‘My trip showed me that life doesn’t need to look so linear. I call it my pre-adult honeymoon.’
“I was in business school at NYU and decided to graduate a semester early. I had a ton of loans so starting work was the practical, realistic choice in what to do next. I had a job offer at an investment bank, but I decided to take a risk. I had always wanted to spend time in Australia and New Zealand, so I took my meager savings, bought a plane ticket, and decided to backpack for four months. It was a pivotal experience for me because it allowed me to see what happiness can look like in a variety of ways. I think I had always been exposed to the perspective of success in which you go to college, get a good job, get married, have kids, and get a house-the ‘American Dream.’ My trip showed me that life doesn’t need to look so linear. I call it my pre-adult honeymoon.
I also learned about being able to meet yourself where you are and understand that you’re capable of the things that others see in you too, as long as you keep staying committed to it.
“When I got to work a few months later I thought, ‘Is this what I worked so hard for and my parents sacrificed so much for? I’m not happy or fulfilled.’ I started writing a lot of random emails and journal entries. At 23, I put them in a blog called On Adulting. I questioned what it meant to be happy and less confused while figuring out how to grow up in a mindful way. The blog grew into something that I did not expect where tens of thousands of people around the world were reading it every day.
“When I was 27, I got an email from a publisher at Simon & Schuster and I thought that it was a joke. It said, ‘We love your writing, would you be interested in writing a book on this topic?’ I truly had a massive impostor syndrome moment where I thought that it was not real. Writing the book was a massive learning experience about expressing vulnerability. It was so much deeper than anything I had ever done because I was not getting feedback from my community as I was writing. I also learned about being able to meet yourself where you are and understand that you’re capable of the things that others see in you too, as long as you keep staying committed to it. I want people to know that they’re not alone. If they’re feeling confused, lost or unfulfilled, it’s totally within their power to shift that, but it does feel like a really lonely journey when you’re going through it.”