I Asked For Permission To Hit Pause
I met Hope Taitz to first, fill my calendar with something of significance on my first Monday out of work, and second, to ask permission. I figured that a woman of the prior generation, who runs a New York City hedge fund, was exactly the right person to bless or dismiss the idea to break up my career trajectory and opt for flexibility for family.
Maybe I got lucky and unconsciously selected the right focus group of one, but my meeting with Hope, hugely successful as a female in Finance and simultaneously a proud philanthropist and mother, became my first conversation about the very real choices an ambitious woman has to make when she becomes a mother.
In talking, Hope shared her own experience of leaving large finance firms for smaller family offices that offered her the flexibility she needed to parent her children. She also pointed to the dynamics of marriage and the fluid shifting back and forth where one spouse could be there for the family and one was focusing on their career in any given chunk of time.
The chat with Hope wasn't about giving up the last ten years of my life, it was about slowing it down to allow room for something more important for me, personally, and believing that I could dial it back up when I was ready.
Ultimately I didn't need permission but perspective is an incredible thing, especially in the form of a reminder that life's a long game.