I read blogs. If you’re going to write them, you need to do some reading of them, as well. Sad thing is that lately, that’s all the stuff I’ve been reading. Sad, sad, sad. Or maybe not. There’s no doubting that some great writers are producing blog posts that will stick with you, and make you think long after. Will people be reading these things years from now the way some still read a novel or a poem or even a great short?
I don’t know.
I say that a lot here, mainly because it’s true. But recently, I read a blog post by someone named Penelope Trunk. I think Ms. Trunk is probably famous in the whole “career guru” world of bloggers. Again, I don’t know. I just get that because when you Google her, she comes up with people like Timothy Ferriss and Seth Godin, so she’s probably pretty big. In any case, the post I was reading was called, “Men with families feel more trapped than ever. Here’s how to fix that.” It’s really worth the read, especially if you are a middle-aged man.
It’s interesting that the first time I read this post, I was annoyed and even a little angry, if not hurt, at a side point that she makes about salaries. She makes the case that men will max out their earning potential by the age of 35. So, basically, if you’re not making 150k by 35, you are not never going to make it. I use that number, because elsewhere, she makes the case that the only way you can have a family and live a middle class lifestyle if you want to do so in a large city, like San Francisco or New York, is to make 150k or more.
This hit close to home because my home is in San Fran, and because I moved here with my wife from New York. We didn’t have kids when we lived in Manhattan, but we do now. We have one little and another on the way. And, did I mention we live in SF? (In case you’re a new reader, I’m a writer/educator/videographer, i.e., I do not make 150k. I don’t need Ms. Trunk to tell me my family can’t keep on keeping on here in the Bay. We are planning our exodus, and I think we’ve decided to head to the Pacific Northwest. We should probably just give up the ghost and go smaller and hit Tacoma, but I’m just urban by nature and pushing for Seattle. We’ll see. Either way, we are leaving a big city for a smaller city because we don’t make enough.
Since I’m not a lover of SF, I’m ok with it. But there is a part of me that would love to go back to NY, and yet, I know that would probably not be the best idea financially speaking. We have to go smaller. We have to do what Ms. Trunk says.
Interestingly, when I read the article a second time, I gave up the idea that Ms. Trunk was writing to me, that her message was personal, and that she was telling me that I was doomed to being a poor teacher. First off, she doesn’t know me, obvious, I know, but still. Also, to be fair, I think she was making the case that it’s ok not to make oodles of money. It’s not like I didn’t know this. I’ve never really been after the money. I just want my kids to have some basic things, and then, I’ll be happy.
I think, if I’m honest, what really bugged me was that I read/projected a message onto Ms. Trunk’s post that wasn’t there. She was saying that I probably wouldn’t make more money than I did at 35. But I read that as saying that I had already done my best work, as well. I’m a late-bloomer. I know this. And it is my hope, I will say it here, that my best work is ahead of me. I think this is true. I hope it is. But you know what?
I don’t know that, either And that kind of sucks.