This past week, during a particularly stressful day, I do what I always do when I want to complain to someone I know will listen: I called my dad. I’m lucky that our relationship is such that I can vent about work or daily living in New York City, and he’ll listen attentively and offer fatherly pearls of wisdom or tales of his time in his 20s and how he figured it all out, without (too much) judgment. This time, after the usual 10 minutes of me explaining I had no idea what was going on in my life, he didn’t tell me to buck up and get back to it, he asked me how I’m investing in myself out of work. What was I doing in my off time that was just for me, that would let me focus on things I enjoy and hone skills I don’t have yet? It’s a good question. Earlier in the year, I participated in a writing workshop with a bunch of other women from varied disciplines, hosted by a writer I’d long admired. It cost a few hundred dollars, which made me nervous at first, but once the day was over, I knew it had been well worth the cost. I haven’t done anything like that in a while, mainly because I tell myself the money could be better spent elsewhere. But my dad reminded me that now is the best time to invest in myself, in the things I simply like…. [Read full story]
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