Sunday, April 22, 2012

Book Review: The 10 Women You'll be Before You're 35

The 10 Women You'll be Before You're 35
Alison James
2005

I found this book on the library website while browsing on the topic of: you guessed it, My Purpose. *Chuckles*. This seems to transcend everything I do nowadays, and had become quite the cozy 'thought companion.'

The ten women James describes:
  • The new Graduate (Naive)
  • The Dollerless Diva
  • The Worker Bee
  • The Party Girl
  • The Body-concious Babe
  • The Chameleon
  • The Crisis Chick
  • Ms. Independence
  • The Wirl - half woman, half girl
  • The True You
I feel like this book is mainly a description of the author's stages of life up to age 35, but I found a few that definitely apply to me, and made me laugh so hard from the perfectness of their descriptions.

First, I was the Worker Bee. I was swept on the Worker-Bee wave out of high school, beauty school, and into university. I remained the worker bee through most of university, with intermittent semesters of The Party Girl, The Chameleon, and always the overtones of The Dollerless Diva and Ms. Independence. This quote from "Real-life tales from Ms. Independence" in the book made me fall off my chair laughing-- it could have been me! I'll put it here for your entertainment :
  • "I didn't want to hire someone to help me put my air-conditioner in my window so I did it myself. I ended up balancing it on my leg, had a huge bruise the size of North America, and also came pretty close to killing a few people by dropping it onto the sidewalk below."
I thought I'd always be Ms. Independence. Then I fell for Mr. Right and found that 2 is better than one. I thought I'd always be The Worker Bee. But then I couldn't work for 6 months and I saw the light, and now I'm really enjoying having a couple days a week off work. Coming out of that 6 months of not being able to work, I turned into the Crisis Chick. My blog has been the recipient of most of that period's musings. 

And now, the Wirl. I feel that this describes me perfectly, right now. The Wirl is half woman, half girl. She is somewhere between youth and age, freedom and responsibility, she goes back and forth between feeling like a kid and feeling like and adult. "You know you're a wirl when: 
  • You can sit in a room with someone in college and someone turning 40 and relate to both pretty well (or for me- a ten year old and an 80 year old, and have a meaningful conversation with both.)
  • You research home equity loans, tax brackets, and life insurance on the Internet. Ten minutes later you play a game on the same computer (or look up and put on hold at the library all the "Little House on the Prairie" books).
  • People who were born while you were in high school are now driving. (ok so I'm not quite there yet, but people born while I was in high school are going to YM/YW's, and even that is scary!)
  • There is a constant wave of marriages and reunions.
  • Missionaries and college grads students look so young...
A Wirl is caught between wanting to stay in her twenties forever and being excited about the future. She feels as if life is forcing her to grow up and she can't stop it. She's too young to be old but too old to be young, so that leaves her right in the middle, in a state of Wirlhood. She is still a kid with questions, issues, fears, and a need for other people in her life. She can't figure out what it really means to act her age. Why does the thought of having a child flip me out? Why does the though of NOT having a child flip me out?
Benefits of Wirlhood: She has the Perspective to laugh at her particularities of youth. She has the Versitility to get away with playing "young" or "old" in all situations. 

A couple of off-topic quotes from the book that I especially like:
  • You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation. -Plato
  • Without education we are in a horrible and deadly danger of taking educated people seriously. -G.K.Chesterton

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