I’ve had a rough week. But before we get to that, let me tell you a story.
Two years ago I climbed Kilimanjaro. On January 9, 2010 around 6:30am local time I reached the summit, which is the highest point in Africa. If this were a movie and you started watching at 6:27am you’d see one of the biggest highs of my life over the following three minutes of film. But if you started watching at, say, 3am you’d see a very different Christina. You’d see an extraordinarily strong woman about to crumble like a pile of Girl Scout cookies.
I had dinner a few months ago with a girlfriend from college. She had been asking about my startup and recent jump from steady employment to the always-volatile world of entrepreneurship when she noted that I have a history of taking some pretty big risks and yet I “always land on my feet.”
She was both proud and a touch wistful as she made that observation, going on to note that she was in a comfortable job (at which she was quite successful), with a loving husband, and had just purchased a beautiful home, all by age 27. In contrast, I was single, had quit my job, moved into a tiny place in upper Manhattan (where I rented a couch in the middle of the living room), and poured my measly savings into a high-risk venture while deferring 6-figure student loan debt. She was living the life she wanted – 10 years from now. I was making the risky choices, which may or may not ever pay off, but are certainly anything but comfortable. Who exactly should be envious of whom here?