The trailer for Season 9 of Roadtrip Nation looks great.
Remember how I said I was going to read a series of books based on characters in their twenties and find lessons that can be drawn from them? I didn’t tell you about it? My bad. I could have sworn…
Anyway, that’s what my focus on books has been lately. I know it’s going to be a stretch since characters in novel are only constructed as diferent parts of a writer’s point of view, but it’s a challenge I’m willing to take on anyway. The first book I tackled is The Time Traveler’s Wife.
Have you ever been hanging out with friends and started playing 20 questions because you ran out of conversation topics and everyone was bored? Prior to this book, my answer to the question, “If you could have any superpower, what would be?”, was always Time Travel or rather, Teleportation. However, after this book, I’m rethinking my desire for a power that would allow me to bend Time at will.
Audrey Niffenegger’s book is a story about a boy and a girl who fall in love. We first meet them in the library, where the boy works and the girl came to check out a book. They meet for the first time. Only it’s not really the first time. At least for Clare (that’s the girl). She’s known Henry since she was a little girl. Don’t be mistaken, this is not a story about childhood friends meeting each other for the first time after many years. You only have to read the title of the book to figure it out.
Henry is a time traveler, or if you want to get technical, a Chrono-Displaced person. He time travels to different stages in his life, which sounds really awesome…only it’s not. He comes and goes against his will and has no control over where he goes…or anything for that matter. He shows up on the other side, naked, often cold, bumping into (sometimes literally) quite uncomfortable situations. That’s how a 30-something Henry meets a 6-year old Clare.
Their love story develops throughout the book, as things get more and more challenging. Certain technical parts were confusing to me, like , the way he could time-travel to meet himself and how sometimes, he could be time-traveling to a place where another version of himself was also time-traveling.
It did prompt a question in my mind that I could use for this little experiment of mine. The book plays a lot with Time, Memory and Knowledge and how they shape a person’s life. Because of Henry’s time-traveling and his relationship with Clare, there were things that Clare knew way before they happened, which greatly affected the way she grew up and how she came to view the world. The 20-something period is so full of uncertainty and fear of the unknown. However, we must continue to take action, preparing for the future even if we don’t know all the details.
Here’s my question: What’s one thing that Christmas You (4 months from now) would be grateful to Present You for having done today? A little wordy, but you get the point.
I was in New York City with a few friends, last week, exploring as much as we could. From Chinatown to the Village, from Brooklyn to the Lower East Side, we tried to fit as much as possible in 3 days. Because we were trying to cram as much as we could in 3 days, there were times when I was just physically exhausted and didn’t want to keep going. Yet, their enthusiasm and the prospect of a good time and experience kept me going…and going…and going.
Here were some of my goals for the weekend:
- See the Brooklyn Bridge
- Eat good food (include plantains if possible)
- Go to a modern art museum and see an exhibition that makes the hair on the back of my head stand up
- Go to a spoken word/music event
We ended up doing it all and more, and meeting a few people along the way.
The day I got back from my trip, I read the post on Joel Runyon’s Blog of Impossible Things on how to make better choices. His main point was to say yes more often, yes to impromptu adventures and yes to seeking out more impromptu adventures. For a highly impulsive person like me, it’s easy to see it as, “don’t plan, just do”. However, as I read more closely, I realized what he was saying was more along the lines of “Plan…then leave room for adventure”.
Now, that my trip is over, I’m trying to see how this would work in my daily life. How do I take more adventures? How do I make more space to recognize and to say yes to the better choice, the better story, the impromptu adventure?
The 3 things I wanted to cover on this blog are books, music and all things, 20-Something. So, this is my first post explicitly related to 20-Something stuff. Even though I’m almost halfway through my twenties, I often still feel like I’m just getting into the twenties. I have the privilege of working with people a few decades ahead of me and have benefited greatly from their mentoring. I didn’t realize how much what I was learning was impacting my life, until I started getting asked to mentor high school girls.
Asked to give younger girls advice, here are 5 things I’d share:
1. People will say you are what they see you do
I was actually surprised at how true this actually is. The statement “We behave differently around different people.” would not be shocking to anyone. However, we often don’t realize how much people build a holistic view of us based on a partial analysis of us. You could be the messiest person at home, but if your cubicle and project folders are always neat and tidy, your performance review will read “organized”. You could have great ideas, but if you don’t follow through well, people who have interacted with you in cases where this has happened will label you “unreliable”…even if you are reliable in all other areas of your life. In short, your image is malleable. The good news is,you can re-start anytime.
2. You will never be less busier than you are now
For the longest time, I’ve put off things for when I’m less busy. No more. As I realized that as we get older, we get more responsibilities and more responsibilities mean being busier, I’m procrastinating less and less and being in the moment more and more.
3. You will never have it all figured it out…once and for all
You will always be learning, discovering and reshaping your path. There will always be new challenges. The good news? You can apply principles you learned while figuring out one part of your life to another part.
4. There’s no such thing as “having made it”
I’m starting to believe that there is NO peak. No one ever just makes it. You just get to a higher level. In short, I think of life stages more as platforms or levels, not peaks. So, stop the “when I…, then I’ll happy” game.
5. Fear and Insecurity never disappear
This was a tough one to learn. As I started to talk to people 2 or 3 decades older, I started to realize that they also have fears. With new situations, comes Insecurity. The only thing to do is to act, despite it. As one of my favorite quotes says, “Walk through fear”.
Bonus: 6. Everything that you don’t know now, you can learn
I’m convinced that the thing we most underestimate is our ability to adapt.
That’s it. Those are my 5 (+1) lessons to share with younger people. I’m still learning and re-learning these, everyday.
What have your twenties taught you, so far? If you’re no longer in your twenties, what do you know now that you wish you’d known then?
You know who needs this book? Every single person graduating this May from college! You should buy it for them as a graduation gift. One thing this book doesn’t cover, though, is how to find a job. So, maybe that recent college grad entering the work world in the middle of a recession may scowl at you when you hand them this book. But…you should still get a copy and pass it on to them when they do get that job, because the book starts from your first day at the job.
So, what’s the one thing I’m taking away from this book?
The Friday Update
It’s the chapter titled “One Thing You Should Do Every Friday”. It’s intuitive but something not all of us think to do. The Friday Update is a simple e-mail drafted in bullet-point format, updating your boss or supervisor(s) on your progress. It should include the following things:
1. Your accomplishments that week: Things you got done, projects you finished, phone calls you made, etc
2. Your challenges or areas you need help or insight: Places in project where you’ve hit a snag, Things with which you need more information or help from them, etc
3. Noteworthy opportunities, suggestions and insight: This is an extremely helpful one when you don’t have daily contact with your boss/supervisor(s). It’s your input on how to do something better or faster, your suggestions, etc
4. Issues that need their input or approval: These are the questions you have for them on current or future projects.
5. Your Schedule and goals for the next week: Bullet point goals with dates next to them.
BAM! Hit Send!…okay, make sure you’ve proofread, then hit Send!
The thing with this is that it keeps you accountable and reminds the upper-levels that you’re bringing value to the company. I read this and recently implemented this in my own routine, with positive feedback.
Have you read this? Wanna read this now? Amazon’s calling!
We hope you’re spending this Memorial Day weekend relaxing, watching friends graduate and catching up on some very important projects…like sleep.We’re introducing the other portion of this project.
The Shameless Book Nerd does not only read classics, but also some non-fiction, especially twenty-something targeted non-fiction. The vision is to inspire us to read books from our pasts and books that make us look towards the future.
So, first in that category is the 2010 book by Emily Bennington and Skip Lineberg entitled Effective Immediately. The tagline says it all: How to FIT IN, STAND OUT, and MOVE UP at Your First REAL JOB.
The thing with books like these is that there’s so much good stuff in them that it’s easy to get overwhelmed with all the advice and struggle to implement all of them. To bypass all that, we’ll be posting about ONE thing we’ll be doing differently because we have read the book.
That is the question for you too. As you pick a book like this with us: What is one way that my life, personal or professional, has changed as a result of having read the book?