Okay, I say this often, but both of these books were devoured over a 48-hour span and while they were very different, they both were separately some of the best books I have consumed this year (Defining Decade- EVER.)
** I am picking really mediocre quotes here, because I really urge whoever is reading this post to read the books, and I don't want the impact of a good line to be weakened because of me.
“The end never comes when you think it will. It's always ten steps past the worst moment, then a weird turn to the left.” - Lena Dunham, Not That Kind of Girl
The Defining Decade is a much more a cultural/psychological/self-help book while Not That Kind of Girl is a memoir of Lena Dunham's life- they are both my favorite non-fiction books I have read in the first half of 2015. The best way I can sum up these two; Meg Jay's is your really understanding-and-brilliant-young-Aunt's-late-night advice book and Lena Dunham's is your eccentric-and-semi-unrelatable-older-cousins-journal-that-you-accidentally found, but you are vicariously living through. Both come up in my conversations at least twice a week and are often referred to when I am having one of those (OMG WHAT AM I DOING WITH MY LIFE) freak out moments.
“But ambition is a funny thing: it creeps in when you least expect it and keeps you moving, even when you think you want to stay put." - Lena Dunham, Not That Kind of Girl
Lena Dunham is best known for her producing, writing, and starring in the HBO show GIRLS. I have intense conflicts between absolutely despising her for being annoying and whiny, but also completely adoring her for being a pretty accurate representation of a 20-something-lady in an urban setting in almost all ways. In this book though, she talks about her family dynamic a ton (which is about as opposite to the way I was raised in almost every way, so it was pretty interesting), her relationship with her body- which I about 90% totally relate to, and just relationships in general; dating, friends, coworkers, so on. Its witty, funny, and raw (I am a pretty bold person and it made me blush a few times- whoa) and I wish I could read it again for the first time over and over.
“Forget about having an identity crisis and get some identity capital. … Do something that adds value to who you are. Do something that's an investment in who you might want to be next.” -Meg Jay, The Defining Decade
I watched a Ted Talk a few summers ago by Meg Jay that was AMAZING, so when I came across the extended book version of that talk, I pounced. I'm very interested in the social effects of pretty much uh, everything, and this book is focused on being in your 20's and how that spirals into everything else essentially. Meg Jay is a psychologist who wrote this book based off many anecdotes and situations with multiple specific clients-
This book changed my mindset in SOOO many ways; career, self image, relationships, family dynamic. If you are in your 20's, seriously run to read this book. It is a wonderful wake-up call that is brutally honest, but still really inspiring and doable. I have been cornered into so many rooms and lightly lectured but disguised by advice from people practically any age older than me, and I can PROMISE you this book is not that! You know the rare times you walk away from conversations like that and text your best friend that start off with, 'OMG- met this lady at the coffee shop who just got it' - yup, that's Meg Jay. Its fantastic, read it.