Maybe in Another Life by Taylor Jenkins Reid
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Okay Taylor Jenkins Reid, I hear you. Did you have to drive it in so forefully? Here I am, a lost and confused millennial with student loans to pay and life decisions to make, and you waltz in and tell me that it’s all going to be alright. How dare you?
This book was crafted perfectly for someone like me. The side by side comparison of two parallel lives both freaked me out and inspired me. I think that every decision I make alters my life forever and that worries me because I get stuck trying to make the right decision. Then I end up 29, like Hannah Martin, hopping from place to place thinking I have made all the wrong decisions.
I don’t have all the answers from reading this novel, but that is kind of the point. No one knows whether their choices are the right choices. The idea is to make a choice and stick to it and surround yourself with people that love you.
It seems so damn easy! Hannah’s story shows us that it isn’t.
The thing about these two universes is that the characters learn similar lessons but in different ways. I found the character development fascinating. Both Hannah and Gabbi discovered things about themselves and their lives through different means and at different paces. It was wild.
I listened to the audible version of this book. I have to say the narrator did quite well but I thought her male characters came across as weak. I had to reimagine their voices to give them more personality.
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Thinking about careers gives me nausea. I like my job; I like this business. Since I live in a rural area, cost of living is relatively low, but about half of my month’s earnings goes to my student loans. Thankfully, I live with my sister – which is less like living with a roommate and more like an actually family. However, I would like to be able to live a little. I feel like I’m wasting my single adult life worrying about whether or not I have anything left in my checking account to see a movie.
I have several options rattling around in my brain.
- Find a job in PA. It’s close enough to my family to make a weekend trip, and far enough to be out of NY.
- Get a part-time job and never see my friends, family, or dog.
- Find a job I’m not interested in, nor using my experience in, that pays better.
- Commute an hour to the closest city to a job that is either in my field of interest or pays better.
- Get a two year degree in engineering or nursing and change my field altogether so that I can stay in my hometown, perpetually single, with my dog and a homestead.
- Sell everything I own on eBay (plus the promise of my first born) and hope that puts a dent in my loans.
However, my most recent thought was that I should keep looking for and applying for jobs in a variety of places while also studying and reading up on marketing and business. I wouldn’t take any offer. It would have to be a really good move because I really do like what I’m doing right now. I could try to make as much extra income on the side, without going crazy from stress, and keep slowly chipping away at my loans. I have no interest in loan deferment or lower payments because that defeats the purpose.
I need those loans gone because they are weighing me down. They are evil. The government was crazy to give them to me in the first place.
I like to remind myself that the American dream isn’t built in a day, as corny as that sounds. I can’t compare my situation to everyone else’s, but it’s hard when people ask me about my career. I don’t know what I want to do for the rest of my life. I don’t know where I want to live. I don’t have the answers, but I do know that I work hard. I know that I’m a valuable employee. I have faith in myself to make a career.