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If I Knew Then
Finding wisdom in failure and power in aging
“ There comes a time in all our lives when we say, “If I knew then, ...” In this memoir, Jann Arden takes us there with humor, warmth, and honesty. Her words resonated deeply with me, a woman “of a certain age”. She reflects on growing up and growing older, on the ways her body has changed, on her father’s alcoholism, on her parents’ dementia and Altzheimer’s disease and deaths, and on the wisdom she has gained along the way. Some of us can relate very intimately with her story; others can relate to the humanity of it - to the conflicting emotions, to the loss, love, change, and growth. And above all, to the humor and hope. This is an entertaining and thought- and emotion-provoking quick listen.”
Nancy, Raven Book Store
Jann Arden--bestselling author, recording artist and late-blooming TV star--is back with this funny, heartfelt and fierce memoir on becoming a woman of a certain age. The power, gravity and freedom she's found at fifty-seven are superpowers she believes all of us can unleash.
Digging deep into her strengths, her failures and her losses, Jann Arden brings us an inspiring account of how she has surprised herself, in her fifties, by at last becoming completely her own person. Like many women, it took Jann a long time to realize that trying to be pleasing and likeable and beautiful in the eyes of others was a loser's game. Letting it rip, and damning the consequences, is not only liberating, it's a hell of a lot of fun: "Being the age I am--that so many women are--is just the best time of my life."
Jann weaves her own story together with tales of her mother, grandmother, and great grandmother, and the father she came close to hating, to show her younger self--and all of us--that fear and avoidance is no way to live. "What I'm thinking about now aren't all the ways I can try to hang on to my youth or all the seconds ticking by in some kind of morbid countdown to death," she writes, "but rather how I keep becoming someone I always hoped I could be. If I'm lucky one day a very old face will look back at me from the mirror, a face I once shied away from. I will love that old woman ferociously, because she has finally figured out how to live a life of purpose--not in spite of but because of all her mistakes and failures."
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