I just turned 25 in September and like most 20 somethings, I have no idea what I'm doing with my life. The myth of life just working out has definitely disintegrated and now I'm in need of some decision making. I'm an anti-decision maker though. I like to wait until the last possible moment before I make up my mind about anything. Like going away to college; I did nothing throughout high school to plan for this and then up and moved my entire life to Chicago four days before classes started. Or when I left Chicago for Denver and just decided that I would go, without having a plan for it. I lasted for 8 months and then I up and left Denver for Chicago in a week without really thinking about where I would live or what job I would have when I got back. My decisions are always rushed and unplanned. Which has just gotten me all tangled up in a life that is wonderful, but unfocused.
It's hard not to feel like the only person in the world who feels this way. Or to think that everyone else has something cool going on when you seem to have nothing. That's why the discovery of someone else sharing in your agony of life building is so valuable. You are no longer an island but part of a network of people, struggling to beat their own paths.
As a birthday gift, my sister Catherine gave me Sloane Crosley's book, I Was Told There'd Be Cake. I think I had first seen a picture of her book cover inside a copy of NYLON mag, which I don't really care for anymore, so in my mind I decided I wouldn't go out of my way to read it. But then I read the back cover of the actual book where Crosley boasts an article in "the worst selling Maxim edition of all time", I thought "OK, she might be awesome."
After reading it, I instantly felt like my life was a little less abnormally vague. Crosley's essays are full of insecurity and uncertainty without feeling helpless. You know she is in charge of her life and she goes through her 20's in a haze like the rest of us. Since her book is super fabulous, you know she comes out on top. And HBO has just purchased the rights and are in the midst of creating a show, so I'm pretty sure she will be more than on top in the near future.
She has been compared to David Sedaris and serves on the board of themoth.org which is a wonderful story telling network. She also doesn't shy away from the F word. She declares herself a feminist in one of my favorite pieces from her collection, "Smell This". Well, actually her friend's douchey boyfriend tells us that she is, which is perfect really because isn't that usually how it all works out? She doesn't shy away from the other F word either, when she asks the boyfriend "Why do you have to be such a fuckface?" Which is pretty bad ass. I think I've fantasized about saying this to so many "douchey boyfriends".
I most connected with Sloane because her tone is so candid and honest, you know she could care less about whether people think she is weird or not. She admits to sleeping with her blanket as an adult, she writes about summer camp and how it was monumental in her adolescent life, and the struggle of volunteering because you should versus because you want to.
She is obviously, unafraid of imperfection, which is in my opinion what makes her a real feminist. She's removed the cloak of perceived perfection, that shadows many women, to allow whomever picks up her book a glimpse inside the life of a real person, bumping along, trying to make it work.