Saturday, June 9, 2018

Book Review: 'The Art of Growing Up' by Lynnette Wright

Author Lynnette Wright earned her bachelor’s degree in Marketing form DePaul University and works as a Contracts and Outsourcing Manager in the healthcare field. She devotes her time to fulfill her passion for helping teens and empowering stranger both through her writing and public speaking.

In her Preface she make mission clear ‘What do you wish to know before reaching adulthood? This book will help you find answers to the many challenges you may encounter along the way to becoming an adult. As I sat down to write this book, my hope was to reach out to you before you make some mistakes. I want to help you develop, grow, and search for inner peace, gratification, and spirituality. I hope to empower and influence you to make the right choices, helping you improve the quality of your life. I also hope you will find, after reading this book, that it has helped you build character and dedicate yourself to achieving success through laughter, love, and the ability to enjoy every moment of your life’s journey.’

Lynette shares her own life experience in a fine Introduction – ‘Adolescents are faced with many new decisions about what roles are important to them in life, what they are going to focus their energy on, and what kind of person they will become. One of the most important steps in becoming an adult is determining your vocation, a process that should be explored in a healthy manner. Much of this book will be about how to go about this all-important task. But, for now, it’s important to answer the following question: What is a vocation? Some people refer to it as your “calling.” It is what you were put on this earth to do. The deepest vocational question is not, “What should I do with my life?” It is the more fundamental and demanding questions, “Who am I? What is my nature?” One way to begin to answer this question is to think about your favorite childhood toy. How did that toy make you feel? Did you feel connected to the toy? Did it bring you satisfaction? Play is how children try out new roles and search for the ones that interest them and make them feel most comfortable. Considering what toy you played with, how you played with it, and why you played with it, can help you understand who you are today, and who you are becoming. Understanding who you are will help shape your world just as it helped shape mine. One of my favorite toys growing up was my Barbie Doll. I had six sisters. There were many mouths to feed, so money was short. We all got one doll to share, and that doll was Barbie. My Barbie had long dark hair, beautiful features, and was a lot of fun to play with. I felt very connected to her. I could tell her what to do in my imaginary world, and she would listen attentively. Just like a teacher, I would say to Barbie, “Do this and do that.” Barbie was usually my lone student. But on occasion, I would play school with my sisters too. We would sit down cross-legged and learn together. I would teach them things that I had discovered about life, and, likewise, they would share their experiences with me. Back then, I was a very bossy teacher. I would set an assertive tone. “Turn in your work,” I would say. And if it wasn’t right, I would tell my “student” to throw it away and keep trying until it was perfect. That was me. And it was a sign of things to come, because it is still me. I played at being assertive, and that felt right to me, so my play shaped the type of adult I became—one with an assertive, take-charge attitude toward life. Just like my childhood, yours has shaped who you are and who you will become. So, if you want to understand who you are, take the time to reflect on your past. You are likely to find some answers there. Your adolescence is also shaping who you will become. So, reflect on how you spend your time now, on what makes you happy and brings you joy….’

Lynette divides her book into the following sections – ‘Defining Your Purpose in Life: Who Am I?, From Purpose to Destiny, What Do I Know?, “I’ve Gained Intelligence and Knowledge—Now What?”, Money Matters, How’s Your Health?, Is College Right for You?, What’s Love Got to Do with It?, My Family Matters—Does Yours?, and Fast Forward. And in this series of illustrated chapters she offers honest, grounded advice that should be positive reading for every teen. A very worthwhile book. Grady Harp, June 18

I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book.

Editor's note: This review has been published with the permission of Grady Harp. Like what you read? Subscribe to the SFRB's free daily email notice so you can be up-to-date on our latest articles. Scroll up this page to the sign-up field on your right.