#QOTD: What are you reading and is it a physical book or an eBook?
I spent the yesterday hiding in the bookstore, doing freelance work, and trying to decide which book to buy myself as a pick-me-up. I settled on Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng, and I’m very happy with it. I also got THE COOLEST journal (pictured above)! It’s going to be my positive-thoughts journal.
Basically, it’ll be a place for me to write down my outlandish, happy, crazy life dreams and goals. It’s something I need right now. Shout out to you Law of Attraction people who use “scripting” all the time. I learned this habit from you.
Using scripting as a way to break down negative thoughts is my favorite way to get my motivation back. Writing down your wild dreams – fleshing them out with details and letting yourself feel the positive, uplifting excitement that you know you’ll feel when you make them real – helps you gain focus on your goals and gives you the motivation to work on making them happen.
Yesterday’s post was about how I’ve been in a funk, how I’m trying to do more happy activities to help me get out of a negative headspace. The funny thing is, by the time I went to bed yesterday, not long after I posted, I felt amazing. Better than I have for the last 6 weeks, maybe the last 6 months since going freelance.
I hadn’t slept in 36 hours. Had been in a funk for WEEKS. Felt in general like nothing in my life was moving forward. Butting my head against the wall. But somehow, I felt better.
And I don’t know if it was the fact that I got out of the house yesterday just for fun, or because I was meditating on my dreams, or because I’ve had a few good cries lately that got the bad stuff out of my system for a while. I don’t know what exactly did it, but something lifted my funk yesterday.
Now, don’t get me wrong – I know that good times come and go. But if you’re like me, you feel like you’re always in some bad predicament or getting ready for the next one. There’s a certain amount of realism that comes with that negativity. I’m okay with the fact that bad things are just a part of life, and by not resisting that, it helps me feel more connected to everything. The thing is, knowing that hard times are a part of life, kind of lifts the pressure to be happy, which helps me… be happier.
Isn’t that weird?
Right now, I want to focus on having more happy days. Everyday won’t be perfect. But life is short, too short to NOT cultivate happiness when you can. This mentality wouldn’t work for me at all if I thought of happiness as something to aim for, but just trying to give it more space in my life is an idea that works for me.
You can read yesterday’s post here.
Speaking of things I wrote, I have a few recent publications that I haven’t put on my about page yet, so I wanted to drop them here in case any of them sound interesting to you.
Her Culture Blog:
Mindfulness in Everyday Life
What it’s like growing up hyper-religious
What Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland Taught me about Womanhood
Noise (brief essay about anxiety)
If you made it this far, comment and tell me what you did today (even if it was nothing productive or fun, I want to learn about you guys!)
Question of the day: What helps you feel positive? What things light you up? What are your just-for-you passions?
I’m having a slow reading month. Some of you know that my life has just been weird the last couple of weeks. But that’s okay! I want to take joy in where I’m at in life and bring more passion and mindfulness into my everyday life. That begins with taking a few days to recharge and do things that light me up.
The funny thing is… if you wait until a time of stress to figure out what makes you happy, it can feel impossible. You get this sense that nothing makes you happy because the stress turns your brain to mud. You might not be able to remember which pass times really help you feel better. If I’ve learned anything in life, it’s that a moment of stress is not the time to rely on your memory!
So, take time this week to think about where your passions truly lie and what you can do to make them a more intentional part of your days.
What does that look like for me? Well, for starters, I’m participating in @BooksLikeWhoa’s Dracula Read-Along which just started today. Being able to chat about a classic with other people will make my heart happy. Reading classics gives me this sense of accomplishment (hopefully that’s not just me). It gives my English major brain this sense that I’m doing exactly what I’m supposed to be doing (even though, obviously, being an English major is irrelevant. We can read whatever we want!) But regardless, it’s a nice feeling to immerse yourself in a classic you’ve heard so much about and find out for yourself what you think of the story. They’re also a great opportunity to learn about history and the societies present during the time period you’re reading from.
Next, I’m going to try to wrap up I Am Sorry to Think I Have Raised a Timid Son by Kent Russell. It’s really great and gets me thinking – this month just hasn’t afforded much time for reading, unfortunately. I love that in the essays, Russell is purposefully choosing provoking experiences just to learn and write about them. His journalistic but personal approach offers an intriguing perspective on the memoir/essay genre. Plus, I’ll feel proud once it’s finally on my read-shelf considering how long I’ve owned it!
Other than that, I’ll be spending time on bookstagram because it makes me happy and hanging out with my family because they help me to do things I normally wouldn’t. We watched the Goosebumps movie last night, and I liked it way more than I thought I would, for instance. Taking time for activities outside my normal ones can get me out of my funk and help me feel refreshed. Thankful for moments like that, and hoping to have a few more of them this week.
I’d love to hear what you’re up to this week. What lights you up?
It’s already October, y’all! This year is flying past. The older I get the quicker time goes, but nevertheless, I’ll be spending the rest of the year the way I always do – reading and writing. I have a couple books already on my radar for the month of October, so I figured I’d post a TBR list.
1. I am Sorry to Think I have Raised a Timid Son by Kent Russell
I slept on this book too long. I can say that with confidence even though I’ve only read the first 3 chapters so far this month. My mom got me this book for Christmas a few years ago, but I never cracked it open past the first page. I came across it on Amazon when I was looking for essay collections and memoirs, and I liked that it had themes of masculinity and family. The reason I never picked it up was because I thought it’d be dense and hard to get through (due to Russel’s journalistic style), but that’s really not the case. At this point, I Am Sorry to Think I have Raised a Timid Son is one of the oldest books on my unread-shelf, so I’ll feel accomplished once it moves to my read-shelf.
2. @HalfwayToItBlog Instagram Pick (TBD)
I want HalfwayToItBlog Instagram followers to pick one of my books this month. I got this idea because I realized it takes me so long to pick my next read unless I’m already in the middle of multiple books. Since I plan on finishing the books I’m currently reading pretty fast, I thought it’d be cool (and maybe more efficient) to get my Instagram follows pick one. I’ll be posting about this on Insta soon, possibly before I even post this blog, so if you want to vote head over there now.
3. Why We Sleep by Matthew Walker
I started the audiobook for Why We Sleep, and so far, it’s fascinating. It’s basically a case study on sleep, and I feel like I learn something new each time I pick it up. Walker looks at the biological and evolutionary evidence for why we sleep in the first part of the book, and I’m excited to see what the rest comes next. I love a well-researched book on a useful topic like this one. Since the audiobook is due back to the library in 4 days as of my writing this, I need to hustle and finish reading asap!
4. An Absolutely Remarkable Thing by Hank Green
I started the audiobook for An Absolutely Remarkable Thing as well while on a long car ride at the end of September, and I’d like to wrap up my reading of it this month. I held off on picking this up because I just wasn’t sure I’d like the story (robots, 20-somethings in New York, a lot of internet culture references), but so far, I’m liking the main character’s narration and humor. This one is also due back to the library very soon, so I need to finish reading it.
5. Steal Like an Artist by Austin Kleon
This is basically a reread. I read most of Steal Like an Artist more than a year ago (and have recommended it several time), but it was my boyfriend’s scratch-and-dent copy so it basically fell apart while we were reading it. Now I have a brand new copy, so I’m stoked to read it cover to cover this month.
6. If My Body Could Speak by Blythe Baird
Blythe Baird is one of my favorite contemporary poets. A handful of the poems from this collection have appeared in spoken word form on the Button Poetry Youtube channel and racked up more than 8 million views collectively. She’s an amazing poet, so I felt like picking up this collection was a safe bet. Plus, I haven’t read any poetry in a few weeks, and it’s always nice when I come back to it.
Those are the books I’m hoping to get to in October! I’ve got freelance work on my radar for October, but I’m planning on limiting my social media so my free time doesn’t get sucked up by too much social media or Youtube.
What’s on your radar for October? Are there any books you're looking forward to reading? Let me know!
Poet. Reader. Lifelong Student.