Good Reads: Wildflower by Drew Barrymore

Katy Montgomery

Katy currently serves as the Global Director of the Career Development Centre at INSEAD where she manages career services professionals across three campuses: Abu Dhabi, Fontainebleau, and Singapore. Katy previously served as the Associate Dean for Student Development at the Johns Hopkins Carey Business School.

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Drew Barrymore

I heard Drew Barrymore read live from her book Wildflower at the Sixth & I Historic Synagogue over six months ago (I took that picture of her on stage, and yes, I am star struck!).  November 3, 2015 to be exact.  And, I have finally finished the book and want to share a few takeaways that really resonated with me.

Drew Barrymore did not have an easy childhood. In her words, her childhood provided, “zero protection, zero consistency.”  Raised by a single mother living a hedonistic lifestyle, Drew became the breadwinner of the family paying the bills from the age of 11 months. Her father left the family when her mom was pregnant with Drew. In fact, Drew never shared a meal with both of her parents at the same time. At age 14, she was emancipated by the courts and living on her own.

Despite her rocky childhood, Drew is not bitter—in fact, early in the book she states: “My parents gave me a great blueprint through their behavior of what not to do with my own kids.” What a positive spin! What a way to reframe a negative experience into a positive one. And at the Career Development Office, we are all about reframing and transforming.

Here are a few other gems from Wildflower:

  • “Happiness is a choice.”
  • “It’s being present that matters most.”
  • “If you stay emotionally balanced and responsible in life you are able to have the real joy, the earned joy.”
  • “Feel blessed and recognize that working with people you like will make you want to work more!”

Reading Wildflower really made me think about my own life—one that was 100% protective, 100% consistent—and feel incredibly grateful. Happiness is a choice, and although Drew had a rough go of it, she has made a very definite choice to be happy.

Have you?

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