What I Read: August 2017

And just like that, unofficial summer is over. *cries* Here’s what I read in the month of August!

Shrill by Lindy West. This book wasn’t my favorite, and it wasn’t not my favorite. The piece I liked best was the absolute last one in the book that tells the amazing story of an online troll who saw the light. And by light I mean the fact that people on the internet are REAL PEOPLE.

When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi. I wanted this book to move me and inspire me but it didn’t do that. I found the best part of the whole book to be the epilogue his wife wrote after he passed away. Eek.

Thank You for Being Late by Thomas Friedman. A really fascinating look at how technology is shaping this world and the people in it. Technology may feel like it’s making life miserable, but it doesn’t have to.

Startup Your Life by Anna Akbari. This might be a good book for someone entering into their first quarter life crisis, who is new to self help books, but as a G.D. old timer much of this was repetitive for me. One thing I did like was her advice to treat your life like a science experiment of sorts to try new things and see what works best for you. Trial and error, y’all.

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Announcing A Whit of Inspiration

I’ve been pretty quiet on the blog these days. If you follow me on Instagram you know I’ve been having a bit of a hard time with where I’m headed in my professional life. I’ll give you the Cliff’s Notes version of the past few months in case you haven’t been tuned in: I applied for my dream job back in the spring (advising undeclared students) and I didn’t get it. I was pretty confident I would, so you can imagine it’s been a bit of a letdown as I readjust my expectations.

Since then, I’ve been what I would call slightly depressed. It’s not been a full blown depression, but it has been affecting me. Yesterday, I sat down to write a blog post for Holl & Lane magazine (which will go live in October!) and part of my post was my story and how I eventually got out of the retail world. I took a step back as I wrote it and realized that where I am now is a place I’ve been before. I’ve seen this room/I’ve walked this floor.

I’ve spent the last three months intently focused on trying to figure out what to do with my life that I haven’t been able to see the big picture. I pine for a bigger purpose- for a job that’s more relevant to my degree, for something that makes me want to jump out of bed in the morning- that I’ve been completely miserable. I don’t know where I’m going, if and or when I’ll finally get to call myself an advisor, or how I’ll get to the next chapter in my story. And the answers aren’t coming to me. I’m in too deep.

Like I said, I’ve been here before. When I was working retail, I made myself completely miserable by focusing entirely on how I wasn’t where I wanted to be.

As I realized that I’m back in that pretty dark and creepy place (you know, the one that inspired me to begin this blog two years ago) I knew what I needed to do.

I need to step away for a while. Not in the literal sense, but I can’t let myself be so preoccupied with the fact that I don’t know what I’m doing and that I feel stuck. Framing it like that only makes me feel worse- it’s not productive. It’s kind of like the dating advice people give- you do you and you’ll attract what you’re looking for.

Instead of focusing on how stuck I feel, I’m going to be focusing my energy elsewhere. Part of that focus will be on a brand spankin’ new newsletter I’m putting together- A Whit of Inspiration. What will it be? A collection of inspiring things I’ve found- things that have made me think, smile, or laugh. There’s no limit to what I might put in here, but it will all be good.  If that sounds like something you can get down with, you can sign yourself up right here. The first newsletter is scheduled to go out first thing Friday morning and I’m excited to share it with you.

Thanks for sticking with me.

What I Read: July 2017

I can’t believe it’s August already! Why does summer go so quickly?! I always feel like I’m super behind on my reading schedule but I’m actually 100% on track. Here’s what I dug into this month :)

The Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod. I find this method so intriguing but it’s going to take me a while to warm up to the idea of waking up at 5 AM. I’d like to do this program but I have to um, really think about it first.

Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert Pirsig. Oh lord did I really not like this book. The first 1/3 was okay, and then it just descended into philosophical hell.  It didn’t live up to the instant classic hype for me. By the end I was skimming large portions, just waiting to get to  the end.

All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr. I loved the super short chapters in this book, and how the two plot lines eventually came together in a fascinating way.

The Young Entrepreneur’s Guide to Starting a Business by Steve Mariotti. This is 100% written for teenagers but it was about my speed since I never took any courses on anything marginally business like in college.

Broke Millennial by Erin Lowry. Y’ALL. This is the book I needed in my life. I’m decent with finances: I’m the accountant at our house, I set our budget, I pay my credit card in full each month (sup excellent credit score), and I’m contributing to my retirement savings. HOWEVER. Things I was not doing: contributing the maximum matched amount to my retirement account (Pitt matches up to 8% which is crazy good), my savings was sitting in an .01% APY savings account, and I realized that the payments I’m making on my student loans are going 100% to interest. Allllll of that changed for the better with this book. I often feel like money is scarce and I will run out of it, but this book helped me see how I can take my pretty mediocre salary and make my money work for me. So yes, you should go get this book. Right now.

What I Read: June 2017

Somehow it’s almost the end of July, so I figured I might as well get this post together. Two works of fiction in June- not bad!

The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fu*k by Mark Manson. I think that if you don’t read a lot of self help books, you might like this book. The author was kind of a turd of a person, but he did have some good tidbits about life.

Option B by Sheryl Sandberg. My favorite part of this book was the idea of post traumatic growth. It’s such a powerful concept.

You Are a Badass at Making Money by Jen Sincero. I have a bunch of money insecurities, so this was 100% on my to read list. Lots of good LET’S GET PUMPED ABOUT MONEY here.

A Man Called Ove by Fredrick Backman. Absolutely wonderful! I laughed, I cried, I wished I had a neighbor named Ove.

The Handmand’s Tale by Margaret Atwood. I know, I know, I know. How haven’t I read this before?? A little too close to reality these days, but fascinating nonetheless.

What I Read: May 2017

This month was super LIGHT on the reading front. I ended up taking notes from Big Miracles, which slowed me way down, but I’m currently only one book behind schedule to get to 52 this year :) Here’s more on the whopping two books​ I managed to read this month!

The One-in-a-Million Boy by Monica Wood. My favorite thing about this book was the reminder that family isn’t limited to your blood relatives. My family is a mishmash of actual relatives, relatives by marriage, and adopted family members, and I wouldn’t trade any of ’em in. 

Big Miracles by Joanna Garzilli. I found this book randomly at the library (these are the best trips!) and I’m so glad I did. This is a great book for a time when you’re feeling stuck in any part of your life. Solid advice and spiritual guidance, sans anything religious.