The book is a collection of essays in which Meg Fee relates her moments in New York over the past decade, since she was eighteen years old and went to study at Juilliard.
She had a new city, new school, and a new life. She notices things won’t be easy right from the beginning. In the very beginning of the book, in her younger years, she has her heart broken by her boyfriend Will.
Right after that, Meg goes through an eating disorder which she describes graphically in a few pages. As she feels her body changing she keeps telling herself – When I’m thin, everything will be easy. When I’m thin, Will will love me. When I’m thin, things will be fine.
Despite all the hard times she goes through – changing apartments and jobs, losing friends and losing Will – she still believes in love. On the other hand, when someone new shows up in her life, she still feels unworthy of a handsome guy being with her. Her self esteem is a continuous struggle. Meg goes back and forth to the fact that she’s used to sadness, comfortable with her own brokenness and how much she lost out of fear.
It’s only when she moves to a house in Harlem in her late twenties that she begins to be more positive. Meg makes good friends and feels happy and loved. She says she never felt more beautiful than she did when she turned 30, looked back and thought, “The twenties are so hard, but the view from up here is incredible.”
My absolute favorite part was the end of the book when she gives a list of lessons she learned during her twenties. Things like forgive yourself, move your body more, take risks, celebrate the small successes, etc.
It wasn’t my favorite book to read; sometimes the stories seemed very displaced and the writing wasn’t my preferred style.