The GuardianThe Guardian

‘A bigger paycheck? I’d rather watch the sunset!’: is this the end of ambition?

By Elle Hunt

19 Jul 2022 · 9 min read

Editor's Note

The pandemic taught us all many things. For many, one particular lesson was learning that a life in the slow lane, can also be fulfilling and balanced. Read this personal essay from The Guardian.

Until 2020, I lived by five-year plans. I had set my career track when I was still a child, racing through school to get to university, then university to get to work. I was often described as “driven” – approvingly by teachers and bosses, and pejoratively by ex-boyfriends, who perhaps felt they had got the raw end of the deal.

When I was 28 years old, I started seeing a therapist to find out how to work more and better. She and I discussed my career more than we did my childhood, or my mental health, or my love life. I didn’t want a partner, I told her, because they would just be a distraction.

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