrons because there’s options for everyone to contribute and the Patreon community like to aggregate low level pledges.

    • Penelope Trunk
      Penelope Trunk says:

      Hi, Liz. I added a $1 tier. And I named it after you, as a thank you for explaining to me why it is important. When I have an assistant again that person will explain stuff like this to me, and it will be such a relief to have that person around all the time.

      Penelope

  7. Christy
    Christy says:

    Penelope, I get the parent help (which is really approval and live thing). My father died a few years ago, and I’m still looking for it. I’ve learned it’s a lingering symptom of certain kinds of abuse. Hang on. Really. You don’t need their approval to be whole. Keep saying that. One day, you might actually believe it.

  8. DW
    DW says:

    Penelope twitter feed is A+ idea, it could be even better than twitter because you’ll have your own engaged community. Add a $5 “support me” tier so you don’t miss out on a lot of $$$.

  9. CristenH
    CristenH says:

    P,
    I’m happy and relieved you set this up. I subscribed yesterday after reading your previous post. As an unschooling mom and wife of an entrepreneur, you have given me so much over the years. It feels great to compensate this way.
    Patreon is a fantastic platform.
    All the best to you.
    Cristen

  10. Timothy Scott Bennett
    Timothy Scott Bennett says:

    One of the most toxic aspects of modern “psychological correctness,” in my view, is the cultural narrative that says we are supposed to be complete and fully capable ON OUR OWN, that it is a sign of weakness or poor mental health to NEED somebody. This goes against all the new research in attachment theory, adult attachment needs, and the primary need for bonding and partnership, what Sue Johnson (emotionally focused therapy) describes as “constructive dependency.” The story that we are supposed to all have our shit together all on our own is wildly destructive, I think. And speaking as an Aspie man in a strong marriage with a powerful woman who struggled with this most of her life (we now do couples coaching/ counseling with other neurodiverse couples) I have to say, we’ve both become much more powerful and satisfied in our lives as a result of having found each other and allowed ourselves to NEED other people. We no longer suffer over the fact that, on our own, we are unable to just “pick ourselves up.”

    I hate that you may be hurting from such stories, Penelope. You are the person who first pointed me down the road to ASD diagnosis, and I am deeply fond of your open and honest expression, and strive to achieve the same in my own life. I am so happy to hear that you are seeking more support. We get by with a little help from our friends.
    Pax-T

  11. Jeannie
    Jeannie says:

    God has used various methods and people to help me become a more confident person. You are one of those people!

    I had been feeling guilty about getting so much knowledge, strength, confidence, etc. from your blogs. It is well worth a monthly contribution.

  12. Todd
    Todd says:

    You’ve had my admiration for a long time. I’ve been rooting from the sidelines for years. I’m glad to be able to provide a little bit of tangible support.

    You are terrifying, funny, insightful, befuddling and an inspiration. Keep up the good work.

  13. Casey Henry
    Casey Henry says:

    Can you make some lower tiers? Like $3 or $5? Like an earlier comer we said, we wouldn’t need anything special. I just want to help you keep writing.

  14. Steven Kowalski
    Steven Kowalski says:

    Penelope,
    I have followed you for many years. I enjoyed your earlier writings,,they were funny and real. Lately it seems you are whining a lot. Maybe you have some loyal followers that seem to worship the ground you walk on…and I probably will get a lot of crap for saying this. The reality is that many are in the same boat you are. I do not write blogs and complain about me being homeless, or 61 and cannot get work because of age discrimination. I get on with life, pick myself up by my own bootstraps and make a go at a new career. I now am a business loan and project consultant. Be happy! enjoy life!

    • YesMyKidsAreSocialized
      YesMyKidsAreSocialized says:

      I do not worship Penelope or anyone/thing else. How presumptuous of you. Not sure why you have such a low opinion of people that actually care about another human being and display empathy. Very sad.

    • Ak
      Ak says:

      I hate this bootstrap bullshit. It’s rationalization for not realizing other people are human beings. I may think Penelope also needs to get it together, but I would never presume that she should do it all by herself.

    • CristenH
      CristenH says:

      Patreon is not charity. It’s direct, user to producer compensation for work. It’s straight up, grass roots commerce.
      Penelope has written this blog for free for I don’t even know how many years.
      It really doesn’t matter why anyone would choose to pay. But Penelope has certainly provided a unique service that warrants compensation.

  15. Amy
    Amy says:

    I started following you when I saw your post about your son getting ready for his Juilliard audition. I identified with what you were going through because my daughter became serious about playing the cello when she was young. I devoted a lot of time (driving, driving, driving to lessons and rehearsals and performances, etc) and a good deal of money to her musical pursuits. Because I have other children and a husband and a house, I couldn’t commute to NYC for lessons, so I never allowed her to audition there. I also encountered the uptight “music moms”, but I never really understood how to be like them, so I kind of let my daughter lead the way. She ended up going to college at a conservatory and then went to Juilliard for her masters degree. She’s now a self-supporting, professional cellist!

    I tell you this to reassure you that there are different paths for kids to take to reach their goals. Attending Juilliard Prep is one way, but not the only way. If your son is dedicated, and you can support him with other (less expensive) teachers and opportunities, help him find scholarships or competitions that have cash prizes, etc., he will succeed. I hope your new assistant will help you sort this stuff out too.

    I enjoy your writing and perspectives on things. Thanks for the Patreon options.

  16. Kitty Kilian
    Kitty Kilian says:

    Great idea. I signed up. You know what you need: I do hope that altogether it will pay for a full time assistant. Don’t mind Steven. You’re not whining and I don’t worship anyone, but I just want to help. You have enriched my life, I want to give back.

  17. Donald Becker
    Donald Becker says:

    Not sure I understand what all this entails but it sounds like a plan. The previous post made we worry a lot for you and what seemed hopeless. When you have a plan you have hope.

  18. Shaina Keren
    Shaina Keren says:

    Penelope, I read your last post, and the many before. I love your writing, and am so inspired by your decision. Thank you for sharing your journey, as it’s happening. Rare.

  19. Autumn Moss Peñaloza
    Autumn Moss Peñaloza says:

    I’m so happy you’ve come to this realization and you’re acting on it. I mean honestly – you can’t be amazing at everything. No one can! You are incredibly talented and the world is better for the work that you do in it. Let’s help you focus on THAT work. I wish happiness for you. Hug your kids for us. X

  20. Irena
    Irena says:

    First, congratulations on finding a way to get yourself out of a hole immediately.

    I don’t think anyone who has ever read any of your work doubts that on the professional level, you are very capable.

    Your admission that you need help, in your assessment via an “assistant” is a great first step. However, you don’t seem to distinguish here, unless I misread, between a personal assistant and a work assistant. It seems to me you need more of a personal assistant to in essence “manage” your daily life than a work assistant (who does not look after anything but something specifically work related.)

    Asking one person to do both is problematic from what I’ve seen and often leads to forms of abuse for the assistant who is expected to basically compensate for someone else’s problems (generally of their own creation).

    I’d find it easy to donate if I felt some of the funds would go to get you with the psychological and mental health issues you have but fail to acknowledge–and which, your fan followers, it seems are also unwilling to address as they perhaps see it as being less than supportive.

    If one were to believe all that you have written, in many states, your children would have been taken away from you. Sorry, this is a fact using information you have given.

    Your fan followers keep focusing on the insecurities you bring up about being a “good” mother, whatever that means. Let’s be honest: Unless someone who reads your blog knows you well in real life, no one can comment on your abilities as a mother. All we have is what you write of your intentions, which, I do feel are good and genuine.

    But a child’s welfare depends on a lot more than cello or piano lessons and your own children have pointed out how their basic needs (food) were not met at times. This is heartbreaking to read.

    I believe that your honest admission that you need help is a good thing and as I wrote in commenting on your first post, nothing to be ashamed of. Everyone in life has times when it seems like you simply can’t keep it together for one reason or another.

    But you seem to be saying that the issue is money and poor life management skills (using the terminology you might use). The issue however is bigger than that. You have deep, very deep, psychological issues. (When you speak about your parents and others’ lack of support, I can truly identify. I grew up with two, albeit divorced, parents and felt like an orphan. I get it.)

    Again, nothing to be ashamed of, but they have caused you to cease to function (by your own admission) coherently and properly given the needs of your children at times.

    It takes more than an assistant to deal with those issues.

    As for the Asperger’s: I know several people, men and women, with it. They are highly functioning, very successful and, with ongoing psychological help, fully aware of areas that may need to be worked on. None are particularly good with people but they are learning skills to deal with that.

    I also know several adults and children on the autism scale. To be frank, these adults are far more responsible in parenting than you have demonstrated via your own words.

    It seems that pretty much everyone who comments here is either somewhat enabling you in your flawed thinking or outright calling you out on what is a double standard (you don’t always practice what you preach to others, including those who pay for your services.)

    Haven’t seen anyone in the few things I’ve read in comments mention getting help for your mental health issues.

    You’re smart, you’re educated, you’ve long ago proven your skill at generating income.

    What you admit is that you are NOT good at decisionmaking and in some of your choices. Why you avoid facing the obvious ==that you need psychological help, is something I question.

    Until you admit it and get help, all the “solutions” are basically dealing with the symptoms of your issues, not the root cause.

    You’re “better” than that. All the love and support of the blog followers is great. But…it is NOT real life, and that is where you struggle.

    If you get help for no other reason than to deal with the issues of lack of support from family, it will be a “good” thing.

    And understand this, many of us struggle with the same issues you face as a parent. The only difference is we’re not blogging to an adoring fan base (which you clearly need and nothing wrong with that at all except that it is no replacement for a real friend in your real, offline life, which you seem to have few of if I’ve read correctly) who will be there for us, including monetarily.

    All of this is said with respect and to help you crawl out of the hole you’re in. But you can’t move forward in life by pretending that the real issues behind all of this “failure to thrive” don’t exist.

    You know better. So, please, use your funding to get psychological help and don’t think that any number or type of assistants are the solution to being truly responsible for your life. Assistants are an aid, not the solution to the underlying issues.

    Good luck. And cut yourself slack: You are not solely responsible for the future success of your child with the cello talent. Many people do not go to Juilliard and still succeed. You’ve fallen for a lot of the erroneous beliefs you’ve written here about what constitutes “success”–and what the world would have us believe.

    And thank you for keeping the children’s father in their lives, no matter his behavior towards you. It is hard and it is challenging for you, but THIS is what a good parent does: What’s best for the child in these circumstances. You’re smart enough to do this. You’re smart enough to get help and be ALL that you can be. You are a woman of great success, but even greater potential. And when you realize that the only life “cheerleader” who really matters is YOU, your life will be far less painful.

    • Mint
      Mint says:

      Outstanding Irena. Making the complexities of your life, and the restraint of your urges, another’s responsibility, is not the answer, Penelope. Treatment. Health. Simplicity. Love. Pride. Sustainability. If your life is too complicated to cope with, it must get as simple as it needs to be so that you can,with therapeutic support, grow genuine self regard. This is the real gift you can give your children and a future respectful partner. Cello, frankly, is lower order.

  21. Ak
    Ak says:

    I really admire how much effort you put into not only being a better parent than your own (and honestly, my dog would be a better parent than yours were), but going above and beyond to be a great parent. Plus, I can’t imagine being a single parent, and your exes really make me appreciate my husband all the more. I am moved more by this post even than your last one and am happy to have a chance to donate. Good luck with your plans.

  22. May
    May says:

    PLEASE HIRE MINAMI/WENDY WITH YOUR PATREON MONIES OT RUN YOUR LIFE. :DDD

    Also you should listen to Melissa more often lol. Even if it kills you inside to tell her that she’s right and you hate how she smugly cat-smiles at you.

    Also your Patreon tiers are incredible. I love them all. The Parental Forgiveness one especially. Can someone who also donates that amount become your new parents? Haha!

    • May
      May says:

      Oh, question:
      Will you ever do the podcast idea?
      Are the video chats going to be recorded at all so that they function as podcasts?

    • Penelope Trunk
      Penelope Trunk says:

      I’m so glad you like the tiers! It was scary to do something this new to me. But it was so fun. I think I’ve been so overwhelmed that I haven’t been able to try new things. The Patreon reminds me of how fun it is to do something different. I have felt like I can’t take any risks in my work stuff because my personal stuff is so fragile. But it’s very energizing to do something new.

      Penelope

  23. Penelope Trunk
    Penelope Trunk says:

    I don’t know. I guess I should do that. That’s a good idea. How should I do it? What would your recommend? Like, how to write it on Patreon? Should I change the title to podcast? Should I make it more frequent? I did so much Patreon research in the last 24 hours. But not that.

    Penelope

    • Jordan Ortiz
      Jordan Ortiz says:

      Would love any kind of extra content. Extra blog posts or a podcast. Or what about revisiting old quistic courses and releasing a monthly video with updated advice or ideas? Patreon is great because you can pay a small amount per content item with the option to cap it for the month.

      • Penelope Trunk
        Penelope Trunk says:

        Oh. Good idea. So what do you think about say an ENTP Tier where you get an ENTP video each month. Is that what you’re thinking? But how were you thinking it would it relate to the courses?

        Penelope

        • Jordan
          Jordan says:

          I was thinking more like making a session from a course available or a highlight reel of the course. For instance, Make Your 20s Count. And then you do a video talking about advice that still holds true, advice or ideas you have changed your mind about, how things are different today vs when it was originally recorded. You could do the same thing with older blog posts. I’d love to listen to your 2018 take on the things you’ve written about over the years.

  24. Susan P
    Susan P says:

    Still waiting for a $5 or $10 tier … We make about as much as your ex-husband and that supports 6 people. Of course that’s with taxes paying most of our health insurance…

      • mh
        mh says:

        Susan, I need to ask where are you living? I am retired now and need to find an area that is within my budget.

        • Susan P
          Susan P says:

          Tucson, Az. A nice community if you can stand the heat… Cheap food and housing.

          We actually just moved to WA, still trying to get a handle on living frugally here!

    • Penelope Trunk
      Penelope Trunk says:

      Okay, I did it! Thank you for suggesting that, Susan. You guys have been so great today helping me make the Patreon Page work well. I really appreciate all the advice.

      Penelope

  25. greta
    greta says:

    you are brilliant, penelope. the parental forgiveness comment is one of the funniest things I have seen on the internet in a long time. your optimism adds joy to me!

  26. Sheena
    Sheena says:

    Wondering about the video tier — can that be like a mailbag live session sometimes? Really love that section of your blog. Would love seeing you answer a few during a live session.

    • Penelope Trunk
      Penelope Trunk says:

      Oh what a great idea. Yes. It will be that. Also, now I can tell people in the Mailbag section of my blog that there’s a Mailbag podcast. I think that will be the format of the video session. We take questions. Thank you for helping me get a sense of the shape of the video tier.

      Penelope

  27. Hoang Hai
    Hoang Hai says:

    Can you make some lower tiers? Like $3 or $5? Like an earlier comer we said, we wouldn’t need anything special. I just want to help you keep writing.

  28. Aquinas Heard
    Aquinas Heard says:

    I signed up! Your blog has been a high value to me over all these years. You’ve deserved to get paid for the many interesting and informative blogposts you’ve written all this time.

    Congratulations on your new “venture”.

    Aquinas Heard

    • Penelope Trunk
      Penelope Trunk says:

      Use this system. (If you are hiring and assistant to care for a family instead of a career then substitute family life for work life in number three.)
      1. Look at the kind of work you are terrible at doing, and write down the MBTI letters you are missing for that.
      2. Look at the kind of work you have that needs to get done, and write down the MBTI letters you are missing for that.
      3. Look at what you are missing in your work life that you want, and write down the MBTI letters that provide that.

      My answers:
      1. SJ
      2. NJ
      3. SF

      I don’t need any E skills so I default to my opposite.
      So I should have an INFJ or ISFJ as my assistant.

      Melissa has a whole business analyzing this for clients and candidates. She probably does it better than I do because she does it all day long. But this is how I’d do it.

      Penelope

      • megan
        megan says:

        I am an INFJ and a virtual assistant and a huge fan of your work – and I so want to email Melissa and try to get the job. But I think you almost certainly need in-person assistance. Plus, I’m also a single mom and hate working because I have no time. Sometimes I feel the old (ambitious) me bubble up and then my child screams and I remember that it’ll have to be one pause for…ever?

        Anyway, I am SO happy you’ve set up a Patreon. I am really thankful you share not just the difficult-bad things about your life, but the difficult-good things. The big changes that you’re uncomfortable with. I feel like trying new things and deciding to be different is harder than rehashing stories of old trauma. It’s more vulnerable.

      • Elle
        Elle says:

        I’m an INFJ and great at being an assistant. I’m also really good at solving Asperger’s gaps that aren’t my own. How do I get Melissa to headhunt me?

      • Elle
        Elle says:

        I shouldn’t have commented before looking at the Patreon page – I’m also a great website fixer. I rebuilt my current boss’s website from scratch. You could get two Patreon goals done with one person.

  29. Alan
    Alan says:

    Since you added lower-cost tiers (good idea), your denominator (urrently 200 patrons for goal 1) needs to increase. You can no longer pay for an assistant with 200 patrons if the average expected contribution per patron has dropped from $25 per month to $11 per month. I suggest you change your goal tiers accordingly.

    Best wishes on your recovery.

  30. Monica
    Monica says:

    Thank you for setting up the Patreon fund and letting us all,compensate you in some/any way for all the insights you have offered for free, over the years. I live in India and your voice is like a trusted(though not always likeable) friend across the oceans…

  31. My PA's PA is now telling me he needs a PA
    My PA's PA is now telling me he needs a PA says:

    You want to crowd fund a personal assistant? Entitled and obnoxious af. You spin this story to yourself and others that you are just encapable of certain basic things and that’s that. That’s not that. You buy your own bs so hard that you don’t even bother trying to improve, you just spin it into a little Asperger’s story about your hard life and take all the weight of your failures off yourself.

    • Axxr
      Axxr says:

      Um, solving a problem is not a method of failing, and this is one way to solve a problem. Hiring someone to do something when they’ll be better at it than you is the time-honored engine of free enterprise. Odd that you’re so upset about it.

    • Penelope Trunk
      Penelope Trunk says:

      There’s a link in the top navigation, but obviously that’s not clear enough. Thank you for encouraging me to be better at marketing!

      Penelope

  32. Vanessa
    Vanessa says:

    I am the person who stops by your blog once a year or so to skim over all the entries that you have posted since I last visited, and then I write a comment to say that I am ‘that person’ and I give some thoughts on an issue or two that you had recently been mulling over/describing.
    I always use an alias so I don’t know the names that I have used in the past. I am a female ENTP/INTP (I am smack in the middle of the E-I continuum, though very NTP) and there aren’t many of us – plus, I don’t think that many of those types probably read your blog on an ongoing basis (not like some other types which would be more drawn here), so maybe that “places” me. Which, of course, doesn’t matter (whether you “remember” me from the many thousands of commenters who have participated here).
    The present blogpost (above) reminds me that I wrote a LONG comment on your site about 2 or 3 years ago, right after you had moved to Pennsylvania, telling you that it was clear that you needed an assistant, not a business assistant or a writing/editing assistant, but rather a kind of household manager, even if just part-time, to take care of all the household management/life management tasks that you have said for many years that you are not good at — including cooking meals, doing laundry, driving, running errands, paying bills. I wish you had taken up this idea back then, when you were still living above the Dunkin’ Donuts.
    Tonight I scrolled back on your blog until I recognized the last post that I read the last time I visited, and it looks like it’s been longer than a year, maybe 16 or 18 months, since I caught up on your activities and I didn’t realize it had been that long. However, I think you may have deleted or dramatically re-edited some of the posts from around that time period, for various good reasons (I think at the time maybe there was a legal issue, and family issues, etc.), and this might be why I had to go back a ways to find the first one that I recognized as having read before.
    I am not done reading all the “interim” posts (between then and today), but I’m sorry to learn here (with this and the immediately-prior blogpost) that your son had to leave Julliard and that your family has gone through such troubles (many of which are not much of a surprise to those who have followed you and your stories for years, but are still awful and unfortunate).
    I remember several years ago (maybe 4 to 7 years ago) when you had written something in a blog post about how easy it is for a woman to work as a secretary in a large, traditional company in the midwest (or something like that), as compared to being a supposedly-hotshot digital-startup kind of gal, and I strenuously objected in a comment below the post because you had actually never done a job like that, whereas I did those sorts of jobs for a number of years after college, and that kind of scene can be treacherous, especially for an asperger-y, intelligent, introverted, NT woman, especially one who is slim, blond, and no catalog model yet not too unattractive, but who did not want to try to wield those ‘assets’ for advantage. I mention this because in the blogpost you had posted right before this one, you mentioned how the cello-mom and cello-teacher scene was cut-throat or bizarre or incredibly layered and complicated and full of unstated rules and expectations and judgements and bitchiness and one-up-manship (or whatever you said), and that’s what many areas of life and pockets of society are like! Hello. Even though you have described having had a difficult childhood and young adulthood in some key, important, wrenching ways, you have also had a lot of plain luck and unique opportunities come your way that not everyone has enjoyed. You did work hard, and you also utilized a kind of Costanza “opposite day” viewpoint writ large that was quite successful for a long time, but you were pretty cavalier about some things/circumstances/people too.
    I was so surprised at how different your blog looks now – I guess that it has changed only recently (a month or something ago)…. I’m glad you have stripped it down — and put up honest, current photos.
    Some other things that you might freshen up/bring current:
    Your section about the relationship with the farmer implies that the relationship is still ongoing: “The bottom post is when we get married. Here’s a picture of us now.” To continue your quest in getting down to brass tacks, you might want to remove the mention of getting married (because you didn’t, legally) and to remove the “now” regarding the picture. That is not “now”, that was probably 4 years ago.
    Also, the link on your “about” page to the brazencareerist site goes to a page that no longer has an active site on it.
    I was going to mention a couple of other things I noticed (like only the last two of the photos on your photo page enlarging when clicked on – the others said that the file was not found), but then I realized it was because I had my browser’s IP filter on high-ish security, and that’s why some of the links were not working for me at first.

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