Greenlights – Published 2020
“From the Academy Award®–winning actor, an unconventional memoir filled with raucous stories, outlaw wisdom, and lessons learned the hard way about living with greater satisfaction
I’ve been in this life for fifty years, been trying to work out its riddle for forty-two, and been keeping diaries of clues to that riddle for the last thirty-five. Notes about successes and failures, joys and sorrows, things that made me marvel, and things that made me laugh out loud. How to be fair. How to have less stress. How to have fun. How to hurt people less. How to get hurt less. How to be a good man. How to have meaning in life. How to be more me.
Recently, I worked up the courage to sit down with those diaries. I found stories I experienced, lessons I learned and forgot, poems, prayers, prescriptions, beliefs about what matters, some great photographs, and a whole bunch of bumper stickers. I found a reliable theme, an approach to living that gave me more satisfaction, at the time, and still: If you know how, and when, to deal with life’s challenges – how to get relative with the inevitable – you can enjoy a state of success I call “catching greenlights.”
So I took a one-way ticket to the desert and wrote this book: an album, a record, a story of my life so far. This is fifty years of my sights and seens, felts and figured-outs, cools and shamefuls. Graces, truths, and beauties of brutality. Getting away withs, getting caughts, and getting wets while trying to dance between the raindrops.
Hopefully, it’s medicine that tastes good, a couple of aspirin instead of the infirmary, a spaceship to Mars without needing your pilot’s license, going to church without having to be born again, and laughing through the tears.
It’s a love letter. To life.
It’s also a guide to catching more greenlights – and to realizing that the yellows and reds eventually turn green too.
Good luck.” – Goodreads
“I have a lot of proof that the world is conspiring to make me happy.” “I believe the truth is only offensive when we’re lying.”
This was my last read of 2020, and it was the perfect ending to my year’s reading journey. I didn’t do the audio, because my library hold came in first, but I have heard it’s magnificent. As a huge McConaughey fan, I felt like I could still “hear” his voice in my head, if that makes sense? Let’s not fall down the rabbit hole of who has an inner monologue again, ha!
McConaughey has truly lived, and he’s not done yet. It was so interesting to learn about his journey to some of the roles we’ve loved him in, to hear unknown stories about his childhood and different adventures he’s had, how he became a father and husband, and so much more. He tells these stories unapologetically and with extreme candor, and it’s often hilarious, but sometimes heartbreaking.
This is a memoir in which he is honest. He doesn’t paint the picture that he thinks people want to hear. It seems to me that he doesn’t actually care what people think of him. Thus, his honesty can be jarring, especially the dreams he mentions. IYKYK. But above all else, it just seems so genuine. It seems like after all he’s been through, and all he plans to do, he genuinely wants the best for humanity. He gives life lessons/self help along the way, but it’s not overwhelming or preachy. He just offers up insight that he thinks might help.
Long story short, this book is wonderful.