I’ve read four books this year so far, and that is by far a lot more than I read by Feb of 2015. I think part of the reason I’ve been much faster at getting through books is because all four of these have been extremely powerful.
Close Your Eyes, Hold Hands by Chris Bohjalian.
Room by Emma Donoghue
Luckiest Girl Alive by Jessica Knoll
You can’t get more stay-up-all-night, at-the-edge-of-your-seat than that!
But the fourth, and latest one, I think resonated with me the most.
Blackout: Remembering the Things I Drank to Forget by Sarah Hepola.
“I understood drinking to be the gasoline of all adventure.”
“Wine has become our social glue, the mechanism of our bonding. We needed the wine to shut out the jackhammers of our own perfectionism and unlock the secrets we kept within.”
“A certain group of women have made booze a very public and very integral part of culture. Young, educated, and drunk.”
“I drank myself to a place I didn’t care, but I woke up a person I cared enormously.”
“The nights I can’t remember are the nights I can’t forget.”
“I’ve always been mixed up about attention, enjoying its warmth but not its scrutiny. I swear I’ve spent half my life hiding behind a couch and the other half wondering why no one was paying attention to me.”
“People like me disguised our true feelings in layers of detachment, endless pop-culture references, sarcasm. Because no one can break your heart if they don’t know it.”
“The wine turned down the volume of my own self-doubt, which is what I blocked writer is battling: the bullying voices in her head telling her each thought is unoriginal, each word too ordinary.”
“The real problem is that I still fear my own talent is deficient. This isn’t merely a problem for writers who drink; it’s a problem for drinkers and writers, period. We are cursed by a knowing fear that whatever we are – it’s not good enough.”
“What a powerful voodoo – to believe brilliance could be sipped or poured.”
I’ve been spending a lot of time with someone lately, and as much as I love her and want to cherish the short time we have together, I feel myself drowning in negative thoughts and feelings. I’m dryly sarcastic a lot, and often say non-PC things I would be crucified for if I were a politician or celebrity, but I’m not a negative person, and people who are constantly critical and judgmental of everyone and everything bother me a lot.
My inner monologue lately consists a lot of, “Stop it stop it stop it!” or “Shut up shut up shut up!” or “Oh my God, did you really just say that out loud?”
If you start your sentences with, “I’m not criticizing, but…” you’re most likely gonna follow that up with a criticize.
So the more time I spend with her, the smaller I felt myself becoming. Angry. Frustrated. Negative. Ugly. Stupid.
I took an hour walk with Dragon on our own, and I noticed myself walking taller, smiling more at passerbys, friendlier to the service industry people I encountered, more patient to Dragon in general, and there was light in my footsteps. Wow. She doesn’t just criticize me. She criticized everyone. How did I allow that to get to me? How did I allow myself to forget I’m fabulous?
Browsing Pinterest to get some motivation and positive encouragement, I came across this, and suddenly, it became clear to me.
This person, who is negative about everything except herself and her immediate family, who boasts and brags about how fabulous her life is and how wonderful and perfect her husband and children are…well, perhaps it’s just to divert from her own unhappiness and insecurities. On the outside she seems like the most confident person (ya know, perfect life and perfect family, etc.) but her need to constantly put others down, or be combative about anything another person says, that is the crack in the facade.
So if you have anyone in your life that makes you feel small, or any less than you are, or just brings you down in general, don’t let them do that to you. If anything, you should feel sorry for them, for they are probably the ones who are secretly unhappy, insecure, and close-minded.
And you? Well, my dear. You are nothing but fabulous.
It’s been a long time since I’ve even looked at pictures of Paris. Priorities are different now.
Sometimes, I’m sad about that.
It’s houses like these that make San Francisco beautiful:
But in reality, most of SF-ers live in houses like these:
Hashtag tourists don’t know nothing.
My God who is the lucky recipient of this ring and what is their story?!
“Smooth out your skirt and do not look at him.”
— Advice for those who love people they shouldn’t.
One of my favorite photos of me in my wedding dress.
I actually saw someone else trying it on and was like, “What is that?! I want that!!”
Reading Into the Darkest Corner by Elizabeth Haynes because a friend recommended it and because it got great reviews on Amazon. I’m about 14% through, according to my Kindle, and my God. Can Cathy BE more insufferable?
I get it. Something bad happened to her (exactly what, I haven’t found out yet), which is causing her to be paranoid and way over cautious. That I understand. But the narrative of her OCD-ness is driving me crazy.
The whole time I just wanna yell, “Stop it! Stop it, you crazy person! You are f*cking insane! GET OVER IT!”
And the problem is, someone who went through a traumatizing (I’m guessing) ordeal is probably going to have some psychological side affects. I just don’t need to read about every million gagillion time she checks the locks.
Get to the storyline, Haynes, so I can see what all the fuss is about. But please spare me page after page of detailed lock checking.
I am definitely OCD on a certain level, but the craziness has got to stop.
1. I love airports. I love watching the planes come and go, the hustle and bustle, imagining all the stories the travelers can tell, from vacations to business trips to visiting loved ones. I even don’t mind the hassle of security checkpoints and rude TSA. So naturally, I also love this bird’s eye view of airports all around the world.
2. The first time I traveled to Paris, I did so alone, and it was incredible. I’ve been back since, and it was great in other ways (engaged!) but this New York Times article and particularly the following passage, really resonated with me:
“The question that bubbled up was not so much, Will I be back?, but rather, Could I bring back with me the feeling that I had cultivated here?”
3. This blog post on An Inch of Gray also reached deep into my heart. “I think years of busy-ness and scorekeeping and nurturing the heck out of small children somehow leave little room for thoughtfulness for each other. I think people are generally wired selfishly, and each day is a struggle against a me-first attitude. And our culture leaves us asking every day, “What’s in this for ME?” rather than “What can I do for others?” So when we feel spent, as we often do, we don’t go around looking for ways to serve our spouse.”
This is a constant struggle in my marriage as well, both of us working so hard in our respective roles that is difficult not to ‘score-keep,’ due to never fully understanding what the other goes through on a day to day basis. Anna’s article reminds us to put our mundane bullsh*t aside (well, not in those words) and stop only worrying about what’s in it for ourselves.
4. On a lighter note, check out this on the Bold Italic. Right before I read this, I ran to the store that is literally next door to my place to get some coffee beans. But in order to get there, I have to walk through THE BIGGEST wind tunnel EVER, and I cursed under my breathe every step of the 20-step way. Reading this made me feel a lot better. So I’m not the only person who ‘can’t with this wind.’
5. Mother’s Day is this weekend (the second one I’m celebrating as a mother!) and oh, #16, you are speaking to me, aren’t you?