I know that most people settle in and watch scary and Halloween themed movies each October. I didn’t this year, because I’m focusing on growth and learning. My spooky reading list has come to an end. I really enjoyed every book I read in October. If you forgot, they were It’s Not All Downhill From Here by Terri McMillan, Ghost Boy by Martin Pistorius, and Welcome to Your Crisis by Laura Day. I chose these instead of my regulars: The Shining, Halloweentown, and Hocus Pocus.
I gotta say, I really enjoyed It’s Not All Downhill From Here. I love pretty much anything Terri McMillan writes. This one was about a lady that was over the hill. She’s on her second marriage with her soulmate, and she’s wondering, “How do I make the most of the life I have left? Everybody seems to be coasting now that we’re ‘old’.”
Tragedy struck without warning, and the protagonist’s life was turned upside down. Her five closest friends, that have been her friends for decades, try to help her through it while dealing with their own families and troubles.
This story was heart-warming, wholesome, and so real. It got me thinking about friends I could rely on throughout life. I was a little dismayed when I thought about how much I’ve moved in my life and how hard it was to keep the bonds of friendship through distance. But there are people I hold close and wouldn’t hesitate to be there for them in a time of need. I loved the main character’s feisty attitude and all her awkward relationships outside of her friendships. There were plenty of hidden knowledge gems throughout this story. Give it a read.
Welcome to Your Crisis by Laura Day was amazing. You know a book is good when you’ve got sticky notes sticking out everywhere and notes written all along the margins. Every chapter was a new way of unravelling the knot of problems that I deemed too big for me.
Laura Day’s crisis was going through a divorce with a brand-new baby and no money of her own. She details her transformation from the woman that she was while backed into a corner and the woman she became because she refused to give up during one of the darkest times in her life.
I did every single exercise in the book, even though in the past I had been skeptical of just how much a self-help book could really help. But I figured, hey, what have I got to lose? All this stuff was out in front of me, I figured I could take what helped me and leave the rest. A really awesome thing that happened was thinking of a lot of other times I was in crisis and finding closure for myself. As you know, I found closure a while back with a situation that hurt me deeply. I was able to do the same for things stemming back to childhood. Many things that I thought I had put to bed were dug up and looked at with new eyes and positive change in mind. I’m really glad I came across this book.
If you’re in a period of transition or if you’re feeling stuck, pick this one up. You won’t be sorry.
The last book, Ghost Boy, scared the hell out of me. I felt so helpless while reading this book. Martin Pistorius (of no relation to Oscar Pistorius) was trapped in his body for more than a decade. For seemingly no reason, he started losing control of his motor skills when he was twelve years old, and it terrifyingly all hell broke loose in his body from there. He was in a vegetative state for a few years, but then regained some of his consciousness around the age of sixteen. Although he was awake, he couldn’t move or communicate to let anyone know. He was imprisoned in his body for a few years, watching Barney (which he hates to this day), in a hospital bed. After a couple of years, he had a nurse that figured out that he was able to communicate with his eyes.
She convinced doctors and his parents that he was in fact aware of everything going on around him. He received testing to see if she was right, and he passed.
This story was completely mind-blowing. I get sleep paralysis quite often, so I have a very limited understanding the sensation of being trapped in my body. I try everything to catch someone’s attention while in this state, but it feels like even my vocal cords are paralyzed. The most that comes out is this weird grunt scream while I try to say, “Wake me up!”
I know everything that’s going on around me and can repeat verbatim was people were saying. But I can’t wake up unless I’m shoved or shaken. If the, at most, five minutes that I spend that way feel so long and are so agonizing… I can’t even begin to wrap my head around years spent that way.
His story was truly shocking and uncomfortable but also very inspiring. Defiitely give this one a read if you have a chance.
What books are on my November reading list?
I’m reading Transcendent Kingdom by Yaa Gyasi. I am really trying to find more black authors to read and support. I feel like all of the curriculum throughout school were not POC authors with the exception of Roll of Thunder Hear My Cry when I was in elementary school. I like reading from different perspectives and representation matters.
Relationship Magic: Waking Up Together by Guy Finley. I love Guy Finley. He is just the coolest dude, and I really hope I get to meet him one day. His way of looking at the world is so peaceful and self-assured. One thing that I really appreciate about him is that he waits to speak when asked a question. I’ve heard him speak a few times on podcasts and YouTube/Instagram videos. Sure, he’s a little out there, but he appreciates every single moment of his life. I really admire that. I’m excited to read his perspective on creating a healthy thriving relationship.
Boundaries in Dating: How Healthy Choices Grow Healthy Relationship by Henry Cloud and John Townsend. This one was a must for me, since I’m setting toes into the dating pool again. Being the hopeless romantic that I am, I have a tendency to place my partners on a pedestal and give them my whole world in a really short amount of time. I’m really trying to apply lessons learned from my mistakes, so the first order of business is having some clearly defined boundaries. It’s a good thing! I’m recognizing my shortcomings and seeking the information to correct them. That’s healing, baby! I can get swept off my feet and still keep my wits about me this time around. My girls are already teasing me about a goofy video in my Instagram story, because I don’t know how to express how excited I am without being hilarious.
Anyhoo, I want y’all to check out the new journals that I have available just in time for the holidays. What’s better than the gift of self-care?
I mean, yeah, I’d love to give everyone a million dollars and call it a day, but the way my checking savings accounts are set up… it might be a while.
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