Momentarily Frozen

Edition 21: January 2020

Hi, friends.

In November, I got a head start on my ~resolutions~ and I started kickboxing and eating better and trying to just generally be a better human being. But I haven’t been seeing results. And I keep getting sick. And then my doctor said I have to take a break from kickboxing because bronchitis and shin splints are not things to fuck with. I have been a blob for eleven days, waiting for the green light to go back to the mat.

I’m trying to honor my body and listen to what it’s telling me. But it’s just such a bummer to have a setback. I’ve taken my body for granted, trusting it to always be there and able to do what I need it to do exactly when I want it to do it.

I feel stuck. Frozen. Like my windshield one day last month after an ice / snow / ice storm, layering upon itself. I guess there can beauty in anything.

What I read

March: Book One by John Lewis, Andrew Aydin (Co-writer), Nate Powell (Artist): I’m ashamed at how little I knew about John Lewis. I devoured all three of these incredible graphic memoirs detailing his nonviolent work for the Civil Rights Movement in Alabama and across the South. History is horrifying.

The New Me by Halle Butler: Yes, yes, yes. This novel a stream-of-consciousness internal monologue of every terrible thought we all have while living in a tiny apartment and working in a stuffy office and hating every person we encounter. I feel so seen. And the emphasis on tedious things, like mundane email chains and the correct way to use paper clips (small side in front, big side in back), is chef’s kiss perfection.

I try to assess the things that bring me pleasure, and how those things might bring me a fulfilling career. I think about how I spend my time. Where my interests lie. The questions come naturally, as if supplied by the ether, and the answer sits in my empty skull: nothing, nothing, nothing.

Halle Butler, The New Me

Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid: This is the Big Book of right now for a reason. It’s a deep exploration of two characters, a rich white lady with an internet brand and her Black twenty-something babysitter. It’s riveting and addicting and so fun and you should listen to it on audiobook, because Nicole Lewis is so dang talented.

What I wrote

Elizabeth Wurtzel died. I read Prozac Nation at a time when I needed it most. First breakup. First inkling that something in my brain chemistry wasn’t quite right. Her words soothed me, even though they didn’t exactly mirror my experiences. I’m planning on giving her memoir a reread soon, to better understand her story and also my own story.

Less serious things: Here are a bunch of ~*~riddikulus*~* Harry Potter puns and pickup lines, and, whew, the internet is a dirty place. Also, I rounded up the best bookish versions of the Dolly Parton Challenge (the LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, Tinder thing).

xoxo


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Ashley Holstrom is a book person, designing them for an indie publisher and writing about them for Book Riot. She also wrote an essay for (Don't) Call Me Crazy, an anthology about mental illness.

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