The Rocket Years by Liz Segran is a book that dives deep into understanding how your 20s help set the scene for the rest of your life. Through data and storytelling author Liz Segran explores how these years can be used to set yourself up for a successful launch into your future considering how you want it look. Check out our Q&A with her below as she opens up about why she was inspired to write it.
What inspired you to write this book?
Throughout my twenties, my life seemed so fluid and full of possibility. Then, one day, I woke up in my early thirties to discover that almost every aspect of my life had taken shape: I had gotten married, had a baby, and landed my dream job as a magazine writer. The thing is, I couldn’t pinpoint all the little decisions I had made to create this world I now inhabit. So I decided to write a book about it! I spent two years researching the big decisions we make in our twenties, and how they play out throughout our lives.
For you, what is the most personal thing about this book?
I share a lot of stories from my twenties, like the time I broke up with a wonderful, stable boyfriend to move to London to date a very hotheaded sculptor. (That relationship exploded pretty quickly!) Or how I took an internship at 28 which basically involved making coffee for my 25-year-old superiors. (It was totally worth it, because it led to a great job as a journalist!)
What choice did you make in YOUR twenties that you celebrate now?
I spent a lot of time–and all my meager savings–seeing the world in my twenties. I would take weeks off to backpack through a seaside village in India, or Bali, or Prague. At the time, I often worried that I was wasting precious time on those trips that I should be spending on my career. But looking back, I am so incredibly grateful for all those adventures: I learned so much about myself, and the world through those experiences, and I will never again have the opportunity to travel so freely.
What do you hope the people who read your book will take away from it?
Your task is to figure out what matters to you and what you want from life, so you can chart your own, personalized itinerary. Follow your passions and your curiosity; they’ll show you where to go.
If you could give this book to a stranger and ask them to read it, who would that person be? Who would you most want to share with?
I’d give this book to someone who feels like they’re stuck, and not moving forward in their life. I often felt like that in my twenties! The research in The Rocket Years is very comforting because it shows that it often takes longer than we imagine to find our dream job or the right life partner. This should encourage us not to give up on our dreams, even when it feels like our lives are in a holding pattern.
Obviously, so many people in the world can relate to your words in this book. Do you think what resonates with people will change based on where they are in their lives?
In our twenties, we write our own origin stories about who we are and what we want from our one wild and precious life. This book is relevant to people in the thick of it, but it is also for those, like me, who are long past our twenties. Revisiting that decade allows you to reconnect with your great passions and ambitions in life, which can help you figure out your direction no matter what stage you’re in.
Why do you think it is important to share our experiences with the world?
It’s easy to feel alone when you’re having a hard time, and everybody else’s life seems to be going so well, at least according to their Instagram and LinkedIn feeds. In my twenties, I remember feeling like I was the only one in the whole world whose career and love life was a total mess. As I was going through that, I wished people would open up to me about their mistakes and missteps to help me navigate my own struggles. In this book, I try to be the comforting voice that was missing in my own life. Your twenties can be a bumpy ride, but take solace in the fact that we’re all in the same boat.
How does sharing our experiences build stronger communities?
Your words could help someone who is dealing with similar issue and they invite others to offer you support and kindness. And in the end, it is by being honest and vulnerable that we deepen our relationships with the people in our lives. But perhaps more importantly,
It can be exhausting to pretend that we have it all figured out!
Have you read The Rocket Years? Comment below to tell us what you thought!