During a recent conversation my high school senior
grandson was worrying about career paths and college
choices. One of his questions was, “How can you decide
what to do when you are good at so many things?”  

I was struck by, as smart and knowledgeable as he is,
just how little information he has about how the world
really works. And, although I admit to prejudice, I
know he has had far more opportunities to learn life
skills than most young people and is far ahead of many
of his peers in that department.

Thinking back about the teens and twenty- and
thirty-somethings I have worked with throughout many
years as a teacher, therapist and coach, I was reminded
about how much they struggle to understand themselves
and their relationship to a world that does not
necessarily meet their expectations. Many wonder, “Is
there something wrong with me?” 

I tried to reassure my grandson that no choice he makes
now locks him into anything permanently by sharing the
story of my own experiences before I was 30. Back then
I was certainly worried that something was wrong with

There were 2 different problems. First was that I did
not know what I did not know. Second was that I was too
ashamed to ask the questions that I thought other
people already knew the answers to. Later I learned
that they were just as confused as I was. 

So I told my grandson about my own checkered past. I
too was good at just about everything I tried. Because
of that, I was allowed to do responsible jobs that I
talked myself into – like being our neighborhood
pharmacist’s first delivery girl when he was only
considered hiring boys. That was only the first time. I
won’t go into the details but I had switched paths at
least 5 different times between high school graduation
and age 30. 

At that time the prevailing wisdom was to choose a path
and then stick with it. I was seriously concerned about
my own instability. I finally read Future Shock by
Alvin Toffler and learned that in the future (after
1970) the world was evolving so that people should
expect to have serial careers. I was just ahead of my

Apparently even sophisticated young people still don’t
know that continuing evolution is part of life. I was
surprised and delighted when, the next day, he actually
thanked me for my advice to keep saying yes to current

Another very important thing that so many people simply
don’t understand is how to manage their emotional
experiences – and they too are hesitant to ask the
questions they need answers for. 

Emotional_Self_Help_cover  That’s why I recently re-edited and republished one of
  my earlier books as Emotional Self-Help: I Don’t Need
  therapy, but Where Do I Turn for Answers?
 It is
  targeted to 20- and 30-somethings but will be
  beneficial to anyone who struggles with how to manage
  the emotions evoked by life experiences. 

  So far it is an ebook. It will become a print book
  soon. Head over to www.BooksByLaurie.com/answers  or to
  Smashwords.com and download a copy for yourself or as a
  gift for a young person in your life.