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Life-Ruining Mistakes?

The other day, the novelist Robin Sloan mentioned in his newsletter that he really liked the Financial Times. It seems everyone’s talking up the Financial Times lately, so I went and followed them on Instagram.

The first post in their feed was for an essay by Janan Ganesh, about how although the American self-help industry makes it seems like most mistakes can be salvaged, many are in fact unsalvageable and life-destroying. An excerpt:

The sur­prise of middle age, and the ter­ror of it, is how much of a per­son’s fate can boil down to one mis­judge­ment.

Such as? What in par­tic­u­lar should the young know? If you marry badly — or marry at all, when it isn’t for you — don’t assume the dam­age is recov­er­able. If you make the wrong career choice, and real­ise it as early as age 30, don’t count on a way back. … A big [mistake], or just an early one, can fore­close all hope of the life you wanted.

At first I found it oddly cheering (if I can’t fix my mistakes, I might as well relax and accept my circumstances), but then I found it sad. (Does my husband feel like he made a life-destroying mistake by marrying me? LMAO.) Now I’m more like ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ because things can only ever go the way they go. Anyway, I’m not yet a FT subscriber, but it was a nudge.

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