Chapter Excerpt

What was your first job ever?

When I was 12 or 13, I mowed this colossal lawn a few times a week. It belonged to an eccentric friend of my dad who wanted certain areas mowed and others left patchy.

There was a dilapidated school bus, a couple chicken coops and plenty of areas where the boundary between the lawn and the surrounding wilderness was hard to clock. Afterwards I'd chat with the guy for an hour or two each time. I was at the age where it was really a treat if an adult talked to you like a peer, so that was definitely the highlight of the job.

Talk about how you felt after high school versus today on the question "what do you want to be when you grow up?"

Well, I'm finding it doesn't get much clearer as you go along. Now, as then, "when I grow up" seems like a nebulous chunk of the future that I may or may not get to.

I guess the major difference between now (I'm 34) and when I finished high school is that, while I still don't know what it would look like if I got to a place where I considered myself to be grown up, I do have a rough idea what I'd like to accomplish in the next few years...

Meet more people in the book...