It turns out that leaving my Kindle at the office wasn’t so bad after all. It got me to finally grab this off my bookshelf, and so far it’s much better than the other book I have been reading. I should have known. I’ve always enjoyed this author. There’s also some interesting dialogue regarding bringing past relationship stuff (including dealing with exes) into a new relationship, to which I’m relating.
This is a hard one. I read a lot, and I love so many books. So I’m going to limit this to a book I read and loved this year.
And the winner is…
Lincoln in the Bardo
by George Saunders
- Innovative story telling. One of the most unique books I’ve ever read.
- Incredibly moving and insightful: dealing with issues of death, mourning, and the after life.
- The prose reads more like poetry at times.
- Historical fiction: one of my favorite genres.
- I couldn’t put it down.
So I’m still reading I Am That Girl and this current chapter very much speaks to an experience I myself have had: loss of self in a relationship.
When I was with my ex, I changed so much of myself to be the person I thought he wanted me to be and/or that I needed to be to make the relationship work. I realized to some extent that it was happening, but I thought that was simply what being in a relationship was all about. It wasn’t until after our split that I realized just how much of myself I had pushed aside to be a part of a couple. I gave up so many things: personal style, decorating style, hobbies, friends. I watched shows and movies I didn’t care about. I stopped watching shows and movies I did care about. I had to listen to his music all the time. I had to do what he wanted. He didn’t like to go out, so we didn’t go out. All these little things added up over time, and in the end all of those little paper cuts were the death of our relationship.
It has been a little over five years since we split up, and I am so pleased with the person I have become. It felt like a rebirth. I’m free to be me…finally, and I’ve realized that being just Jenn is pretty fucking awesome; that people love me for who I am. I regained myself, and by doing so I am a much better partner to D than I would have been otherwise. He doesn’t want someone who bends to his every whim. That’s boring as shit! He loves me for who I am. He takes the good with the bad. I feel incredibly lucky to have found someone who loves me for the unique person that I am…the non-filtered Jenn.
Don’t change yourself to be what you think someone else wants you to be. Be true to yourself, love yourself, and this will not only make you a happier person, but also a better partner.
I started reading I Am That Girl by Alexis Jones as part of my three week Beachbody accountability group, and this part had me in tears. In a good way. So far, I’m loving it.
I am enough. I have enough. I do enough.
I am me. Every day.
Not who I think others expect me to be,
But the real, unedited, beauty-full, perfectly flawed version.
I choose to think for myself.
I speak my truth
And wrestle with life’s tough questions over and over again.
I daydream about a better world and strive to make it my reality.
My purpose drives me
And I give it the freedom to change and evolve.
I breathe life into my dreams and to the dreams of others.
I believe in magic. I look for it everywhere.
I make an adventure of ordinary things.
Create, imagine, reinvent, and get lost.
I do things that inspire me.
I defy the odds, raise my hand, sit at the table and lean in.
I refuse to give up.
I pursue my passion at all costs. I do things that terrify me.
My head dances among the stars, and my feet remain on mother earth.
I’m willing to ask the hard questions, to take chances, to love with my whole heart.
My mistakes and failures make me stronger.
I do not ascribe my worth to external validation, but my character.
I surround myself with phenomenal people,
Especially ones who don’t always agree with me.
I choose authenticity over perfection.
I appreciate the small details that tend to go unnoticed by others.
My worth is innate and immeasurable. I try to remind myself of that, daily.
I exercise patience as often as possible,
Stay vulnerable even when I want to close my heart
And practice coexisting with things that make me uncomfortable.
I set boundaries, work to honor them,
And am willing to edit people out of my life who don’t.
I walk more than a mile in other people’s shoes,
And suspend judgment as long as humanly possible.
I remember to laugh more, stress less, forgive often, and inject love everywhere I can.
I do my best to relinquish every ounce of control because it’s futile.
I throw my hands up, close my eyes, and
Revel in life’s awesome and mysterious ride.
My emotions are fleeting, they do not define me.
My choices do, and I do my best to make good ones.
I feed my body good, whole foods,
But I don’t punish myself for the occasional indulgence.
I move my body every day. I stretch, challenge, and honor her.
I rest when I need to.
I don’t accept every invitation that comes my way.
I practice saying “no.”
Show myself kindness, compassion, and unconditional love.
I am my best friend, I’m proud of me.
I share my life’s lessons with others, even the not so shiny ones.
I hold nothing back. Cry when I need to,
But also recognize when I need to buck up.
I remember to breathe and in that space, I find my calm among the chaos.
I owe it to myself to be remarkable, so I am.
People who are placed on pedestals are expected to pose, perfectly. Then they get knocked off when they fuck it up. I regularly fuck it up. Consider me already knocked off.
Roxane Gay – Bad Feminist