Well, here I am. I have survived.
This has been like a lonnnnng month. I’m writing this whilst feeling absolutely guilty that I am here and not working on my assignments, but also recognize that doing something non-university related is a needed catharsis.
Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to do much (leisurely) reading at all. The only time I get to read is when I’m on commute or at 2am at night after I’ve finished my work for the day (and by then, I’m asleep after 10 minutes of reading)! But, I’m doing my best. I can’t say I’ve had time to blog – I’m only allowing myself one hour every Sundays to do any and all blogging work, but I’m trying to achieve a balance. I’ll get there.
Deep breaths. Let’s go.
Books read this month (and my thoughts in three words)
1. Difficult Women by Roxane Gay – brutally powerful, haunting
2. Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire – great kinda weird
3. Empress of a Thousand Skies by Rhoda Belleza – a fantastic debut
Reviews and posts in March
1. REVIEW: Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson – A memoir told in verse? Beautifully written? Emotionally engaging? If you say, ‘yes please!’ to all three, Brown Girl Dreaming is a must-read.
2. FEATURE: Diversity Thursday Spotlight #8 – To commemorate Black History Month (sorry it was a little late!), I featured three books by black authors!
3. REVIEW: Under a Painted Sky by Stacey Lee – A stellar historical fiction book that feature diverse characters – it also has a grand adventure across the Oregon Trail, sisterhood, friendship, and poignant moments of loss and hope.
4. LET’S TALK ABOUT: Characters With ‘Difficult’ Names – This was a little bit of a personal post of me because I struggled with my name for the longest time. This discussion posts highlights the importance of name diversity.
5. BOOK RECS: Feminist Reads – In honour of International Women’s Month, I recommend four fantastic books about feminist – ideal for those who want to learn about feminism but have no idea where to start!
6. FEATURE: Diversity Spotlight #10 – With an exciting release, I had to had to feature three books with Muslim protagonists!
7. REVIEW: Into White by Randi Pink – Enjoyed this because of its subversive and heartfelt writing, but there were some problematic elements that were very disappointing.
The importance of self-affirmations
My first month of university has been rough and I wasn’t in a good mental space for the first two weeks. But, I don’t want to talk about that today. I want to talk about self-affirmations and how they got me through my month thus far.
One of the things I tried to do to circumvent negative feelings was to 1) acknowledge them as valid, but also 2) tell myself an affirmation and try and see things in a more grounded way. I wanted to share some with you all, and, hopefully, share them with my future self for when I need them again.
How I felt: I feel lonely and alienated from my peers.
My self-affirmation: I haven’t seen anyone in awhile which is why I feel lonely; I have people who love me and care about me.
How I felt: I’m gaining weight/gaining cellulite/becoming unfit.
My self-affirmation: There’s nothing wrong with gaining weight. Cellulite is normal. I will go for a walk when I’ve been in the lab for too long. I will spare time to exercise – not to lose weight and return to my ‘peak’ body, but to clear my mind, feel good, and be healthy.
How I felt: I have no idea what I am doing, I am barely keeping my head above the water, I’m not going to be able to cope with the stress.
My self-affirmation: I am working hard. I am doing your best, and that’s all anyone and I can ask of me.
How I felt: I can’t do postgraduate study anymore, I don’t enjoy it, I don’t think I can do it.
My self-affirmation: I am still adjusting. Give it a chance. It’s only one year, and whatever happens, it’ll be a positive learning experience. I can do it.
How I felt: I am terrified of seminars, I’m going to make a big mistake and it’ll be so embarrassing.
My self-affirmation: It’s okay to be scared. Feel the fear and do it anyway.
How I felt: I don’t know if my new friends are friends or convenient acquaintances, and that terrifies me.
My self-affirmation: New friendships are scary and not all work. And that is okay. And it is okay to hope that a new friendship will grow with time.
I’m afraid that’s all I have time for today. I hope all of you are doing splendidly, and that you are all well. I miss so many of you. I haven’t been using Twitter much (I found out that Twitter and browsing it sucks up so much of my time so I’ve blocked the website) but I hope I’ll be able to be active eventually.
Until then, I hope you all reading amazing books. (Read them all for me!)
- How was your March? Did anything new or exciting happen in your life?
- Did you discover a new favourite book in March?
- If you have posted a recap post, send me a link! I’d love to check it out, read it, and drop a comment. 😊