I received the memoir Trail of Crumbs by Kim Sunee for free a few years ago when a friend of mine in publishing took me to the Book Expo of America. After travelling in Spain with a quick stop in Paris and finally finishing The Savage Detectives, my overworked brain and sad-to-be-home heart knew it was time to read a book that I could curl up with for a few days and escape the dreariness of coming back from vacation.
Despite the fact that my younger brother has been sending me Happy 30th Birthday cards since I turned 26, it’s still another year off–but that didn’t stop my friend Jenny and I to discuss on our trip, at length, how different we are now than when we first moved to New York City in our early twenties. We thought that we were incredibly mature and knew everything, a belief that turned out to be utterly false.
The reason I bring this up is because Trail of Crumbs is a coming of age story. I’m certified to teach English to 7-12th graders, so don’t get me wrong, I love the adolescent coming of age tale as well. But I do think that finally figuring out who you are in the adult world can be just as poetic and cathartic (and I’m sure I’ll look back at this revelation and laugh at my immature almost 29 year old self). Kim Sunee was abandoned at Korean market at age three, adopted by a couple in New Orleans and moved to France around age twenty. Her memoir is her story of a long relationship that included a house in Provence, an apartment in Paris, some incredible cooking (each chapter closes with recipes) and her journey of finding what home and self meant to her.
After much discussion, I am concluding that this age is a good place to be, even as it seems crazy to me that I have been at my (first and) current job for five years, even as I live in a city where I’ll never be able to afford to buy a house, much less a studio apartment, even though my life looks completely different from what my 21 year old-junior-in-college self thought it would be.
September is still my new years and October brings 29. I am excited about it. (And I have a mom who just celebrated her own birthday and is still absolutely amazing and fabulous, so I suppose there is only more good to come.)