Book Review: Find Your Unicorn Space by Eve Rodsky

Published by The Connected Reader on

A quick framing of my book reviews: If I’m reviewing it, it means I liked it enough to finish it. I abandon books all. the. time. So my reviews have built in bias; I’m not reviewing anything I didn’t like because I don’t finish books I don’t like.

Now, let’s get to it …

This book makes me believe in magic. Or woo woo. Kismet. Unicorns. Whatever you want to call a book falling into your hands at just the right moment.

I’m not being hyperbolic when I say it has been life changing for me, at least in this season of life. But I’m getting ahead of myself.

A Little Bit About The Book

TL;DR: As adults, we can lose the spaces for creativity we had when we were younger, especially when we are in long-term relationships and have children. We can become overwhelmed by and lost in the 3Ps: being a professional, being a partner, and being a parent. We can reclaim this space, and the sense of identity and fulfillment that go along with it, by implementing the 3Cs: identify a curiosity to explore and carve out the time to explore it, find connection with others through that exploration, and follow through to complete and share the outcome of the curiosity. 

Find Your Unicorn Space by Eve Rodsky is the author’s second book. Rodsky wrote Fair Play a few years back and it’s spawned a documentary, a deck of cards that I just ordered, and a whole community of adults working to ensure the mental load of family life is shared equitably by each partner. I’m working my way through this book now.

My Take

Let me set the scene. Over the past 10 years I: 

  • got married
  • went through a layoff at eight months pregnant
  • had a child
  • worked as a contractor and then returned to full-time work
  • got pregnant with twins unexpectedly (not the pregnancy, the twins)
  • gave birth to twins who spent three weeks in the NICU
  • returned to work from parental leave three weeks before the pandemic shut down
  • worked full-time while sharing full-time childcare of a 5-year-old and twin infants with my husband for five months at the start of the pandemic
  • was laid off
  • became the sole full-time caregiver and virtual kindergarten supporter
  • worked as a contractor while transitioning one child back to school and still caring for the little ones at home
  • returned to full-time work with an interim childcare solution because our old daycare had no spots available
  • transitioned two toddlers to daycare when spots opened up
  • did all the everyday life things when not curled in the fetal position because of current events and the state of our education system in this country

So, it’s been a lot. And I have felt zero space to do anything but survive. I share all of this because I know there are many of you out there in a similar season.

When the calendar turned on January 2022, I said enough. It was time to try and emerge from the fog of the past few years. I went back to individual therapy and joined a group therapy. I worked on putting up boundaries to preserve my physical and mental health. During a busy season at work, I was working for an hour or two in the early mornings; as the school year wound down, I shifted that time to reading for fun and journaling. And in June, in those early morning hours, I picked up Find Your Unicorn Space.

One of the key pieces for me in this book is Rodsky’s emphasis on giving yourself permission. Permission to say no. Permission to take back your time. Permission to say to the people tugging on your time, (after transparent communication with your partner) I’m going to do this at this time and you will not interrupt me. And when I got to this question, everything just seemed to stop:

“Are you being pushed by external expectations or pulled toward your authentic goals?”

And so I had the transparent conversation with my partner. And I gave myself permission to ask for and take two hours on Saturday mornings to write and explore. And from there, the woo woo came into play. I had a conversation with a friend about a blogging bootcamp she was considering. I looked into it, and after another conversation with my partner, I decided to make the financial investment in myself, and I signed up. Three months later, I finished the boot camp and published my first post on The Connected Reader site.

So, Find Your Unicorn Space worked for me in this moment. Right place, right time, etc. I found Rodsky’s premise compelling, her personal anecdotes and the stories of others she shares engaging (and inspiring! – @pieladybooks), and I thought she laid out the process of the 3Cs in a way that was easy to follow and implement.

 I do think there are barriers to individuals engaging in this for sure; for me there is certainly a lot of privilege embedded in being able to create space and time away to pursue my own curiosity (flexible work, a partner to share responsibilities with, disposable income that allowed me to access a learning experience) that is not available to many people. I think Rodsky touches on this, and it deserves a more in-depth exploration; while Rodsky surveys and shares anecdotes from a lot of people in the book, it did feel like the socioeconomic diversity was lacking. Rodsky addresses this in one section and I felt like this needed more support in the book.

I’ll leave you with an excerpt from Anne Lamott’s Bird by Bird, which Rodsky quotes in Find Your Unicorn Space, and I plan to frame and hang up above my desk:

“What if you wake up someday, and you’re sixty-five or seventy-five, and you never got your memoir or novel written, or you didn’t go swimming in warm pools and oceans all those years because your thighs were jiggly and you had a nice big tummy, or you were just so strung out on perfectionism and people-pleasing that you forgot to have a big juicy creative life of imagination and radical stillness and staring off into space like when you were a kid? It’s going to break your heart. Don’t let this happen.”


6 Comments

Natalia · December 3, 2022 at 7:09 pm

This review made me feel seen and inspired to pick up the book! Thanks for that candid look into survival these last few years.

Trisha Meerman · December 3, 2022 at 10:46 pm

Beautiful quote that has triggered some thoughts and forgiveness of my own self in this season of my life. I appreciate this book being on my radar now, thank you.

    The Connected Reader · December 7, 2022 at 8:17 pm

    Forgiveness in a season – that resonates. I hope this book brings you more insight!

Julie · December 7, 2022 at 7:13 pm

Yes! I love how you got through a really difficult time and in the process figured out how to take care of yourself! During COVID lock-down I had three teens and a husband that got laid off a couple months into the lockdown – life was intense and scary and beyond overwhelming. Emotions were on the edge for everyone in the house – like a powder keg waiting to explode…. And that’s when I decided ENOUGH- and I sat my butt down and wrote in the creases of my day.. from 11 pm until 2 am…. When the house was finally quiet. I totally feel your process and so happy that you had conversations that allowed you to follow your dreams!

    The Connected Reader · December 7, 2022 at 8:19 pm

    Wow – go, Julie! It’s so hard to see through the fog sometimes, and so empowering when you have that “enough!” moment!

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