With so many friends leaving to go across the country for graduate school, getting married, having children, traveling, starting new careers, graduating with higher degrees, etc. and my impending quarter life crisis I’ve had some moments where I’ve had to ask myself what should I do with my life?  I feel like so many people are moving moving moving and I’m standing still.  In my mind, I can see myself venturing into many different scenarios but the pile of options is overwhelming so I end up focusing on work or anything else that will get me away from facing it.  At some point, I’ll have to figure something out but for now, I’m reading What Should I Do With My Life? by Po Bronson.

He doesn’t attempt to answer the question for the reader but instead interviews and briefly discusses some 70 people from across the country each facing different situations but ultimately asking and attempting to answer the same question:  What should I do with my life?

In interviewing real people, he had to try to stay an impartial observer but rarely succeeds in this endeavor, instead he conducts a dialogue with the person asking some very tough questions to get to the root of problems, destructive patterns, indecision, etc.  After reading the 70 or so examples, I almost have his voice in my head, trying to cut to the chase of my rambling explanations and expose what I really want.

I think the book is very good and also very entertaining despite sort of being about careers.  I wasn’t expecting to get as emotionally invested in the people he speaks to but I can’t help rooting for them.  Detractors of this book cite the fact that he doesn’t talk to a very racially diverse group or to people in the lowest socioeconomic bracket and this did bother me until I realized if he’s writing about white, relatively young middle class people…that’s me!  A lot of the book directly relates to me as a result.  However, I would prefer that he interview a greater mix of people for a potential follow up.

It looks like I have a lot more research to do.  To the library!

Of course, I could always just visit WTF Should I Do With My Life?  It’s very first solution for me was to escape to Esalen.  I think a trip to Big Sur would be right up my alley…