So my moment of truth did not come all at once. In 2010, I had the chance to be considered for promotion from my job as director of policy planning at the U.S. State Department. This was my moment to lean in, to push myself forward for what are really only a handful of the very top foreign policy jobs, and I had just finished a big, 18-month project for Secretary Clinton, successfully, and I knew I could handle a bigger job.
The woman I thought I was would have said yes. But I had been commuting for two years between Washington and Princeton, New Jersey, where my husband and my two teenage sons lived, and it was not going well. I tried on the idea of eking out another two years in Washington, or maybe uprooting my sons from their school and my husband from his work and asking them to join me. But deep down, I knew that the right decision was to go home, even if I didn’t fully recognize the woman who was making that choice.