Read YOUR Books

I am a rebellious reader, meaning that whenever I am forced to read a book I will do everything in my power to convince myself I hate it.

No matter how many 5 star reviews I read, the thought of somebody forcing me to read something makes it it instantly unappetizing and the delectable process of reading becomes a nauseatingly fabricated practice.

You may have already come to the revelation that I am in fact complaining about my teacher’s summer reading lists.

A little bit of background: The two books we are assigned to read are Barbara Ehrenreich’s Nickel and Dimed and Stephen King’s On Writing. We are supposed to annotate and write a literary analysis for each book.

Don’t get me wrong, this assignment is totally reasonable. But would it kill them to let us pick the book, or at least let us pick from a list of teacher approved books?

Anyways, I will update about whether I like these books or not. If I don’t like them, I will try to include the reasons as to why other than “because the teacher made me read it”.

This leads me to my point, read the books your teachers/mentors tell you to; but also, read the books you are interested in. Don’t be afraid to spontaneously open up a book you know nothing about, or read a genre most people don’t like, because chances are… YOU might like it. Venture outside of your comfort zone and I guarantee you will not regret it.

Also, here are the books I am reading at the moment and my impressions so far:

  • Siddhartha Mukherjee’s The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer: This is a nonfiction book, a genre I enjoy, but is known to be quite dry, especially when it is about a disease such as cancer. Although, Mukherjee gives this book a personal touch by adding anecdotes of his patients and his take on the disease. It also gives a great insight on the unbelievable science behind this tragic disease.
  • Benazir Bhutto’s Daughter of Destiny: An autobiography by Benazir Bhutto, the Prime Minister of Pakistan who was assassinated in 2007. So far, she speaks about her family’s shift from a lavish lifestyle to being threatened and tortured, the assassination of her father, and being a political prisoner. Her passion and detail while writing drew me in and forced me, as the reader and a female, to empathize with the struggles and tribulations she faced throughout her life.
  • Mindy Kaling’s Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?: I actually just finished this comical autobiography, although I had been reading it for months. For those who personally know me (or my reading style) I am a fast reader, but this book is one that you can pick up whenever you want a laugh or a pick me up from a tough day. Her style of writing is very casual and filled with hilarious stories; I know that if I read it fast, I wouldn’t have enjoyed it as much as I did!

I encourage you to check out these books! But make your own judgement on whether you would like to read them or not, because remember… read YOUR books.

– T.R.

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this is ninety words

Today I woke up and realized my blog sucks for a number of reasons- those of which I have shortened and listed below.

1. I haven’t posted anything in three weeks.

2. It makes me sound like a sad, melodramatic teenager (which I am not) with angst for the future.

3. It’s so “weird and depressing”.

4. I have ten posts in my drafts and I hate them all.

There is a much sunnier version of myself hiding behind the insanely somber curtains of my blog.

She will resurface.

– T.R.

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Pushing People Away

Why do we push people away when it is an intrinsic desire to be wanted and loved? Some of us don’t even comprehend we are doing it until we look back on the parade of individuals, some good, some bad, trailing through our past.

I have always tried to be the open sort, the kind that likes to give everyone a proper “heads-up” just in case something bizarre happens, but many times this has just turned into a disaster of theatrical and semi-hysterical proportions that works to drive love away from me. I forget to consider that I may be the only one who cares in evident situations and the “warning” may be seen as just unneeded, confusing baggage thrust on someone who is possibly trying to extricate from an experience they really wish they had never had in the first place. Even thinking about that dooms me because I have already decided that I am “less than” and commendable of desertion. In trying to be nice and offering an explanation for my performance, whether it was asked for or not, I set disappointment in motion because no one can appraise up to my high expectations. I expect things from people but don’t say what these expectations are and when they aren’t met? A perfect excuse to be angry and beat myself up for getting into a decayed relationship or for trusting anyone at all with my heart; a pure formula for failure.

I suppose the answer would be to stop being too nice? How about being just marginally nice and all normal-grey? On the exterior that is what I appear to be but on the inside my head took a different road long ago, so I do apologize to anyone I have freaked out lately. If you really want “grey” then I am sure there is a whole gaggle of happy little agreeable dolls that never display or cause humiliation.

I feel completely too deeply and care too much about others too fast so in the end what I give is never equal to what I receive. It’s what I see as a failure because I look around and see others doing what I think are simple human connections, interactions without worrying about whether something was said or done to upset them or whether their personality was just too powerful to handle.

But this isn’t one of those cases where I turn back and run as far away as I can.

I will go on and on, riding this merry-go-round of accidental insults and misunderstandings because it gives me a little to write about. That realization freaks people out because when your “insides” age, the exterior layer follows quickly leaving you no choice but to hang it up and scuffle into a musty grave, alone.

Knowing how to understand my kind isn’t hard if you always take for granted that a vast percentage of what is said while smiling is the truth and that which is uttered or written in a serious tone is never as awful as it is made out to be. This is what is recognized as an “escape clause” because people like me automatically assume that people will ultimately want to run. So, to anyone I have pushed away or will push away in the upcoming years, be free and sorry for emotionally chaining you down because of this fatal flaw of mine.

– T.R.

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“Be the change that you wish to see in the world.” -Mahatma Ghandi

“I am making a change, I am making a change.” Everyday these words swirl through my head, a constant mantra chanted repeatedly, making my head spin. It’s almost as if I am trying to convince, rather than assure myself.

Am I really making a change? Yes, I did donate my unwanted clothes to the Salvation Army, but did I take the clothes off my back to give to a needy child? Yes, I appreciate the value and necessity of school, but did I take a bullet to the head in order to continue my education? Yes, I use natural light to save energy, but did I build a windmill that provides an entire village with electricity?

How impactful are the changes we make? The answer is, more than we would presume. Although that is the answer I secretly know, it is not the answer that I choose to accept. My contributions seem miniscule in comparison to those who spend their lives curing disease and famine. But have you ever thought about it from the other point of view? You may have given away your 2005 Barbie limited edition coat amongst a pile of other unwanted clothes, but the person who received that coat must be thankful every cold, winter night that you skipped the trash can and instead decided to donate.

No matter what you do, and how small it may seem, it will affect the universe. And burying something won’t make it go away, be aware of what is going on around you. But, don’t fall prisoner to things you can’t possibly change.

These words reek of honesty.

 – T.R.
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How does one blog?

Hello internet, this is strange. If anybody is actually reading this, here is a little bit of broken insight into who I am as a person.

My world revolves around reading and writing, but not the fake, conventional five paragraph essay you would find crumpled up deep inside a fifth grader’s desk or some irrelevant book your teacher is making you read. The writing I would like to express is my personal art, a self-proclaimed masterpiece I hope to develop as I tumble through this never-ending laundry cycle that is life. And the books I read are books that are just on the brink of imagination and insanity, things that could never happen but we all wish would. I read books about real people, real beings that walked on this very Earth and defied every stereotype ever handed to them on a silver platter, and instead climbed a rocky cliff, barefoot to somehow unimaginably change the world.

These are the people and characters I strive to emulate, but instead I spend my days forgetting about my real goals and focusing on extraneous, materialistic societal expectations.

Today marks the beginning of summer and my main ambition for these next two and a half months isn’t to travel the world or miraculously find a million dollar job, but to simply become a better, more knowledgeable human being.

And will this really work? Will I really become a better person? I’m not even the slightest bit sure, after all, life is just a guessing game…

– T.R.