I don’t think I’ve read a book without flipping to the last page first to see how long the book was. I take extreme care not read any of the words on the last page. I just want to know how many pages the book has. Then I do some rough calculations in my head. “If I read this many pages each day, it would take me this long to read this book.” (Ridiculous. I’ve never read however many “this many pages” turns out to be. I read when the mood strikes, typically, until I fall asleep.)
I approach my career in much the same way I figure out my daily page goal. I ask questions of more seasoned coworkers, “How long did it take you to get here?” “Here” in my mind, the pinnacle of success. I am relived when the answer is 20 years. Good. I’m not a failure. Yet.
The calculating begins. Where I should be at what point in the future to reach “there.” The “end.” The point this other person is at, missing the point that their “end” will most likely be very different from mine. There’s no last page to turn to. No last paragraph to sneak a peek at, even if I wanted to. There’s not even a book with organized chapters. I am the reader of a Choose Your Own Adventure book, hoping that my choices don’t lead me back to the same page resulting in the adventure starting all over again.