Spacefem (spacefem) wrote,

advice for the angsty 20-something self

I remember writing here that my 20s were a real pain in the ass because there were so many UNDECIDED things? Like, I could decide my whole career. Where I'd live. Who I'd marry. It was now time. I couldn't screw up my life by taking the wrong class in high school, all those decisions are so minor. But my 20s felt full of decisions that mattered.

In one way I'm glad to be out of it. In other ways, I tell myself that the decades past that are even scarier because I now have the option of the non-decision. As in, I could have this same career in this same town FOREVER, or do I need to change something? Will I regret laying back and just letting this river take me on its direction? Should I be living in other places? Is this a mistake?

Last week I read a lot of this book...

Mistakes I Made At Work: 25 Influential Women Reflect on What They Got Out Of Getting It Wrong

Overall it's a good book but the vast majority of the 25 women interviewed are in journalism, media, publishing, writing etc... I had to dig for STEM voices that applied to me. So that's my one sentence review (beef) of the book.

But my favorite quote to highlight was author Joanna Barsh:

I've noticed that young people are often afraid of "living the wrong life." Every decision becomes momentous because they just haven't made many of them! They become afraid to decide anything, which can be a mistake in itself. Instead, start with what you really want to create and if the decision takes you a step forward, go for it. If you don't know what you want to create, focus on gaining a skill.

I'd send this back to my 25 year old self, for sure. Don't worry. You can't live the wrong life.
Tags: advice, books, career
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