It’s the 8th month of the year! Wow… That means we are that much closer to the fall, then Thanksgiving…then we’ll be bidding farewell to 2017. This has been an unusual summer for me. It’s been actual uninterrupted time off, but no travel (sad face- #adultingforreal.) Instead, we put all our extra money towards the move. We’ve been in our condo for one month now, and we are pretty settled in. I love our space, and especially that it’s not my apartment or his, but it’s OURS.
My summer has been pretty low-key, and I am taking the time to get some depth projects up and going. The down side to having all this time is discipline. I try to put some intentions out for the week, so that I can have a list to check off at the end of each day. I am also a big fan of sleeping in, but waking up late (after 11am) makes me feel like I’m wasting the day. Pretty soon, I’ll have to start setting my alarm to get back into the groove of early mornings.
Here’s what else has been rockin’ my world:
- Binge-a-thon: After over a year of not watching, I’ve returned to Breaking Bad (up to Season 4 now.) I’ve also indulged in other shows like: Transparent (Amazon), The Keepers (Netflix crime-mystery drama,) and ratchet TV (Love and Hip-Hop Hollywood is back on.) I also finished Married at First Sight (and the Second Chances show) but I’m done watching that show for good, don’t know why it keeps getting renewed.
- I am moving forward with the private practice on a part-time basis. Step by step and hoping to start seeing clients as early as September/October. #careergoals
- On apps like “Let Go” daily, trying to finish decorating our apartment with things people don’t want anymore.
- Cooking whenever I feel like and no apology when I don’t.
- Looking for another part time job. If I go back to the schools, it will be on a part time basis only. It’s so freeing to have no ties, and scary at the same time.
- Reading whenever I feel enthused. Finished one book so far this summer. Book review here.
- I’m really thankful for having this time I know there may not be another summer like this, and for that reason alone I’m allowing myself to just be. #withoutjudgment
- I still want to pierce my nose. Haven’t done it yet.
What’s Rockin’ Your August?
This review contains no spoilers.
Author: Brit Bennett (@britrbennett)
Gist: There are all types of mothers around us: church mothers, surrogate mothers, adopted mothers and biological mothers. This story set in a contemporary African American community in Southern California, and revolves around a young girl named Nadia Turner. The story doesn’t stay stuck on her, but it includes her community and how she evolves to a young woman in spite of betrayal, pain and suffering.
Best Lines: “In a way, subtle racism was worse because it made you feel crazy. You were always left wondering, was that actually racist? Had you just imagined it?”
“A tragic woman hooks into an ain’t-shit man, or worse, lets him hook into her.”
Recommend: Absolutely! It is a beautifully-written, sad story of a town not unlike one we may know or have heard of. The book felt real, the characters were interesting and I was invested. I probably should have read this faster than I did, but alas, I’m just glad to have added this book to my “DONE” pile.
This is my second post of the year (sad face, kind of.) That’s just the way it’s supposed to be, I imagine. I’m trying to get my life, ya’ll!
I didn’t plan it that way, but I am also very much about not forcing what is not coming organically. Writing is my happy place, not my deadlines and forced writing place. Occasionally, I did feel that nudge to get something down on paper, but I also don’t like writing just to write. I am very much about content, not just about post numbers. 2017 is bringing a lot of changes, and I’m both excited and ready. Here’s what’s been rockin’ my world thus far:
- In the tune of self-care, I have decided to cut down my work hours per week. I currently hold a full-time and part-time job, and I used to work 3 afternoons a week, but as of January I cut that down to 2 nights. Yes, I’ll miss the money but I really love having my Monday nights back.
- I am gearing up for the next physical move in life. I’m saying adios to the DMV! I’m hitting on 5 years in the area (come August), and I’m ready for something new! More details to come… #newcity2017
- I have to start DISCARDING stuff from my apartment. Namely my paperwork and things I’ve accumulated from graduate school. To prepare for this, I’m reading The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up (audiobook.) https://www.amazon.com/Life-Changing-Magic-Tidying-Decluttering-Organizing/dp/1607747308
- Speaking of books, I have a 6 book goal for 2017. That sounds like an elementary goal, but it’s realistic for me and I make no apologies for it. Work is the main thing that keeps me from leisure reading, and the other part has been that I “consume” a lot and have no desire to read outside of that. I’m working on it, because I do miss getting lost in books.
- Work is work. There’s peak high and low times, I’m currently about to hit the peak “pre-spring break” time. IEP meetings galore, therapy, testing and everything in-between happens crazily in the days leading up to spring break. This year, we have spring break a little bit later in the year, which means the weather will be getting nicer and hopefully we won’t have any crazy snow storms. I don’t mind the days off, I just don’t want to extend the school year past June 12th! The good thing is when we come back from spring break, it’ll be almost May, a less-than 2 month countdown to the end of the school year.
- I want to pierce my nose. I have always liked nose piercings, but wasn’t sure how professional this “appeared.” I think nose piercings are more accepted now (even those septum piercings are very common) and so I’m going to go ahead and do it! #newpiercing2017
- I’m tired of working for other people, so I’m going to slowly and surely start my own contracting business. Nothing to it but to do it. This has been on my mind for almost a year, gotta set it in action!
- Love has found its way back to me. We are making it work with effort and transparency. I’m happy.
What’s currently rockin’ your world?
What I’m thankful for:
- A heated home
- People who care
- People who show they care
- My mother
- High boots
- Sleeping through the night
- Having insurance
- Music, when I don’t have the words
- A space to call my own
- My thighs
- Fall television.
- You, for partaking in my thoughts.
What are you thankful for this month?
It’s Wednesday. But an atypical Wednesday. I am halfway through my vacation in the Outerbanks (OBX), North Carolina. It’s about 6:26 pm. Today, I woke up a little after 8am to make breakfast for about 12 people and then spent most of the day at the beach. I once thought that I couldn’t do the beach for more than 2-3 days in a row but turns out, that isn’t the case. We (B and I and his group of friends) have been here since Saturday and each day the beach offers something different. Different views, different water temperature, different crowds, different vibes. I also have never experienced “beach house” living– wide verandas, outdoor lounge areas, outside showers and a backyard pool complete with a hot tub. It’s been new experiences all around for me. If I were at home, I would be finishing up work and heading home to figure out what’s for dinner and watch TV. I prefer this kind of week much better.
I feel like this was a much needed get-away, as I’ll be going back to work in less than a month. I’m not sure what next school year holds for me, and I’m trying not to think too much about it. My mother comes to visit next week and I’m looking forward to it. Ready to soak up what left of the summer. Here are some pictures of the week so far:
I’m excited to be putting my coloring book to some use again. Since purchasing it in January it’s been sitting in my apartment with half-completed wishes collecting dust. I’ve also started reading Issa Rae’s new(ish) bio, The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl. Now I’m reading two books simultaneously which is always hit or miss for me. Well, hope you’re enjoying your last week of July (the best month of all.) Gotta go enjoy the sunlight while it’s still here.
Looking back in my archives of pictures in my inbox, I got some good laughs at some of the very bold things I did to my hair in my 20’s.
From the shortest hair-chop in 2010:
To my attempt at blonde:
That color did not go well, and I “warmed up” and darkened it the next morning.
I lived the motto: Hair is a silly thing! I found it so freeing, to cut my hair and live my life simply getting used to the face looking back at me: raccoon eyes, big forehead, burgeoning curls, and cheekbones. I discovered eyelash extensions in NYC could take my “minimal make up” look to the next level. I discovered that I had the most confidence the shorter my hair length was. It takes a strong woman to be bold. It takes a confident man to love on that woman, too.
I still find it fun to experiment, but guardedly now. My last cut has not been my favorite to date, but I’ve altered it to where I feel comfortable now. Summer beckons and I got more exciting things to
worry think about. I’ve got risks to take in the area of employment, entrepreneurship, and advancing my talk therapy goals. I’ve got places to see, new foods to eat, couches to break-in, trips to plan, wines to try, outfits to arrange, posts to write, word to devour, celebrations to partake in, offers to decline, plans to make, promises to witness.
Summer 2016 is looking great.
What risks are you taking this summer?
I’m very happy to say that in 2015 I’ve been successfully starting books and finishing them. Back around 3 years ago when I first decided to go back to school, I wanted earnestly to keep my book reading hobby. I found out that wish wasn’t in the stars after my first semester of an accelerated pre-req program in Speech Language Pathology. I could barely keep my room clean, let alone be distracted enough to start and keep reading non-assigned material. I’ve been done with school now for 15 months. Finally got my swagger back. 🙂
Here’s my list of 2015 including my rating scale and comments as necessary.
- Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson- 4/5 stars (via Audible). Non-fiction book about an African-American attorney who defends the indigent children and adults who’ve been damned to death row. Highly recommended.
- Cinder (The Lunar Chronicles, #1) by Marissa Meyer- 2.5/5 stars (via Audible). I was trying something new with this book (sci-fi), an assignment from the Twitter book club (Ninjas Be Reading BC). It’s a new-age Cinderella story about a girl who’s half cyborg and half human. The premise drew me in, but after about Chapter 12 I just got bored. The action was too slow and I wasn’t invested in the characters anymore. I don’t know how I survived the 26 chapters that followed, but I live to write about it
- 32 Candles by Ernessa T. Carter- 3/5 stars (via Audible). This fiction book came recommended by a friend. It is the recount of a young woman’s life through her eyes. Her early childhood stories really drew me in, however somewhere in her young-adult retelling, things became too hard to believe. I had a hard time finishing the book, and the ending didn’t redeem itself.
- South of the Border, West of the Sun by Haruki Murakami- 3/5 stars (via Audible). Yet another recommendation from a friend, who boasts this is his favorite author. It’s hard to describe what exactly this book is about. There is a protagonist, a man…there is an internal struggle he has about his life. I could connect with many thoughts, much of the angst, and I felt the “realness” of the character. I wished there was more complexity to some of the other characters, but overall I thought it was a solid book. Murakami is claimed to be the master of metaphors and realism. I would recommend looking into his repertoire.
- The Money Book for the Young, Fabulous and Broke by Suze Orman (Audible) I’m all those things and I’m trying to get my money right. Not trying, getting it.
- All About Love (New Visions) by bell hooks. This book has been like the Bible to me this year; hard to get through because I have to stop and process what I’ve read. I have “Amen” moments after every 2 pages and I read the book equipped with a pen or highlighter. Working it chunk by chunk.
- A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara (iBooks). This book came recommended by one of the hosts of Books on the Nightstand, one of the podcasts I occasionally listen to. It came with the promise that my life would be changed when I finished, so I’ll keep you updated when I finish reading.
- Getting Rid of It by Betsey & Warren Talbot (Audible). I purchased this on a sale and it has pushed me to de-clutter my paperwork and even consider downsizing my books. It is the “To-Do” project for the month and I’ve been taking baby steps (more like crawling, actually). I like this book because it’s a straight-forward read and they give you homework at the end (i.e., “weekend projects” and the like). If you want to learn how to make your space more enjoyable, if you’re on the verge of a move and don’t want to lug stuff to your next place, this is a great investment.
The Fault in Our Stars by John Green- I think I’m about halfway through this book. I pick it up every now and again and admire the art on the cover, just not pressed to finish it.
Shout-out to Audible for helping me get through books this year! I realized I was spending so much time traveling between sites (at least 45 minutes) and getting 45 minutes of “listening” time 3-4 times a week adds up! Reading A Little Life on my iPad is probably the hardest thing to do, and I mostly pick that book up when I travel. I’m okay with that; having a “travel on a plane book, while I’m in the car book, and bedside book.” I didn’t have a goal this year for a magic number of books to read, but I would definitely like to add at least 2 more fiction titles to the list. I’m also becoming more adventurous and trying to read titles/authors I normally wouldn’t. That is truly one of the joys of book clubs, something that I miss dearly.
For the book readers, how do you stay connected to book communities? Do you have the need to read with others or what others are reading?