Ask Caroline: I need to work and earn money, but I have no clue what to do next.

Dear reader, Welcome to the first 2024 edition of Ask Caroline! I'm here to help you stop doing what you're supposed to do, and start doing what you're MEANT to do. In today's video I'm answering a letter from a woman I'll call Robin, who has come to a crossroads in her 50's and is struggling mightily with her career path. She's been through burnout and back, and now she needs to know: "How do I find out what to do next?" Right now Robin is wrestling with all kinds of job options, then deciding they are all bad ideas....
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Waiting for them to die so you can live?!

After years of verbal and emotional abuse - after years of constant criticism and control - this was her secret truth: "I'm waiting for my husband to die so I can begin to live." That's what one brave reader wrote to me recently. It's an incredibly difficult truth, and it was brave of her to tell it. And with her permission, I'm quoting it here. Yet as I wrote to her, "If you're waiting for him to die so you can live, then you have no power. You've given it all away. So, what if you turned it around? What...
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This came as a real shock

When I read your emails, I have full-body responses. I don't read quietly; I exclaim, I cheer, I shout. I talk with my hands and wave them around. Always, I feel fortunate that you trust me with your words, your truths. As I read your emails this week, I came to one that featured some big traumas and losses. The writer had been through a lot, and she struggled with feeling that everyone was mad at her. The last line was what made me gasp: "I will be free someday, not on this earth but hopefully in heaven." Those words...
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You’re not lazy, you’re just at step 3.

Thank you so much for your brave, courageous responses to my questions last week! So many of you wrote back, which is fantastic. While the stories are different, there are common threads. Here's what I'm hearing from you. If you didn't feel guilty, if you were truly free ... Instead of exhausting yourself so that everyone else is okay, you'd take time to listen to yourself. You'd discover what you want and who you really are. Instead of appearing to have it all under control and managing people's expectations, you'd pay attention to whether you, yourself, are happy. Instead of...
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The call is coming from inside the house …

Imagine that you're alone in a big, beautiful house that you love. It's your home, and it's exactly right for you. But before you go to bed one night you hear a noise that sends fear up your spine. You check the downstairs side door, and the lock is broken. The instant that you realize this, someone clears their throat behind you. It's a group of people, and they're already inside the house. Pure terror. You're braced for a fight, or worse. But then, it gets really weird. The intruders don't want to beat you. Oh, no! They just need...
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The Four Magic Words (You’ll Never Guess)

If you’ve already read my new book, You Don’t Owe Anyone, then you know that I’ve dreamed of becoming a published author ever since I was six years old. When my first grade teacher helped our class make our own hardcover books, I was hooked. She told us that authors were people whose job it was to make books. I thought that nothing could be cooler than that. (My first book, age 6) (My new book, age 35) Fast-forward about 30 years. After decades of diligent reading, writing, and study, that original dream has come true today. You Don’t Owe...
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After 10 years, we’re done (with martyrdom)

A Wish Come Clear is 10 years old this week. I published the first post on January 16, 2011. To quote Captain Awkward – a fellow 10 year blogging veteran – this makes the blog “1 bajillion years old in blog years.” In hindsight, it’s easy to see that starting the blog was a good choice: It’s now a thriving community with thousands of kindred spirits gathered here. You, dear ones, are the reason that I wrote (and got a book deal for) my forthcoming book, You Don’t Owe Anyone. Yet there were plenty of reasons why it was crazy...
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How to actually live on purpose

Riddle me this: How do you proofread the book you’ve spent five years writing — a book about how you don’t owe anyone a fake, better-than-human version of yourself — without being a total perfectionist about it? When you’ve put your heart and soul into the work, when it MATTERS, how do you not question every comma, every turn of phrase? How do you move forward with the process rather than getting paralyzed by perfectionism? In case you haven’t already figured this out, this question has been dogging my heels this week, as I proofread my forthcoming book, You Don’t...
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Please tell me we can do better than this

This Sunday morning, I am up before the sun. My toddler daughter and I have breakfast; I clean oatmeal from places I didn’t even know oatmeal could go. Once I corral her into clothes and miniature sneakers, we head out the door. It’s one of those beautiful fall mornings when the sun is warm and the shade is cool. I push our little girl in her stroller, watching her feet kick as we walk in the direction of her favorite park. We pass only a few people; it feels as though the hushed, sunlit town belongs to us. We play...
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The Most Likely Way You’ll Take Back Your Time

Having a baby has changed the way I make choices. Time with Baby Girl McGraw is such a big YES for me that it puts every other decision into sharper focus. “Do I want to take on this project?” turns into, “Do I want to trade an hour with our long-awaited little one? Do I want to source childcare for this time? Is it worth it to me?” I’m hooked on the fierce clarity. But the challenge, of course, is to translate thought into action – to LIVE from that place of integrity. Is this something you struggle with, dear...
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