“I want to be around people that do things. I don’t want to be around people anymore that judge or talk about what people do. I want to be around people that dream and support and do things.” –AP
When I woke up at 9:30 a.m. a few Saturdays ago, I realized something. I am sleeping too much and when I’m not sleeping too much, I’m watching too much 30 Rock. Yes, for the majority of my life I have been sleep- and mindless activity- deprived due to my type-A tendency to overbook my schedule. Thus, for the past month, I have really taken time to free up my weekends and evenings to relax, regroup, and, of course, sleep and do things that don’t require much thought. However, I am beginning to sense my sleep and Liz Lemon addiction are starting to be used as an escape from truly addressing my situation and growing from it. So I have pledged to myself to add more reading time into my life (and not just re-reading Yes Please and Bossypants, which I have already reread several times and quote from often).
In my defense, YP and Bp were perfect reads for me in the last month: Poehler and Fey keep it humorous but insistent. It also helped to read about their years of hard work to get where they are now as I am about to embark on yet another major period of hard work myself. However, I feel that to truly grow as a person, I want to be around people that do things, as Poehler stated at the beginning of this post. For me, this includes not only seeking out mentors in my desired field and meeting with my fantastic, inspiring friends but also reading the words of people who are doing things.
With this in mind, I am trying to branch out a bit with my personal growth reading list and figured I would share. After leaving the delightfully Baltimorean café near my house, I am heading to Enoch Pratt to get a library card and stock up on as many hardbacks as I think I can read this week (given four of my work days this week range from 8 to 13 hours). UPDATE: This didn’t happen. I got way too caught up in reading blogs and then realized I should grocery shop before my entire day went down an internet wormhole. I swear I am getting a library card soon, just not this week because I might have overbooked myself with work. Old habits die hard, son.
The following are books and blogs I have either just begun to follow/read or have on my list to read for a variety of reasons: current event discussions, life tips, or just to have a laugh. Hopefully they will help someone else as much as they help me. (I will give a disclaimer warning: I am sure these books and blogs contain cursing. If that offends you, then proceed with caution or don’t read any of them.)
BOOK LIST: (as it is so eloquently labeled in my phone)
- Yes Please, Amy Poehler & Bossypants, Tina Fey (obviously.)
- The Underground Girls of Kabul: In Search of a Hidden Resistance in Afghanistan,Jenny Nordberg
- Bad Feminist: Essays, Roxane Gay: As a sidebar, you know a book is going to be good when Amazon tells you “Related Searches: people i want to punch in the throat”.
- People I Want to Punch in the Throat, Jen Mann: Of course I clicked through to that related search.
- Nice is Just a Place in France, The Betches
- How Paris Became Paris: The Invention of the Modern City, Joan DeJean
- Burning Down the House: The End of Juvenile Prison, Nell Bernstein
- Unspeakable Things, Lori Penny: a recommendation from a wonderful, dear friend of mine that I can always count on for a deep intellectual conversation over fine rye whiskeys or delicious brunch
- Lean In, Sheryl Sandberg
- Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? Mindy Kaling (I have also binge watched her show & fell completely head over heels in L-O-V-E with Kaling)
- A Cup of Jo, Joanna Goddard. This all encompassing life blog is a daily go-to for both L and me. Most noted for me recently is this post, which also leads me into the next blog recommendation …
- Hello, I’m Flawed, Caroline, co-editor of A Cup of Jo.
- Cordelia Calls It Quits, Kelly Gurnett (Cordelia). While Gurnett’s blog is on hiatus, be sure to read her Quit Lists, especially “Letting My Inner Penelope Overtake My Inner Cordelia,” which made me realize no, I am not a terrible person for not picking up my room when I actually really need to study for an exam/meet a good friend for a cup of coffee to catch up/live my life.
- Emma Dilemma, Emma Dinzebach. I ran across this blog when an old friend posted “Open for Business” in relation to her facebook status. I haven’t been able to stop since.
- The Pioneer Woman, Ree Drummond. This is a go to recipe blog for me, especially when I am feeling sad and just want to stay in and make something enjoyable. Bonus: the recipes are wonderfully explained and as a result, easy.
- Hyperbole and a Half, Allie Brosh. Her book is just as amusing.
- TheBloggess, Jenny Lawson. Profane and amusing.
- Ask Polly (The Cut, NY Magazine), Heather Havrilesky. Cup of Jo editor Caroline linked to this post and I literally copy and pasted entire paragraphs to send to friends and to print out and superglue to my walls (just kidding, even my easy going property manager would put his foot down on that one — I slammed some nails into those suckers, also something I recommend you do when you feel crappy).
UPDATE: I wrote this blog post almost a month ago, shot it off to L for reviewing, and forgot about it. She kindly sent it back to me last night, with the suggestion of a paragraph regarding how my plan is going. I’m thrilled to say swimmingly! In the past four weekends, I have traveled, visited, and just spent time with friends and family, a few of which I had not seen for a year or two. I have finished quite a few books and while I still watch 30 Rock often, it has been tempered with long chats with friends, just going for a walk, or searching for job opportunities. Additionally, my next three weekends are just as packed with two-day trips to Annapolis, Philadelphia, and Arlington to see some of the most inspiring people I know. And to be honest, I could not be more thrilled.