I decided to pick up I Miss You When I Blink with one of my Libro.fm credits and I’m so glad I did. I love listening to audiobooks narrated by the author because it allows readers to catch all of the inflections and the tone behind the words on the page. It makes the reading experience feel more personal. This book was one of the most honest, authentic reading experiences I’ve come across and it was 1000% refreshing.
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?
Like a pep talk from a sister, I Miss You When I Blink is the funny, poignant, and deeply affecting book you’ll want to share with all your friends, as you learn what Philpott has figured out along the way: that multiple things can be true of us at once—and that sometimes doing things wrong is the way to do life right.
“Maybe we all walk around assuming everyone is interpreting the world the same way we are, and being surprised when they aren’t, and that’s the loneliness and confusion of the human experience in a nutshell.”
If I was a better writer, I feel like this is exactly the type of book I would hope to write. It was intensely relatable, the kind of book that makes one say, “Oh my gosh, me too! I thought I was the only one.” Mary Laura Philpott has a way of putting our most personal thoughts in written form on just about every topic a woman will experience in life. She touches on motherhood, self, being a wife, career woman, and more with a dash of humor and wisdom. I couldn’t get enough. Naturally, some essays will be more relatable than others depending on each person’s experiences, but overall, the whole experience of this book was fun to listen to.
“Sometimes, in moments of memory or daydream, I feel the different iterations of myself pass by each other, as if right-now-me crosses paths with past-me or imaginary-me or even future-me in the hallways of my mind. “I miss you when I blink,” one says. “I’m right here,” says the other, and reaches out of hand.”
I especially loved when she talked about the variety of versions of ourselves we become in life. We are all a compilation of every age we’ve been, yet others only see who we are at this very present moment. It’s sometimes hard to have this huge world inside ourselves and only be able to convey a small part of who we are to those around us. I relate.
This book fully allows readers to submerge themselves in the mind of someone else. I think that’s what made me enjoy it as much as I did. It’s always interesting to experience the unfiltered thoughts of someone else, simply to see if we think the same way. In my opinion, if we could all be a little more honest with our communication, in the same way Mary Laura was with us, the world would be better off.
If you’re looking for a nice short read or listen, I recommend checking out this compilation of essays!
Rating: 4 stars
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4 Comments Add yours
Loved this collection of essays. There was just so much wonderful wisdom in each. Glad you enjoyed them as well. Wonderful review!
I definitely have this on my radar! Thanks for the review! 👍
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Thank you so much for checking out my review. I hope you enjoy it too!
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