Virtually all of us are disappointed in some element of our youthful aspirations and delusions about who we are and what we are capable of. Everybody has to learn in his own way and by his own mistakes who he is going to be in the aftermath of this revelation. Many accept with a shrug and nary a look back: others grow angry, bitter, or resentful, blame anyone but themselves, and project their sense of failure onto the world at large – in other words, they wholly fail to accept their situation, like the hungry ghosts of Chinese folklore; still others continue to hope against hope and spend the interior episodes of their existence in parallel lives of their own edification. But unless we have suffered especially bad luck, most of us will have to learn to live with the fact that our circumstances and accomplishments are largely the results of the choices we have freely undertaken to make. (125)
Jesse Browner, How did I get here? Making peace with the road not taken (Harper Wave 2015)
A shot of sanity for all of you frustrated geniuses who have to work for a salary instead of being free to create. Jesse Browner, a minor novelist and full-time civil servant, mulls over the path taken and the path not taken. This would be a very interesting book for a book group, particularly a group that contains writers.