Review of Sorry I'm Late, I Didn't Want to Come: One Introvert's Year of Saying Yes by Jessica Pan
Updated: Jan 12
Pan is wonderfully honest, appealingly thoughtful, and often so so funny. I was so happy spending time in her point of view throughout this book. I loved it.
Jessica Pan was an introvert out of a job. Her closest friends had moved away, and she found herself lonely, living in another country, and feeling too reliant on her husband for her entire social life. Although she wasn't trying to change her status from introvert to extrovert, she did want to open up to new experiences, broaden her horizons and meet new people, a few of whom she could hopefully in time call true friends.
Pan decided to deliberately put herself into extremely uncomfortable social situations for a year, and she fully commits. She does improv, approaches strangers on the Tube, goes on friend dates, attends networking events, takes a vacation alone (to a destination she doesn't learn until she's at the airport), and more. She regrets her one-year plan almost instantly but feels compelled to continue her terrifying exercises.
My book club is reading this book, and we were recently saying in anticipation of our upcoming discussion that Pan's concept reminded us somewhat of a book we read years ago, MWF Seeking BFF: My Yearlong Search for a New Best Friend (although that book had a premise that didn't really make sense, since the author seemed surrounded by family, friends, work friends, and didn't seem particularly lonely). Pan is earnest about and determined to see through her gutsy path, which is often horrifyingly frightening for her, frequently not at all what she bargained for, and which gradually pays off in fits and starts of personal growth that are meaningful for her.
Her interviews and experiences with others who mentor her journey in different ways could have felt disruptive or jarring but didn't; they added a layer to her story that I found interesting and often revelatory.
Pan is wonderfully honest, appealingly thoughtful, and often so so funny. I was so happy spending time in her point of view throughout this book. I loved it and I'd read another book by her in a second.
Any Bossy thoughts on this book?
Have you read this one? It was the right book at the right time for me. I'd happened to read multiple books in a row in which grim circumstances drove the plots, and this book felt like a breath of fresh air.