Susan Orlean

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14 of 17
Dear Young Susan,

Slow down! There's no need to rush professionally or personally. You still have five years when every gamble you take won't be held against you later.

It's worth trying, but then (usually) abandoning: asymmetrical haircuts; pants with pleats; boyfriends without jobs; group living arrangements; decorating with things found in Dumpsters; meditating; traveling without reservations; making your own cheese. Think of everything you do now as a story that will be funny when you tell it in 20 years. You are entitled to make a mess of things. Be whimsical, reinvent yourself, and take a lot of pictures.
—Susan Orlean, 56, author of Rin Tin Tin: The Life and the Legend