December 1, 2014

Just Finished: The Defining Decade by Meg Jay

The Defining Decade is exactly the book I needed to read this year. It was relatable, motivating and completely terrifying.

Everywhere I look right now there are articles about how we should "take advantage" of the twenty-something years to not commit to a career, not get married, and not settle down.

However, the way we spend our twenties is ridiculously crucial to determining how the rest of our lives turns out. Jay says that all that is very misleading and that the twenties are not an irrelevant downtime but a time to develop into adults. She takes about the irony about how we are taught to feel that our twenty-somethings are not that consequential.

There is a big difference between having a life in your thirties and starting a life in your thirties.

With about 80% of life's most significant events taking place by age 35, as thirty-somethings and beyond we largely either continue with or correct for, the moves we made during our twenty-something years. Instead of using this time as an excuse to have an identity crisis, she says to get some capital: "do something that adds value to who you are. Do something that's an investment in who you might want to be next.”

The whole book was hard- hitting, but necessary to hear. She says that being confused about choices is nothing more than hoping that maybe there is a way to get through life without taking charge. So essentially, quit whining that you don't know what you want to do with your life and start making your life happen. "Make yourself interesting. Make yourself relevant. Do your homework so you know precisely what you want or need." From looking at marriage as a way to choose the family you want, being aware of how little time there is to have kids, and setting yourself a realistic life timeline, this was one of the best books I have read. It was brutally honest and exactly what I needed to start thinking about.

"The future isn't written in the stars. There are no guarantees. So claim your adulthood. Be intentional. Get to work. Pick your family. Do the math. Make your own certainty. Don't be defined by what you didn't know or didn't do. You are deciding your life right now.

Have the courage to know what you want."

I am now extremely motivated to knock out a 30 Before 30 list. 

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