Title: I Miss You When I Blink
Author: Mary Laura Philpott
Publisher: Atria Books 2019
Rating: 3/5 stars
Reading Challenges: Library Love; Nonfiction Bingo - Self-help Title
Mary Laura Philpott thought she’d cracked the code: Always be right, and you’ll always be happy.
But once she’d completed her life’s to-do list (job, spouse, house, babies—check!), she found that instead of feeling content and successful, she felt anxious. Lost. Stuck in a daily grind of overflowing calendars, grueling small talk, and sprawling traffic. She’d done everything “right,” but she felt all wrong. What’s the worse failure, she wondered: smiling and staying the course, or blowing it all up and running away? And are those the only options?
In this memoir-in-essays full of spot-on observations about home, work, and creative life, Philpott takes on the conflicting pressures of modern adulthood with wit and heart. She offers up her own stories to show that identity crises don’t happen just once or only at midlife; reassures us that small, recurring personal re-inventions are both normal and necessary; and advises that if you’re going to faint, you should get low to the ground first. Most of all, Philpott shows that when you stop feeling satisfied with your life, you don’t have to burn it all down and set off on a transcontinental hike (unless you want to, of course). You can call upon your many selves to figure out who you are, who you’re not, and where you belong. Who among us isn’t trying to do that?
A real mixed bag here. I just didn’t connect to Philpott or her life even though we share a lot of similarities in our lives. Most of the essays came off as “let me tell you how to live” instead of a more personal sharing of struggles. I felt like the author came across as very condescending at many points throughout. I just really couldn’t connect with Philpott and wanted her to stop telling me what to do. Just really didn’t connect at all to this one.
Next up on the TBR pile: