Sarah Lawrence-Lightfoot on the Weight of Exits

Interview excerpted from the LA Review of Books:

There are lots of reasons why exits are hard. Society is so preoccupied with launchings and entrances and moving forward and meeting the next opportunity and tilting toward the future, which take our attention away from departures and leave takings. So we tend to interpret those leave takings as regressions, as failures, as negative spaces in our life journey. We associate the feeling brought on by exits with not doing very well.


Missing the exit is to miss at least half the story. When my doctoral students come in — they’re 35, they’re smart, they’re focused, they’re critical — they like to begin by telling me what they want to do, what will be their next steps. I always say, “What are you leaving?” That, to me, is a better marker to understand them.

Read the full here.


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