In the past four weeks I have graduated from college and found the reality of careers, options and lifestyles hitting me in the face. I spent the first three weeks overwhelmed, and in the fourth I found clarity and direction thanks to a lot of prayer and the help of a great book; The Defining Decade.
Author Dr. Meg Jay begins the book with a metaphor describing the life of a twentysomething:
“Ian told me his twentysomething years were like being in the middle of the ocean, like this vast, unmarked body of water. He couldn’t see land in any direction, so he didn’t know which way to go. He felt overwhelmed by the prospect that he could swim anywhere or do anything. He was equally paralyzed by the fact that he didn’t know which of the anythings would work out. Tired and hopeless at age twenty-five, he said he was treading water to stay alive.”
It was this metaphor that connected me with the book and met me exactly where I was at. Relief rushed over my body when I realized I was not alone in this ocean, and that there was such a kind author reflecting light on the situation.
That’s what The Defining Decade is about. It is learning “Why your twenties matter — and how to make the most of them now.”
Meg Jay, PhD, is a clinical psychologist who specializes in the development of young adults. She holds a private practice in Charlottesville, Virginia, and is also an assistant professor at the University of Virginia. With years of research and working with twentysomethings, Jay is a very well educated opinion leader on the subject.
In her book, Jay teaches and relates to twentysomethings through three major sections: Work, Love, and The Brain and the Body. Through each chapter Jay exposes the lies of society and presents factual truth about the lifestyles and yearnings of young adults. She uses her personal case studies along with a wide variety of research to back up her argument.
Overall, I deeply enjoyed the book. It forced me to see my life as a reality and not an abstract phase of transition-to-thirty. Half way through the book I was overly motivated to take a job position I had previously turned down, so I did. Honestly, I owe Dr. Meg Jay a huge thank you for that push. I now feel like I can live my twenties with much more purpose than I had originally intended. For any young soul searching and piddling, I recommend this book as a method of self examination.Powered by Sidelines