Cross-Section of a Human Heart: A Memoir of Early Adulthood comes out in paperback and Kindle on December 26 (Kindle version available for pre-order now).
If you read my old blog, That Time in My Twenties, this book is that, only revised, fleshed out, and with a lot of new material. If you didn’t read my blog, it was pretty much exactly what it sounds like. (But you can find a more specific summary below.)
What was particularly eye-opening about adapting a four-year-old blog into a book was the discovery that these stories had continued to evolve in my mind, even as they sat static on the Internet in unblinking paragraphs. I would read an old post and immediately want to rewrite the whole thing. The facts of the story were always the same, but I’d want to frame it differently. Center it on a different theme. Be less gushy, be gentler on this one character, go easier on myself. Pull out a damn thesaurus and stop describing everything as “weird.”
Sometimes I made these changes, sometimes I did not, but the larger lesson in all of it was that we always have a choice in the way we tell our stories. We can frame a narrative in countless different ways without ever changing the facts, without compromising the truth. And the frames we choose play the role of both cause and effect—they reflect the person we’ve become, and they inform the way we see ourselves, treat each other, and move forward.
I have two hopes for Cross-Section of a Human Heart. One is that people my age will read it and enjoy the nostalgia and retroactive relief of seeing a piece of themselves in someone else’s messy early adulthood. The second hope is that readers who are fumbling through the challenging decade of their twenties will read it and be reassured that every fear, every failure of character, every romantic humiliation comes with a wide selection of frame options. Becoming a wise and mighty grown-up is more about responsible frame shopping than it is about getting everything right.
Whoever you are, I’m excited to share these stories with you. You can check out an excerpt from the book here: “That Time I Dated Crazy.”