Nina lives in Chicago with her husband and two cats. She works full time as a school-based occupational therapist in the Chicago suburbs. In her spare time, she enjoys hiking, reading, movies, and travel. As of this writing, she has enrolled in an online doctorate program in occupational therapy to advance her expertise and employment options in the field. This is her first nonacademic publication.
Title by Nina Reid
Shadows of My Future Self
Released: March 2023
Genre: MemoirsIn this personal narrative, Nina Reid describes the foggy, winding path that would eventually lead to her calling as a pediatric occupational therapist.
After surviving the pitfalls of living in a small town amid family dynamics that undermine her confidence, Nina ventures out as an au pair in Paris during her junior year of college abroad. Far from the rich cultural experience she imagined, she encounters condescension and coldness from the family who employs her, but is ultimately buoyed by her newfound American friends who have her back.
What follows after Nina’s life in Paris is a series of romantic disasters, ill-chosen graduate degrees, and several dead-end jobs in and around Chicago, humorously recounted along with their accompanying dysfunctional interoffice dynamics, farcical leadership styles, and lackluster growth opportunities. An epiphany finally prompts her to embark on a major transition to a purposeful profession, which in itself is a leap of faith.
The author imbues these scenes with seemingly divergent images of Oprah car giveaways, Sartre carrying groceries, the Chicago skyline, craft beers, laxatives, and bubble wrap. Alternately comical and melancholy, hopeful and world-weary, this narrative reminds the reader that it is never too late to overcome our fears to follow our passions and to laugh along the way.