Book 2 of Quarter-Life Crisis Challenge

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Title: The Defining Decade – Why your twenties matter and how to make the most of them now

Author: Meg Jay, PhD

Coming off the emotionally roller coaster of the last book read during this challenge, I had quasi-high hopes for this book…which were quickly dashed. Let me start off by saying that I know I have lead a “blessed” life. At 26 years old – soon  to be 27 at summer’s end – I have earned two bachelors degrees (paid for mostly through scholarships), finished my masters this past December (paid with savings I accumulated my first three years of working), and currently thinking of seeking another degree (E.d.D. or another certification) to help me open up my employment options. I’ve been working for five years at the same job, which I find fulfilling. Of course I have my share of bad days, but who doesn’t. Between graduating with a double major and finding my current job I only went through 6 months of unemployment – much less than many of my friends. As far as my love life goes, I’ve had multiple monogamous relationships – both short and long term. Each of them has taught me more about myself and what I want in my future husband. I have friends and family who have been supportive and are always there for me when I need to talk out my inner ramblings…this all being said I feel that this book was not truly meant for me.

That isn’t to say that I didn’t find some meaningful quotes or interesting thoughts from Dr. Jay. But honestly, a lot of what she wrote about doesn’t really relate to my current predicament. If anything, she confirmed what I already knew and the book made me feel better about the path I’m already on. Even if it was in a – “Wow, I’m glad I’m not dealing with that hot mess of a problem”. Some of the more interesting points in the book where…

“Twentysomethings who don’t feel anxious or incompetent at work are usually overconfident or underemployed.”

“There is a difference between living your life in your thirties and starting life in your thirties.”

“There is a difference between sliding into living together and making the conscious decision to move in with another person because you want to spend your life with them.”

I would recommend this book to someone who just got out of college or someone in their twenties who feels they lack direction. That doesn’t necessarily mean I feel like I’ve got it all together – I don’t. I’ve spent countless hours freaking out about what my “future” may or may not hold. But honestly, why spend time worrying about things that are out of our control. Sure there are several things within our control: who we date, where we apply for jobs, what we do to prepare for further educational or work opportunities, etc. But there are always going to be curve balls thrown our way. That’s life. What we really need to worry about is whether or not you have the skills and maturity to deal with life’s “curve balls”.

Now to next book to conquer…I’ll be revisiting John Green’s “Fault in Our Stars” and am currently reading “Looking for Alaska”. Get ready to start the YA Book Challenge!!!

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