Oh, the joys of debt, financial instability, education woes, emotional tribulations, spiritual confusion and anything else that factors into the process of becoming a self-sustaining “adult”.
Growing up is pretty scary, man. Even when you do everything exactly by the books–go to grade school, follow that with high school, get into a good college, land a decent job–life has this funny way of making sure you’re never too comfortable. It’s almost as if you’re living in someone else’s virtual reality game, and they decide your fate. Depending on who’s reading, that’s exactly what it is.
I recently watched Ali Wong’s stand-up special on Netflix, where she touches up on the fact that she’s becoming “old” because her Kindle library is full of self-help books. As funny as the joke was, it made me reflect: am I too becoming old? I’ve found myself reading more of the “how to deal with life” books rather than the ones that help me escape it. The more time I spent analyzing what I was becoming, the less time I wanted to pick up a good “self-help book”. Hell, I didn’t want to pick up any book.
Then, I got my hands onto Kent Nerburn’s “Simple Truths“, and I was snapped back into my reality. I’ve accepted the fact that, sometimes, it takes 100 pages of someone else’s experiences and perspectives to break through some of my cloudier judgments. Nerburn does just that with his brilliant outlooks and gentle writing.
I come from a very spiritual and connected family, so a lot of the things Nerburn touches on has probably already been told to me in a different way. But, like I said, I just wasn’t read to hear it, and that’s the most important part when reading books like this: YOU MUST BE WILLING TO ACCEPT THE MESSAGES. I’m not sure if it’s his delicate approach on sharing pros and cons of how we live or view things that I like more, or if it’s his tone throughout the book that reassures me he isn’t being pompous. Either way, throughout the course of reading each section, I found the hairs on my arms raising quite often and something inside of me growing warmer.
“Emotions trigger a physical reaction in your nervous system that stimulate your brain and triggers a release of adrenaline and other stress hormones throughout your body.”
Nerburn takes us through the many phases of life we encounter that can either add or subtract to our lives depending on the person doing the math. He talks about money, education, love, spiritual guidance, travel, parenthood, marriage and more. The best part about these types of books is that you don’t have to read it cover to cover to understand it; by reading whichever sections mean the most to you at that particular moment, the messages will be even louder/clearer.
Whether you’re going through a breakup, figuring out what to do after college, struggling with marriage, leaning towards traveling, battling dark thoughts, hating your job situation, or simply need someone else to remind you of why your life holds value – read this book. It has not only reminded me of all of the positive qualities I possess, the wisdom I’ve obtained and the experiences I’ve been blessed with, but also the flaws I have, areas I can improve in, and ways to squeeze the most juice out of anything I encounter during my days on this earth.
Sometimes, it’s just the simple things in life that make it better. In this case, it’s the “Simple Truths”.