WHEN I WAS in my middle thirties, I abruptly abandoned a long-term relationship and impulsively moved from Sydney to Melbourne, having accepted a job as a senior policy advisor on affirmative action for which I was manifestly unfit.
Marooned in my office on the twenty-third floor of Nauru House, I would survey the smog-drenched city and bitterly resent the lonely burden of trying break the glass ceiling. Behind my desk I installed an oversize picture of Simone de Beauvoir to reinforce my stance of aggressive self-assurance. Every day, stern Simone looked over my shoulder, but she never managed to quell the insistent voice in my head: ‘Stupid girl! I told you so! Now no one will ever love you.’
After a day spent wrestling with my own accusations of inadequacy, I would stumble back to my dark cottage in ungentrified Collingwood and pour a stiff drink. My house was a scene of... Read more
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