Thursday, August 20, 2009

Book Review: Floundering at 25: A Younglife crisis by Michelle B. Meneses

If you're looking for the ultimate Quarterlife Crisis self-helf book, then don't pick this one up. It doesn't hold all the answers to those life questions that have ben plaguing you since you entered your early twenties. And reading it probably won't help you get closer to those answers either.

But that's okay, Meneses doesn't claim to have written a book to end your crisis. Instead, she has written an honest book about her own younglife crisis. Written just a few days before she was to turn 25 herself, she tackles themes that bother many of our twenty-something lives - corporate "serf-dom", friends, family, love, finances, and even spirituality. And she does so in the tone of a friend who is ready to look at herself honestly. She owns up to her imperfections, and finds hope in the many little battles she's won along the way.

The effect is like that of a friend who leads by example. You start to think.. if she can muster up enough courage to look at her life and herself in the clarity of broad daylight, then maybe I could, too. That's not to say that I agree with all the ways she tried to resolve all her issues, nor do I agree with all the conclusions she's made for herself. But hey, you don't agree with everything your friend says, do you? So don't take everything she says as THE only truth. She's found her own truths, and you should find your own too.

By the end of the book, I started to feel better about my own life. There's something refreshing about knowing that you're not the only one going through a crisis. And there's something even more reassuring when you find that other people have had a tougher time of it than you have. (Schaudenfreude, anyone?)

I'd recommend this book to anyone who hasn't come face to face with her own quarterlife crisis yet. To those who haven't found the courage to admit and talk about it to anyone. And most especially to those who are in denial that they are in one!

As Meneses says in her introduction:

"Let's talk about life and everything else about it. No sugarcoating, no lies; only the plain hard truth. For why else would you be reading this book? You probably feel the same way as I do. You are probably in the same crisis as I am.


Misery loves company."

And once you've learned to accept the fact that you are one of us, then maybe you can start working your way out of it. Reflect, pray, get guidance from older people who've successfully survived it.. do what you can to fight it. Because you've only got license to be in a quarterlife crisis in your twenties. I hope for all of our sakes we've gotten over it by the time we hit our thirties!