Skip to main content

Turning Thirty

I turned thirty this month and, not surprisingly, it's given me pause. Last month I picked up a book on the importance of your twenties, and for the most part it was reassuring because I never approached my twenties with the mindset that they weren't important. In fact, I spent most of my twenties worrying that I had taken them too seriously. I married my college sweetheart and went straight to library school and found jobs in libraries or related fields to pay the bills until I landed my first professional librarian gig. I was conventional, responsible, and hard-working.

But then what started as a few bumps in the road quickly became something much more serious. My husband started having health problems, which we finally realized were due to a toxic work environment. We decided not only on a job change, but a move to the city we'd been visiting nearly every month anyway. In the process of moving he managed to injure himself so badly that he was unable to work for months, losing the job we had moved for. Meanwhile I'd discovered that it was true that I'd moved into one of the toughest librarian job markets in the country and some health problems that I thought I'd left behind made a reoccurrence just as our nest egg disappeared, leaving us in a new state with no money and both of us unemployed.

I wish I could say things magically got better overnight, but that's not the case. For over 2 years at least one of us has been un- or under- employed. In order to pay the bills I've worked retail and data entry jobs when nothing better paying was forthcoming. This is not what I envisioned thirty would look like. And this is what Jay warns twentysomethings their lives could be if they don't get serious about finding a real job.

But here's the thing, I can't think of a single one of my friends who worked at Starbucks (or the equivalent) and wasn't actively wrestling with what was next for them. In her book, Jay focuses on the people who are underemployed and under the delusion that something better "will just come along". But there are also plenty of people who have bills to pay, and Starbucks allows them to do that (sort of) while getting their stuff together for something more secure. I know that working in retail and food service gives me an opportunity to focus on my customer service skills, which I've always thought were crucial to being a good reference librarian.

I guess I'm just really torn about how I feel about Meg Jay's book. On the one hand it's great that she's giving folks a reality check about whether they're just using their twenties to kill time or actually figure out the direction they want their life to go. I know I definitely underestimated the risk in relocating to a new city without a new job already lined up.

On the other hand, despite the rough road, I really don't think I would have done anything differently over the last few years. Also, I can't really think of any of my friends approaching thirty who have treated their twenties like they weren't important, who want to get married someday but think they can get away with random hook ups until they turn thirty and magically end up married, or work a job they don't care about because some day their dream job will magically fall into their lap. So I appreciate Jay's advice, but she sounds a lot like me when I try to talk about my friends' and my own siblings who are about five years younger, that is to say, parental.
Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

2018 Reading Resolutions

As usual I'll be attempting to read 100 books in 2018.

Total Books Read: 49 of 100

I'm also going to valiantly try to read 20 books I own and get through the backlog on my bookcase. It would really help if I didn't do so much of my reading on audio (nearly all of which are borrowed at work) or get distracted when I'm looking for my next print read by all the pretty books at work.

Books I Own: 2 of 20
Growing Up Country: Memories of an Iowa Farm Girl by Carol BodensteinerSay No to the Bro by Kat Helgeson
I'm also adjusting my series finishing goal this year. Life is too short to spend finishing series I only feel meh about, so finishing 5 series this year is plenty.

Series Finished/Caught Up: 6 of 10
The War That Saved My Life Series by Kimberly Brubaker BradleySix of Crows Series by Leigh BardugoA Narwhal and Jelly Book Series by Ben ClantonHis Fair Assassin Series by Robin LaFevers (next book expected in 2019)A Court of Thorns and Roses Series by Sarah J. Maas (next bo…

This Year's Reflections on Banned Books Week

... or as I think I'm going to start calling it, Librarian Christmas, the most hyped (by librarians) library holiday of the year. I've been dutifully wearing my "i read banned books" bracelet all week and awaiting patron questions about our banned books displays.

I've written in past years about how I'm sort of over Banned Books Week, but I keep getting pulled back in when I hear about some of the ridiculous books people are trying to ban. This year's is one I just read for the first time this summer, Bless Me, Ultima by Rudolfo Anaya. Apparently it was considerate too graphic and inappropriate for a high school audience. Interesting, considering the story's narrator is in elementary school. Basically, it has the usual collection of difficult to discuss ideas: violence, death, questioning faith in God, a child's confusion about how adult sexual relationships work, but since it's all told from the point of view of a 6-year-old, it's not ter…

Finding Reliable Health Information Online

While going through an old blog of mine, I found this summary of a presentation I gave in late 2006 on finding reliable health information online. Surprisingly most of it is at least somewhat relevant today. Since I'm trying to relive the days when I used to research medical information for a living, this wasn't a bad way to jog my memory.
Finding Reliable Health Information Online
MedlinePlus: This site is put together by the National Library of Medicine (NLM) as a comprehensive consumer health resource. It is relatively easy to use and requires little or no knowledge of medical terminology. Use it like a search engine and simply type your term into the search box, or explore one of MedlinePlus’ specific resources, including drug information, dictionary, and medical encyclopedia. http://medlineplus.gov
Quackwatch: A great site for checking out “too good to be true” medical claims. This non-profit corporation is dedicated to combating “health-related frauds, myths, fads, fallacies…