I Miss You When I Blink
Mary Laura Philpott
Page count: 288
This was a brilliant book, perfect to read at the start of a new year when new beginnings and do-overs are happening all over the place. Philpott is a genius at presenting messages and themes, tucked neatly into metaphors and analogies.
Her analysis of the original story of The Little Mermaid was insightful, her approach to explaining and discussing Type-A personalities was hilarious and spot-on, and her message about the importance of doing what needs to be done, even if you’re not quite sure that you’re doing it right—even if you’re discouraged and frustrated and tired—is easy to find in every essay.
I loved that Philpott explained the title of her book right off the bat. It affected the way that I listened to the rest—I knew exactly what she wanted me to learn from the start, and I did exactly that.
“I miss you when I blink” can mean so many different things; it really depends on how you interpret it. It can refer to someone loving someone else so intensely and passionately that even losing sight that person for the second it takes to blink is unbearable.
But “I miss you when I blink” can also mean the idea that life continues on at full-speed every second of the day; it doesn’t stop when we blink, or when we’re stressed, or when we’re distracted. We’re missing things when we don’t take time to enjoy them—when we let life pass by just going through the motions. “I miss you when I blink” means that time passes quickly, and we have to make the most of it while we can. Life is the way it is for one second and can be totally different the next time you open your eyes. You just never know.
I love Philpott’s approach to writing. This memoir is full of advice on writing—how to keep yourself accountable and writing continuously instead of letting it get pushed aside for other everyday activities, for example. I find it fascinating to listen to other writers talk about their writing process, and it’s always comforting to hear someone else admit that it’s difficult sometimes.
I loved this book. In the words of Mary Laura Philpott, “Bang. Done.”