CJ Hauser on learning to live your own dreams, not other people’s

How does it feel to be catapulted to Internet fame, literally overnight. My guest this week, CJ Hauser, found out when she wrote a little essay back in 2019 about cranes (as in, the birds, not the machines!). Except CJ had just called off her wedding and The Crane Wife wasn’t about cranes, so much as the shapes we contort ourselves into in order to please other people. about denying our own needs and accepting LESS.

Forty eight hours after it was published The Crane Wife had gone viral, been read millions of times and identified with by just about everyone who read it. I read it. I couldn’t believe how much it spoke to me. Nor, it seemed, could anyone else.

Now CJ has written a memoir in essays - also called The Crane Wife - about love, relationships and the stories we tell ourselves, not, it seems, in order to survive, but in order to set the bar so high we spend the rest of our lives failing to reach it.

CJ (and her dog Moriarty @thedogphilosopher on instagram...) joined me to talk about the unnerving impact of overnight success, being “a breakup pro” and learning to live your own dreams, not other people’s. We also discussed her Schrodingers biological clock, the life lessons she’s learnt from Dr Who, she introduced me to the concept of "bucking" and her unified theory of shitty men!

* Read CJ’s original essay The Crane Wife here.

* You can buy all the books mentioned in this podcast at Bookshop.org, including THE CRANE WIFE by CJ Hauser and the book that inspired this podcast, The Shift: how I lost and found myself after 40 - and you can too, by me!

* And if you'd like to support the work that goes into making this podcast and get a weekly newsletter plus loads more content including transcripts of the podcast, please join The Shift community. Find out more at https://steadyhq.com/en/theshift/

The Shift (on life after 40) with Sam Baker is created and hosted by Sam Baker and edited by Emily Sandford. If you enjoyed this podcast, please rate/review/follow as it really does help other people find us. And let me know what you think on twitter @sambaker or instagram @theothersambaker.

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