I had to update my resume recently. It was a bit tricky finding a way to explain a full year’s absence from work. I didn’t feel like I could exactly write, “stay-at-home-mom.”

I found myself thinking the way I think when I’m trying to impress someone. Which, depending on your point of view, may or may not be totally honest. There are things that are technically true and make me look good, and things that are totally true and expose me for who I am. 

Example 1:

Technically True: We live just off of Central Park West.

Totally True: We live just one block away from Central Park West. A block north of it. In Harlem. In subsidized housing. We do not have and cannot afford a doorman, a driver, or Upper West Side social capital.

Example 2:

Technically True: I worked at a big hedge fund on the equity team. Our group covered the technology and healthcare sectors, with roughly two billion assets under management.

Totally True: I was the administrative assistant on that team. I booked travel, answered phones, did Starbucks runs. I booked business trips that cost as much as my salary. I still don’t understand the concept of short-selling and can’t, for the life of me, remember which is a bear market and which is a bull market.

Example 3:

Technically True: Last week Martha Stewart did a show on bloggers. I got invited to be on the show.

Totally True: I got invited to be an audience member on the show that aired the day after the show about blogging.

Example 4:

Technically True: Since quitting at the hedge fund I co-founded my own organization. We are projected to double in size in our first five years of operation. I coordinate and execute all training and team-building initiatives. I manage all finances and since I stepped into this role full-time, have cut expenditures by thirty percent without impeding growth.

Totally True: I’ve gotten to the point where on even really messy diapers I can get by with just one wipe.

References furnished upon request.