Every year a set a reading goal because I love books and this is what we readers do. And reading for fun is just something I need to do for my mental health. Escaping reality into James Patterson’s mysteries and solving who done it or swooning over some hunk in one of Corinne Michaels’ latest or even laughing and crying my way through one of Jenny Lawson’s truthful stories on mental health is a must for me. I need it between all the bull shit at work, the chores at home that I’m casually neglecting and the overwhelming stress I feel 24/7/365. So books. I love them. They are my therapy. My escape.
This year I told myself 12 books was more than reasonable. I mean I’m friends with people who read 12 books a month so 12 in the course of a YEAR is more than feasible. Right? Well I did it. In fact – I’ve read 14 (that’s 117% for those keeping score at home!) and I’m in the middle of two more because the year isn’t over yet. Am I right or am I right?
SOOOO as the holidays approach and you find that you have some extra time on your hands – I encourage you to pick up a book. I thought I would share with you the books I’ve read this year so far to help if you need some suggestions. Of course you can keep up to date on what I’m reading, dying to read and have read on goodreads. I’m constantly adding books to my shelves.
Recently, I heard Katrina Kittle – another favorite of mine – speak about her reasons to be happy and how we can’t function when our life cup is perpetually empty. That it’s our responsibility to take time to fill that cup. Writing fills my cup. I love to write – both on my blog and journal. I used to journal ALL THE TIME. But when I was younger that was ruined for me…
I have foreign parents. And as if the language and cultural barrier weren’t enough – they had me a little later than planned so they are 40+ years my senior. My mother and I particularly didn’t get a long. It’s as if we were on different planets all together. During my teenage years especially she just assumed she knew everything. However, that’s neither here nor there. The past makes us who we are. Right?
One faithful day I came home from school – I believe I was a sophomore in high school at the time – and walked in to see bags and bags full of shredded paper. For a moment – I didn’t really think much of it. It wasn’t until I noticed the cover of my favorite butterfly journal that I realized what I was looking at. They were my journals!!! Seven years worth of journals – twelve complete journals to be exact – all shredded up into nothing. From that day on journaling was hard for me. It didn’t feel safe anymore. Since then I’ve tried to get back into the habit but there is this constant underlying fear that I will lose it all over again. Since then – I’ve managed to write sporadically. But it dawned on me today that enough is enough. I have to stop letting the past haunt me and lay it to rest. My past is full of other horrible things that I have managed to overcome but this… this is still hanging around.
Sidebar: This also might be why I have subconsciously broken nearly every paper shredder I have ever owned.
Two weeks ago I was casually browsing the inter webs and thought I would peak on some of my favorite people on the world. We all have those people we like to follow and see what they are doing. Yours are like Kim Kardashian or Kanye. Mine are a little different. Mine are Chrissy Teigen (because who doesn’t love Chrissy?), a few cooks (because who doesn’t love food?) and Jennifer Lawson (aka the author of TheBloggess). I stumbled across a post where Jenny said she was coming to Ohio!!! The woman I essentially idolize, IN OHIO. I immediately took to Facebook to find out where. And other Jenny fans told me she was going to be at Books by the Banks in Cincinnati. That’s like spitting distance from me…if you can spit 40 miles away. Nonetheless – completely doable. I told Mikey. He was all like you have to go and see her. Well DUH! So we made plans to leave first thing in the morning, get my books signed, maybe see her speak….everything was falling into place.
I went to bed that night planning to see my hero in the morning. I day dreamed of us becoming BFFs. But I woke up early in the morning… completely panic-stricken. I wanted to go and meet this amazing woman who speaks to me in the darkest times in my life, who reminds me to keep going when my brain wants me to do stupid things, who lets me know that it’s okay to hurt, who lets the world know that there are other people out there fighting depression, anxiety and all kinds of fucked up shit….but I was terrified. What if I went and didn’t get to see her? What if we missed her speak or didn’t get my books signed? What if she was like you’re a fucking disaster, GET IT TOGETHER? What if I couldn’t remember my name? So I just laid in bed and didn’t say anything.
At about 10:30AM – Mike woke up and questioned why we were still at home. I made up some bull shit about not wanting to screw up everyone’s plans for the day. He clearly read through my weak ass excuse. These were our plans. He told me I was being stupid and to get my ass up and get ready to go meet Jenny Lawson. So I did.
We got to Books By the Banks just in enough time to listen to Jenny speak. She read from her book – Furiously Happy – and then answered questions. I got to ask the first one and she complimented by Harry Potter shirt! Potter Weasley 2016!! I could have died at that moment. Then we waited in line and she signed my books. We chatted like we were the best of friends. And in my head we totally are. 🙂
Easily goes down as one of the most memorable days of my life.