If I Knew Then
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.
Jann weaves her own story together with tales of her mother, grandmother, 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." (From Random House Canada)
Jann Arden is a multi-platinum recording artist and has won eight Juno Awards over her celebrated career. She recently starred in the fictional television series Jann on CTV. She is also the author of Feeding My Mother, a memoir of caring for her mother after she was diagnosed with Alzheimer's.
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"I would never want to be young again, ever. There's nothing about it that's appealing to me, Maybe my boobs. I think I wrote that my boobs might have been appealing, and my neck. But I love the sureness. When you gather all these experiences and are able to draw from them when you're doing any kind of problem-solving or when you're doing any kind of repairing things, you have a lot to draw from. You don't at 25. You don't even at 35. And I do write in the book, it's like you start becoming a person at 40. Most women that I talk to — most men too — they agree. They're like, 'Oh yeah, you finally fit into yourself.'
I would never want to be young again, ever.
"Every decade that goes by, I feel like a completely different person. I just do. I think about decisions that I make and the way I go about my day-to-day life and it's completely different from decade to decade — how I navigate problems and relationships and job opportunities. There's just things — the television show, for example — I would never have done 10 years ago. Television had been offered to me over the last 25 years. And I just had never done it because I didn't feel capable. I just didn't feel like I could do it."