Take Care of Yourself is the story of a recently graduated young man tossed from an elite university into the depths of a recession. It’s the story of a young man who is tossed from a dream world of meritocracy into a reality of apparently fruitless struggle. And it’s ultimately his journey toward realizing that struggle doesn’t necessarily require existential crisis.
Anthony Warren is different from many of his Georgetown peers in that he isn’t from an upbringing that’s always reinforced this idea that the world perfectly and efficiently rewards hard work, but his undergrad years have made him soft; he’s lost sight of how difficult life was growing up, how difficult life was for his mother, who never went to university and was never conventionally successful but was nonetheless the most dedicated, hard-working person he’s ever known.
It’s Anthony’s reconciliation of everything he learned in undergrad about the world and about success with (1) his childhood (past) and (2) his difficulty starting out in the world and defining a sustainable sense of purpose (present).
It’s Anthony’s reconciliation of his past and present insecurities with his need to believe in himself now more than ever. It’s the story of a kid building self-esteem at generational and national low point that gradually precipitates an emotional low point for him personally.
It’s the story of my generation, more narrowly of the Class of 2009.