Why Women’s History is Changing My Life — with Sarah Gristwood
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Hey friends! Welcome to Girls’ Night! As you may know, I have a new book coming out soon called Create a Life You Love and in it I tackle what I call the Everything Era — that wildly confusing decade-ish where we have to make some of the most significant decisions of our lives, typically all at the same time. I've spent the last 10 years wrestling with these big life decisions and the pressure that comes with them — and I've talked to countless women who are doing the same. But I didn't know it was a thing — actually a thing — until two years ago when I heard a statistic I will never, ever forget. In a rare study of life-span development, researchers at Boston University and the University of Michigan found that 80% of our life’s most defining moments happen before we turn 35. In fact, the average woman makes the majority of her biggest life decisions in the decade between her 25th and 35th (ish) birthdays. So… I wasn't exaggerating, it wasn't my imagination, this season of life is actually as big, and hard, and consequential as it feels. So that's when I started to dig. I needed more information. I wanted to know more about what's happening in us during these years, and what's happening around us. I also started to wonder what these years have looked like for the generations of women who have gone before us, because I realized I didn't actually know. I have learned SO MUCH as I’ve heard stories of women from past generations. The more I’ve learned about women’s history, the more I understand why our lives look the way they do today. This is why I’m so excited to introduce you to today’s guest! Our guest for today’s episode is my new friend, Sarah Gristwood. Sarah is a former film journalist and now writes books about women’s history. Her most recent is called, Secret Voices: A Year of Women’s Diaries. In it, she analyzes a collection of excerpts from women’s diaries, looking back over four centuries to discover how women’s experience—of men and children, sex and shopping, work and the natural world—has changed down the years. And, of course, how it hasn’t. I LOVED this conversation, and I can’t wait for you to hear it. Before we dive in, I wanted to read you just a little snippet of my new book, Create A Life You Love — because in it, I explain why learning about women’s history has meant so much to me. “Recognizing the pressures women have been under throughout history helps me feel like I’m not alone. I’m part of a large sisterhood, and I’m honored to be. This truth is especially helpful to me during times when I start to wonder if the pressure I’m feeling is imagined—if the expectations I’m sensing are really as heavy and forceful as they feel. As I look back at the centuries of pressure and expectations and opinions about women’s lives and how they should spend them, I see that yes, this actually is as big as it feels. And that’s so validating. It helps me be kinder to myself as I navigate all of this. I hope it helps you too.” “Not only is it helpful for me to know that this pressure isn’t new—that women have always had people breathing down their necks telling them what they should do and how they should live—but also, the more I find out about the expectations placed on women throughout history, the more I understand why some of the decisions I’m trying to make in my own life today feel so heavy.” You guys, Sarah is the best. I can’t wait for you to meet her. You ready? Let’s dive in.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
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