Our twenties are equal parts confusing, exciting, unpredictable, pivotal, thrilling and transformative.
Mash those words together, throw ’em in a blender, hit “puree” and the result is Paul Angone’s latest book “All Groan Up: Searching for Self, Faith and a Freaking Job!” A satisfying read that goes down smoothly.
Paul and I have been “blogger buddies” for a couple of years now, and I am a huge fan of his work. Every week, Paul chronicles the twenty-something experience with sharp wit and raw honesty.
Much like his blog posts, “All Groan Up” features line after line that hit you square in the funny bone: you laugh, sure, but the jokes contain the kind of truth that make you want to stand up, put the book down, march out the door and meet your destiny.
I have highlighted my nine favorite “truths” about the real world in Paul’s book. Behold!
9. From Chapter Zero: What are You Doing?
“A college diploma meant answers. A college diploma meant doors flung open, where everything is up for grabs. So why now, years later, do my hands feel like they’re in pockets full of Super Glue?”
Seek the work you love to do, give it everything you have and the “doors” Paul mentions will appear before you. Unlocked and everything.
8. From Chapter Two: Top Ramen Dreamer
“I thought the only problem after college would be picking which amazing job offer to take, like five popular girls all asking me to go to prom. Unfortunately, just like in high school, they somehow all lost my number.”
Right out of school, you gotta start somewhere. Jump at opportunities, don’t overthink them and work like mad. Reputation will carry you to the next phase.
7. From Chapter 9: Sandbox Dreams
“Like moths on winter clothes in the attic, fear gnawed, chewed and destroyed my courage.”
The easiest way to push past fear? Get started. You’ll be too busy being busy to worry about being worried.
6. From Chapter 12: Micah, McGyver and Me
“Nothing could make our lives more unglamorous than staring at the showcased glamour of others.”
Look away from Facebook and dive back into your own work. In the end, you only compete against yourself.
5. From Chapter 13: Shopping Cart Man
“If you’re overwhelmed with asking what you want to do with your life, remember that’s a gift to even have time and space to ask.”
Great line. Really puts the stress in perspective.
4. Chapter 14: Near-Life Experience
“I was beginning to understand that no matter what job I did, I always needed to be creating something or I was slowly going to cave in.”
YES. So much purpose and pride in something you create with your own two hands.
3. From Chapter Fifteen: Revolving Door
“I tossed out job applications like candy in a crowd of five-year-olds whose parents, unfortunately, taught them way too well not to take candy from strangers. Usually my job search would end with me sitting on the ground, eating all the candy myself.”
Hilarious and painfully true. If you want to stand out in the application process, go with a storytelling cover letter. Check out the template here.
2. From Chapter 16: All Groan Up
“The economy, layoffs, foreclosures, hiring freezes, wars, scandals, et cetera — all seem to be little spacecrafts sent from the gigantic, looming mother ship of terror we can’t see but whose shadow we sure can feel.”
So much in the world we can’t control. But we can ALWAYS dictate how people perceive us. Here are 11 quick ways to leave a lasting impression.
1. From Chapter 16: All Groan Up
“Maybe it’s just a flat-out cold, harsh winter everywhere in your life, and you’re hunkered next to a stove with this book, trying to warm your frigid bones. Man, I’ve been there. Winter will end. I promise.”
The line above appears in one of the book’s closing pages. And what a great way to end “All Groan Up.”
Sure, some days in our twenties feel like a raging thunderstorm, but as long as you commit to self-improvement, there are clearer skies ahead. Beautiful skies, in fact.
Thanks, Paul, for a tremendous book. Get your copy here!