I have fallen far down the rabbit hole of self-help books, and I am not afraid to admit it. And so far, this one is my favorite.
After seeing it in Ingrid Nilsen’s Snapchat, I bought it as a book to read while commuting; AKA, a few pages every time I sit down on public transit. I expected it to last a few weeks. Instead, I started it on the train at 9am, then finished it by 11pm that evening because I literally could not put it down.
“Don’t Worry, It Gets Worse” is basically a much more eloquent and hilarious account of every feeling of self-doubt, personal triumph, misunderstanding, and failed attempt at adulthood you’ve ever had. The brilliant author is Alida Nugent, who is also the mind behind the Tumblr “The Frenemy.”
The book is arranged in a series of essays. In the beginning, it reads just as a comedy that has you nodding along. Starting with wishing you hadn’t had the crazy idea of “following your dreams” or maybe you’d be employed by now, and ending with the graduation speech you wish you had heard when you left college, each essay has a heartfelt, but equally sassy revelation of young adulthood.
Each chapter gets more and more real, as Alida basically sums up every moment of confusion or terror you’ve ever had as a twenty-something, and then punctuates it with a lesson, or moral that has somehow makes you feel better about yourself. I found myself shaking my head, or even tearing up (wine may have been involved with that one, truthfully) on more than one occasion.
Besides the obvious entertainment value of it all, this book hit several points that I think myself and all struggling post-graduates need to hear. We’re repeatedly told we’re ALL in such a precarious position– “overeducated and underemployed” but are also horribly pressured to appear that we have It All together so often that it was a refreshing sigh of relief to read about a peer who is unapologetically a mess*.
But, you know, a mess with internet fame, and a published book, and who still manages to feed herself regularly. The kind of mess we all strive to be, really.
The idea that it’s totally okay to be slightly drowning in your twenties, but also expected to have everything together is something that I think we all struggle with, but very few like to get specific into the way that can make you feel. “Don’t Worry, It Gets Worse” is the perfect story of justification for how lost you feel, but somehow also gives you the encouragement that everything will end up okay.
Basically, if you have ever felt lost, or bad about yourself, or you are between the ages of 22 and 100, you should probably read this. You won’t regret it, I swear.
(Sidenote: She also has a second book out, which is on my Amazon Wishlist. If anyone has read it, tell me how it is!)
*Alida, I mean “mess” in the best way possible. Like a polished mess. Amy Schumer/Jennifer Lawrence mess. It’s a compliment, I swear.