By Allison Trowbridge
Letters to a Young Woman Searching for Meaning
Never in history has a young woman had so many options before her, yet never has she had less direction or guidance on what to do with them. A woman at the precipice of adulthood often finds herself with more questions than answers, with more disenchantment than direction. How is she supposed to “lean in” to a successful career while also building deeply meaningful relationships? How can she care for the community around her while simultaneously developing a global mind-set and changing the world? How can she be all that she is destined to be without feeling paralyzed by the pressure of so many prospects?
Allison Trowbridge knows this dilemma well. She remembers stepping into her twenties and wishing for a mentor to guide her through this dizzying season of life. In Twenty-Two, she becomes the mentor she was looking for. Drawing from her own experience and from the wisdom of others, she offers advice and counsel in a series of personal letters to “Ashley,” a fictional college student looking for mentorship from someone one step ahead in life.
Over the course of twenty-two letters, Trowbridge addresses a wide range of practical issues and ties them to larger concerns such as identity, loss, social impact as a lifestyle, wisdom in the ordinary moments, and the profound way God’s work is realized in how we live every day. Subtly weaving in today’s pressing social concerns — from poverty in our neighborhoods to human trafficking across the globe — Twenty-Two will inspire a greater sense of mission and a passion to live more fully as young women embark on their own remarkable journeys.
Genre: Fiction / Storytelling / Epistolary Correspondence
Themes: womanhood, coming of age, friendship, mentorship, wisdom
Location: Santa Barbara, California
Ashley: A fictional college student and mentee, the girl for whom Allison’s letters are written and addressed
Allison: Ashley’s mentor who imparts her wisdom and life experiences through the course of twenty-two letters
Emma: Ashley’s younger sister whom both correspondents reference
Christie: Allison’s best friend and subject of some anecdotes within the letters
Mrs. Trowbridge: Allison’s mom, referenced in many stories and letters
Allison Trowbridge is a writer and social entrepreneur who has spent her career working against human trafficking and modern-day slavery—both through nonprofit and for-profit enterprises. She is a graduate of Westmont College in Santa Barbara and is currently working on her MBA and British accent at the University of Oxford.