I’m pleased to share that my essay “Still My Hands” has been published in Issue V of ang(st): the feminist body zine.
Here’s a snippet of my personal essay:
“My hands will never again staple and design a bulletin board display. My hands will never write-out desk name tags or “happy birthday” certificates. My hands will no longer grade weekly spelling tests. Those days are memories of another time of my life, another identity.”
You can click here to be re-directed to ang(st) and read the essay in its entirety.
I bought myself a present. The print you see in the above picture created by one of my favorite novelists, Katherine Center.
I love this quote, because I agree whole-heartedly.
There are so many reasons to read. And those are the same reasons I write.
This week, I thought I’d take inspiration from Ms. Center and share a book I have read for each of these statements.
Read for Fun.
This one is easy. I recently finished Abbi Waxman’s The Bookish Life of Nina Hill. The pages flew by as I read this fun, delightful novel. And now I want to read more of Abbi Waxman’s books.
Read for Pleasure.
Beach Readby Emily Henry was pure pleasure. Just one of those novels I disappeared into and stayed up later than I probably should have just to read one more chapter.
Read for Comfort.
A disclaimer – one of my essays is published in The Things We Don’t Say: An Anthology of Chronic Illness Truths.What most strikes me about this valuable anthology is the universality of the feelings written about. The medical conditions may be different, but the emotions are the same. And it is so comforting to know there are others out there who “get it.”
Read for Wisdom.
Anne Lamott’s Bird by Birdmay be one of the most popular books about writing. It’s a book I have read multiple times, and each time I find some new nugget, something that strikes my fancy and warrants a sticky note.
Read for Insight.
Michelle Obama’s Becoming. Honest, moving, inspiring. And what makes it even more special is that one of my best friends gave me this book about one of the best role models out there.
Scott Kelly’s memoir, Endurance: A Year in Space, A Lifetime of Discoveryis a true tale of adventure. It’s highly unlikely I’ll travel into space, let alone live onboard the International Space Station for one year. Yet, by reading Mr. Kelly’s memoir I could get a sense of what it would be like to be that far away from planet Earth.
Read for Laughs.
Matildaby Roald Dahl has a special place in my heart. I always read it to my fourth graders – a little bit after lunch each day. Once we finished the novel, we’d watch the Danny DeVito film. (A touching side note – my students thought I resembled Miss Honey. I took it as a sweet compliment.) And I’m so glad my son enjoys it too. We’ve read this book many times. And we laugh at all the same parts.
There is a new edition out, with a beautiful cover, for Katherine Center’s Everyone is Beautiful. It was the first novel I read by Ms. Center. It was one of the few books I can say had me hooked from the first sentence. And I knew after reading this book, I would read everything and anything else this author wrote.
I borrowed a copy from the library, but it’s full of so many sticky notes that I had to order my own copy. And then not only will my copy have sticky notes, but I’ll go ahead and highlight passages.
Alexi and I are very different. She’s an Olympian, for crying out loud. (And a filmmaker, an actress, and a writer.) Yet, her words resonated with me and touched me so strongly.
This week I’d like to share with you some of my favorite passages.
“It was the first time I used the word bravey, and it stuck. It became a label for a mini-movement, a self-identifier for those who are willing to chase their dreams even though it can be intimidating and scary. It celebrates the choice to pursue a goal and even relishes the pain that comes with effort. There is nobility to it; it’s something to be celebrated.”
“Imagination, at the very least, brings us joy; at the very most, it empowers us to suspend disbelief and chase the impossible. Imagining things into existence is a superpower.”
“Asking for help is a superpower anyone can have but only some people use. It is brave to ask for help.”
“You have to believe you are deserving of good surprises in life. You set yourself up for it. You walk with your eyes open enough to catch the eye of the person who will invite you in. Maybe they won’t but maybe they will. Luck can be cultivated.”
“Supposed to was another phrase I couldn’t let go of — I was supposed to do this and I was supposed to do that — so I kept doing things that helped me appear normal to the outside world, but none of which would help me heal myself.”
“That’s what being a Bravey is — you are making a conscious choice to tell yourself what you’d like to be until it becomes part of you. You choose to replace “can’t” with “maybe” by acknowledging your feelings but focusing on your actions. Your actions encompass everything from what you do with your time, to who you surround yourself with, to the words you feed your mind. To know you can do this for yourself is the most powerful thing in the world.”
“You have to take care of yourself first. You are your own most precious resource. Everything you are in this world hinges on you facing yourself before you face the world.”