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.