Guidebook for Navigating Your Twenties

They say your twenties can be the most confused, start-and-stop, eclectic decade of your life. And by “they,” I mean pretty much anyone who has lived through it. I myself am a poster child for millennials with a resume that look like a collage of Craigslist jobs, working in a field that has nothing to do with my major, and a pro at making a dollar stretch into two. There is no shame in eating PB&J for multiple meals.

In the midst of some of the more trying times of my twenties (I’m almost out of the woods), I could be found gripping the steering wheel of my trusty little Honda yelling “What is happening??!” Relationships, jobs, apartment changes, you name it. That phrase pretty much covered it all.

Oh, that I had had Paul Angone’s latest book, All Groan Up: Searching for Self, Faith, and a Freaking Job!, to assure me that in fact the confusion and slightly out of control feeling I had was shared by most other people my age, a painful next step in the process of becoming * gulp * an adult and sorting out who I am and how to build my life.

All Groan Up is Paul’s follow-up to his wildly successful (and hilarious) book 101 Secrets for Your Twenties, a book I wrote about for Verily Magazine. You can read that full interview with Paul here.

What I have always enjoyed about Paul’s writing is how genuine it is. He does not shy away from saying what we are all secretly feeling about this pivotal decade, asking the questions that scream in our head and pointing out all of our wildly unrealistic expectations. Like thinking college graduation is going to bring clarity, prosperity, and immediate, if not eventual, fame.

If you still think that, call me six months after graduation when you’re barely scrapping by at Starbucks, drowning under a mountain of debt. I’ll treat you to a coffee and a pick-me up talk.

In All Groan Up, Paul gives us a front-row seat to his painfully awkward, often hilarious and incredibly relevant personal journey of his twenties. He does not try to whitewash his mistakes or trump up his accomplishments, choosing instead to lay it all bare for an audience he may never meet.

The result: a book that will leave you looking with excitement to your own possible future rather than weighed down by your past failures.

Since I cannot reprint the whole book in its entirety in this post, here are some of my favorite quotes. Because they’re true, especially #1.

  1. Twenty-somethings looking for a job is like the Hunger Games without the cameras or any interaction with Jennifer Lawrence.
  2. [Referring to how our twenties feel] I am fighting an enemy I can’t see, with an objective I don’t understand, expecting anything and everything to kill me at any second.
  3. Wounded people love bleeding on each other.
  4. The road to faith lost is full of small, “who gives a crap?” compromises.
  5. …[W]hen the weight of the world combines with the weight of your mistakes, there aren’t many options but down on your face.
  6. God gives us ledges of grace to land on…He won’t let us fall all the way to our deaths.

Most of us will find our rock bottom at some point and will struggle with massive amounts of self-doubt (No? That’s just me?) but in All Groan Up, we are given a guide to find the way back up and encouragement to dust off those dreams we stuffed in our closets and get back to pursuing them.

All Groan Up releases April 21st but you can pre-order it now on Amazon, (All Groan Up: Searching for Self, Faith, and a Freaking Job! ). With college graduations coming up, this is a GREAT book to get for everyone you know about to jump into the deep-end of real life. I know it’s on my gift list for new grads.

This book was sent to me for review, but no compensation was given and the review is completely my own. There are affiliate links from which I get a teeny tiny percentage if you purchase. Enough to buy a poor college grad a much needed cup of coffee.