Philosophy is very rigorous. “It’s a marathon,” she says. But she’s kept pace. Next year will find her in the ninth arrondissement in Paris, where she’ll focus not on writing the academic papers she’s done so far, but on more essay-based work. She speaks often with the young people in her classes about aging, and she spends a lot of time calming them.
“There’s a sense of panic about aging, and I think they undermine themselves hugely by panicking. It creates anxieties that have no basis in reality. It makes them try to conform to norms of success because they’re afraid that somehow it’s all going to get away from them if they turn 30 and they haven’t achieved something that society says is important. There’s too much of a treadmill on the timeline. And just give it all up, because everything is going to be shifting and changing and interesting to the degree that you’re interested in your own life.”