The Experiment: How to Start Over With Olga Khazan

Olga Khazan and Julia Longoria sit down to announce The Atlantic’s new How To series: How to Start Over.

A single line drawing depicts a human profile sprouting off into a colorfully drawn flower. The series title “How to Start Over” frames the rendition.
Bráulio Amado

In The Atlantic’s new series How to Start Over, Olga Khazan takes listeners on a journey of reinvention. How to Start Over is your guide to navigating life’s gray areas, whether knowing it’s time to make a career switch, repairing strained family ties, or forging new connections in a post-pandemic world.


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A transcript of this episode is presented below:

(A beachy electric guitar plays sonic jump rope with an electronic kazoo. Up and down, light as air, they twirl around each other breezily before a drum kit adds some structure to their dance.)

Julia Longoria: Hello, Experiment listeners! It’s Julia Longoria. I’m excited to tell you about a brand new show from The Atlantic called How to Start Over.

It’s hosted by Olga Khazan. You might remember her from our Rock Doc episode.

So, Olga, what sparked inspiration for this show? Why “How to Start Over”?

Olga Khazan: Well, Julia, these past two years have gotten me thinking about feeling kind of stuck. I think a lot of us have felt a little bit stuck during the pandemic, and now we’re ready for a little bit of a refresh in various areas of our lives.

You know, maybe you’re experiencing some dissatisfaction with your job and you want to shake things up a little.

Angie: It wasn’t until after I went through this long process that I realized that this part that I enjoy is, like, 5 percent (Laughing at the absurdity of the number.)—

Khazan: Mhm!

Angie:(Carrying the laugh through as she speaks.) of the career of being a litigator, and I absolutely couldn’t stand the rest of it.

Khazan: Or you might be in midlife, and experiencing that proverbial quote-unquote “midlife crisis,” uh, which might be exacerbated even further by the pandemic.

Hannes: I try to avoid the term midlife crisis, because I think “crisis” is really this idea that, like—that it’s a dramatic thing that has to stop immediately. It has to be short, and we have to, like, get rid of it, right?

Khazan: Maybe you just want a new friend, but starting over can feel a little daunting.

Jeffrey Hall: So one of the things that’s unfortunate is, although we keep meeting a lot of new people, we don’t necessarily find people who are open to the possibility of friendship at all.

Longoria: Thank you for checking in with us, Olga. That’s Olga Khazan, host of the new Atlantic podcast How to Start Over. Check it out on your favorite podcast player or search for it on YouTube.

(The music fades out with the trailer.)

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