An excellent mentor of mine, Mrs. M, who has known me since high school, sent me a list of books to read over a year ago.
As I was cleaning out my space to return home for the summer, I found her list. Trying to be less cluttered, I knew I had to file it electronically so I could have it forever.
Mrs. M is a phenomenal person. Professionally, she is at the top of her field in our region and has been recognized nationally for what she does. Personally, she is also a joy. She is tough but kind and sincere and funny. I hope I am as graceful, accomplished, and elegant as she is. I would not be where I am today without her, and I want to impact as many lives as she has and still is!
Regardless, I chose to put the list here because I don’t want it getting lost in my notes- another thing I’m dreading cleaning out. I trust her recommendations immensely, and I know that the following titles will not disappoint.
Without further delay, here it is:
Snow Falling on Cedars by David Guterson
All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
Without Shame by Katherine Russell
Unfortunately, that’s all I have for today. Here’s to hoping for a good end to your April.
If there are any two things I love, this NYTimes piece by Helen Ellis covers both: neatness and analyzing love.
I loved the analysis, the point, and the anecdotes. How many times do we deteriorate our relationships with people because we aren’t willing to change, even just a little?
I’m a believer that people don’t change, but I think that applies in more of a big picture sense. In the day-to-day, why not try making the tiny change someone you care about asked you to? I just love learning and reading about relationships, and I had to share what I thought was an interesting little tidbit about Ellis’s own.
And yeah, I’m back. Six months later and I’m still a little fractured, but the words are flowing freely even after all this time. Really, though, it barely feels like a blink.
I don’t know if I’m back for good or not. Time will tell. We’re about to dive headfirst into a huge life change, a moving-six-states-away kind of shift.
Sorry for the radio silence. I’ve been working, getting back to class, and slipping into the routine. Oh, and I had a ~financial intervention~ for myself too.
I have been a shopper for as long as I can remember. I even wrote about shopping and its hold on me in 2015. Even then, when I had fewer bills and less expenses, I was struggling with spending because I wanted the emotional crutch of shopping, not necessarily the things I was buying.
To be honest, it’s two years later and I’m still learning that lesson. I think I’ve been a lot better about emotional shopping, but I still need to prioritize what I spend money on so I’m not depleting my bank account every time a bill is due.
My biggest lesson, though, is how fucking hard it is to pay back loans and extinguish financial mistakes. No amount seems that big until it’s what you actually owe. It sucks to be sat down and told, “you owe $__ by __/__/__.” I tried to pretend it wasn’t real for a few days, but now I’m just chipping away at it. Even though the increments by which I’m paying it off are ridiculously small, they’ll add up. Slow and steady wins the race.
However, I am making big strides too. With my new job this fall, I was able to supplement my income and reach a savings goal of mine. I also switched banks and got my first debit card and checking account. Those milestones, if you can call them that, are exciting and a relief all at once.
I just called reaching a savings goal exciting. Who am I?
I wrote this entire post, start to finish, and then remembered I wrote an MLK post last year too. Sure enough, I went and looked, and I used the exact same quote last year. How powerful it is that I am thinking about it year after year.
I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear.
-Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
I’ve been thinking about those words all day. I really need to apply them more to my life. I was telling my mother the other day how I stopped disliking and being bothered by someone in my life because I just didn’t have the energy to care anymore. Antagonizing them was making me a worse person and not giving me any sort of satisfaction or benefit.
This year, I’m going to let more things go. But not just shallow things like that. I want to just say goodbye to negativity. It’s too great a burden to bear.
This year was amazing. I know it was one of the worst years ever for a lot of people and maybe the country at large, but it was a good year personally.
In January, my father and I went to our traditional father-daughter formal and had the best time. He’s been, thankfully, doing really well at work which is something we’re all excited about. The winter sucked until March, when my sweet father and I went away to his family’s house in Boca after a little tour of the Carolinas. My mother and brother met us there for a spring getaway. A highlight of the year was ending my ongoing health issues, a huge chapter of my life. It feels so good to not have to go to the doctor every two weeks and have tear-inducing discussions about hard decisions with my team and parents. I think I look a lot better too. The end of April was my formal and all of my date drama. It was a lowlight, but definitely a learning experience. Guys are weird. In May, I closed out the academic year really well and I’m still really proud of myself for such an accomplishment. My birthday brought another exciting year, my last until a ton of changes, and ushered in the summer. Oh, the summer. It was the best one of my life. I saw Justin Bieber and Kanye, had the best family vacation ever, and made some big decisions about my future. The fall brought a new job and my last year here. I’ve been soaking it up with my current friends and situation as I’m kind of on the brink of growing up.
Please, learn these now and not the hard way like I did. Maybe combined with the fifteen lessons learned in 2015 I’ll behave in 2017. Maybe.
Experiential gifts are often better than material ones.
It’s best to source friends of all walks of life.
Brunch is the best meal. No question.
Spend time with your grandparents if you still have them.
Don’t just mindlessly spend time: ask questions, listen to stories, and look at photos.
Walking in heels is a skill, not an innate ability.
Facebook is not for politics.
Water is the only thing you can drink that’s only good for you.
Keep Facebook clean for the sake of your Great Aunt Anne and potential employers.
Grief is the most horrible, unnatural thing in the world.
Fighting constantly with people you’re always in close quarters with isn’t worth it.
Silver just suits me more than gold.
Organization is key.
Working sucks sometimes, but pay and experience make up for it.
Accessories can make an outfit.
Not knowing what you want to do with your life is okay… it’s not at all caring or wanting to make a difference that’s not okay.
As I’ve said before, I grew up in a very conservative, traditional household. I was expected to act like a lady and my brother was expected to be a gentleman. Call me old-fashioned for saying this, but, lately, I’ve seen a decrease in the amount of chivalrous behavior. Maybe it’s where I’m living, or maybe it’s just the fact that it’s 2016, but this disturbs me.
Because I know there are sooooo many parents that read here, I thought I’d share what I think every little boy should grow up hearing:
Open the door for everyone, but especially females.
Never let a girl walk home alone.
Introduce yourself with a smile and a firm handshake.
Don’t get in fistfights.
Follow through on your promises.
Stand when a woman or a superior enters the room.
Be a good sport.
Always tip, and do it well.
Walk on the outside of the sidewalk when you’re with a girl.