Today I came across this short piece and felt it change me. I really hope you can relate or at least find the warmth in it :)
Date a Girl Who Reads
by Rosemarie Urquico
Date a girl who reads. Date a girl who spends her money on books instead of clothes. She has problems with closet space because she has too many books. Date a girl who has a list of books she wants to read, who has had a library card since she was twelve.
Find a girl who reads. You’ll know that she does because she will always have an unread book in her bag. She’s the one lovingly looking over the shelves in the bookstore, the one who quietly cries out when she finds the book she wants. You see the weird chick sniffing the pages of an old book in a second hand book shop? That’s the reader. They can never resist smelling the pages, especially when they are yellow.
She’s the girl reading while waiting in that coffee shop down the street. If you take a peek at her mug, the non-dairy creamer is floating on top because she’s kind of engrossed already. Lost in a world of the author’s making. Sit down. She might give you a glare, as most girls who read do not like to be interrupted. Ask her if she likes the book.
Buy her another cup of coffee.
Let her know what you really think of Murakami. See if she got through the first chapter ofFellowship. Understand that if she says she understood James Joyce’s Ulysses she’s just saying that to sound intelligent. Ask her if she loves Alice or if she would like to be Alice.
It’s easy to date a girl who reads. Give her books for her birthday, for Christmas, and for anniversaries. Give her the gift of words, in poetry, in song. Give her Neruda, Pound, Sexton, Cummings. Let her know that you understand that words are love. Understand that she knows the difference between books and reality but by God, she’s going to try to make her life a little like her favorite book. It will never be your fault if she does.
She has to give it a shot somehow.
Lie to her. If she understands syntax, she will understand your need to lie. Behind words are other things: motivation, value, nuance, dialogue. It will not be the end of the world.
Fail her. Because a girl who reads knows that failure always leads up to the climax. Because girls who understand that all things will come to end. That you can always write a sequel. That you can begin again and again and still be the hero. That life is meant to have a villain or two.
Why be frightened of everything that you are not? Girls who read understand that people, like characters, develop. Except in the Twilight series.
If you find a girl who reads, keep her close. When you find her up at 2 AM clutching a book to her chest and weeping, make her a cup of tea and hold her. You may lose her for a couple of hours but she will always come back to you. She’ll talk as if the characters in the book are real, because for a while, they always are.
You will propose on a hot air balloon. Or during a rock concert. Or very casually next time she’s sick. Over Skype.
You will smile so hard you will wonder why your heart hasn’t burst and bled out all over your chest yet. You will write the story of your lives, have kids with strange names and even stranger tastes. She will introduce your children to the Cat in the Hat and Aslan, maybe in the same day. You will walk the winters of your old age together and she will recite Keats under her breath while you shake the snow off your boots.
Date a girl who reads because you deserve it. You deserve a girl who can give you the most colorful life imaginable. If you can only give her monotony, and stale hours and half-baked proposals, then you’re better off alone. If you want the world and the worlds beyond it, date a girl who reads.
A few years ago, when I first got it into my mind to learn the French language, I was asked why I should bother. After all, I live in Australia, have never travelled anywhere particularly exotic, or even knew anyone who spoke more than a few words of the language.
And I found this insulting. Why should I learn? Why should I not you mean! I am a very big believer in doing something simply because you can. I am currently teaching myself the guitar, and four languages, as well as studying psychology, just for the sake of it. Chances are I will never be too fabulous at any of these skills, but the point is that I am making an active decision regularly to hone these skills, for no other purpose than my own fulfilment.
I think this speaks volumes for the human spirit. We have this intense thirst for knowledge and to become more than a physical being yet in this age of such vast digital technology it does feel a lot like the need to acquire skills is unnecessary as you can simply pay for it to be done or cheat our way through till the end. We have lost the thrill of reaching unthinkable milestones.
I urge you; please, go learn something! Learn the drums and rock the shit out of the songs of your teen years. Learn to sew and create something mind-blowing. Paint a picture using your hands because the paint feels cool that way. JUST DO SOMETHING. Do it because life is short and we all have an expiry date which sadly isn't far off. You need to utilise each and every moment and to be the biggest and most incredible person you simply can be. You owe yourself that much, because you are amazing :)
I was listening to Triple J on the way home from work on Friday and they were discussing the notion of Tall Poppy Syndrome. This is the idea that people who have genuinely earnt their successes, talents or achievements are being ridiculed, resented or cut down by their peers. It occurred to me that yes, this is definitely something I see living in Australia. By saying that, I am not trying to generalise, but having lived here my whole life I am unable to compare it with another country.
Much like most of the topics they cover on Hack, this one has stayed with me long after I turned the radio off. I feel a lot like it has really changed my approach to the achievements of others. I feel like of all the people I know, there is this blank canvas of who they are as an individual then there is the job title of how it is they make a living. But that is it really. I don't feel that anyone has ever told me how they got to be a small business owner or how it is they managed to become a working mum.
I have been writing for years and every day is a struggle to get my ass into gear. But I know I am only still in the beginning days and that I have success to come, yet I have poured so much of myself into this pending career of mine. And others are there already and I don't feel I have applauded them for their efforts yet. Maybe we undervalue what we can achieve in a lifetime. Maybe by undervaluing the small achievements we are cutting the opportunity for the larger achievements to happen.
Maybe we are too humble in our successes? When I graduated from high school five years ago, I wondered what I would have achieved by 22 (here I am) and to be perfectly honest, I had no idea what was next. I did imagine lawyers and doctors and pilots however. But looking at the people I went to school with now, I see that many of them are married and have children and have bought homes for themselves. This may sound like the basic A to B of life but when you actually step back and think about each step... damn that is impressive. They say parenting is the hardest job in the world.
My best friend is about to become a nurse. To many that sounds like just a job, but she is saving lives every day. She is doing the unthinkable and the impossible and she has worked so incredibly hard for years to get to this stage without ever saying "hey look at me". My boyfriend is about 30 hours from receiving his Commercial Pilots License. He has been working towards this for a good while before we even met. Yet he doesn't tell people what he is about to achieve; he doesn't want people to think differently of him.
In writing this, I hope you too start to notice the achievements of others, and of course yourself. Treasure them. We work hard to change the world, or even just our internal world so please never forget what you are trying to achieve. Keep on keeping on; we are here to back you up :)
I think we all have these blinds spots. These pieces of us which we hide or maybe aren't aware of. Maybe we know very well that they are there but hope desperately that others won't notice them. These little parts of us that are maybe undesirable to others, or maybe to ourselves; or maybe it is just a quality we aren't proud of.
My blind spot is my anger. I am generally quite misanthropic of this world. It upsets me greatly that I see the world is such a dull spectre but I can't seem to get past it. I do however, hide it very well. I read a LOT of articles and books on finding my bliss, finding peace; just generally on how to chill. Or I listen to relaxing music. Or I volunteer. I try incredibly hard to find the good in as many people as I can. I am in love with a very respectful man and he also has a great impact on me trying to be a better person.
The other day I got in a fight with this cyclist. He was riding on the road on a bridge and the footpath was not a metre away yet he rode on the road. I could have crashed my car. So I honked. Later he found me and we abused one another. I am not proud of this. I have spent three whole days running through the scenario in my mind and it upsets me greatly. It has been eating at me. Firstly that I was spoken to in such a matter, secondly that I spoke back in that manner and thirdly, because I believe that at my core I am a better person than I display myself to be at times.
What I have taken away from this horrible moment is that we are human and we do things which don't warrant pride, however how we respond to these situations and what we take from the experience is what makes us inherently good or bad. I would like to say that I am an individual who is always composed and honourable but this would be a lie. I say stupid things; I fight with the ones I love; I cause grief when I shouldn't and I start things just to start things sometimes. But I am loyal. I love deeply and unconditionally and give me a reason to trust you and I will follow you through anything.
People are generally good. I tell myself this everyday. If only you let yourself open up every now and then, you will see. People care. We are social creatures.We don't want to be alone in this world. I think that if we can simply push past the flaws we will all be a lot happier.
I am reading this book at the moment called 'The Me Myth" by Andrew Griffiths. He writes about not judging people for who you see them to be materialistically. This is a hard concept in today's society. It seems every time we turn on out TV we are asked to judge people on their singing or cooking; open a magazine and we are asked to judge celebrities on their clothing. How did it become so easy for us to judge? For a long time I have judged people. I am short tempered, assume without knowledge and I give few second chances; but I am changing. I have found that if we are to judge people, we lose sight of who they are in their mind, in their soul and in their heart. We lose the ability to get to know this person as an individual. Last night I helped my Mum cater for her colleagues birthday party. She is not a cater; nor am I but she agreed to anyway as she is a chef at her work (a retirement village). She is an important woman to me and to many others as well. However, the first part of the evening, I could see in her face that she felt she was looked down on for being "hired help". These were wealthy people and this wasn't exactly our crowd. We put on smiles and sucked it up counting down till we could high tail it home. However, something strange happened. As I am sure you are already aware, I am a vegan. The part of veganism that is less documented is that it is desperately hard to find finger food edible at parties, or even restaurants that will cater to our needs. When I found a guest was a coeliac I set about to make sure she had something to eat. She was very grateful for this and I saw an individual in her. The room was less 'judging' in how I had assumed people saw me. At the end of the night many people came up and thanked us for our help. They seemed genuinely thankful and we got chatting to a few people. There was a man who worked a block from me and was very lovely; a woman who worked with elderly war heroes keeping them mobile. Genuinely nice people with good souls. What I am trying to say is that if we judge others, we immediately decide if a person is 'good enough'. Good enough for what I am not sure. But what I do know is that people are inherently good if only you allow them to show themselves. "It is easy to judge and to put someone in a pigeonhole. But it is spectacular to have an open mind and to accept and welcome other people for who and what they are. It is hard at first, but give it time and it will become second nature."
Something amazing happened the other day; I found my sunshine. I don't know where it had been hiding but I am so grateful that is has returned. I do feel a lot like I have a backlog of happiness pushing its way into my life however, and it feels great!
I have decided a few things over the past week. Anyone who knows me well knows that I am completely indecisive and will jump from choice to choice very quickly, however these choices are good and solid and will bring joy to myself and others.
I am three years into a half-baked Arts degree majoring in Media and Writing. I hate it. I love the writing, well writing in general I guess, but the reason for the degree in the first place, other than to keep my Dad happy, was for the Media. You see, I was hell-bent on being a journalist; that was until I realised that journalism isn't about spreading joy and happiness, it is about the facts. I simply can't bring myself to invest so heavily in a career which isn't going to bring joy to others, alas goodbye journalism.
But I needed those journo units to make up enough units to graduate, so have had a bit of a heart to heart with myself and have decided to change to a psychology major. I have always been insanely interested in cognitive behaviour. It is insane how much of who we are is to do with circumstances and mindsets we find ourselves in. So I think this will be a really good decision; to study psychology. It would give me an insight into the inner workings of our mind and through that I will be able to help people. Not as a psychologist but through writing from a psychological insight. It sounds boring but wow am I excited!
Have you made any huge decisions lately? I would love to know :) x Melissa
I have been contemplating how to word this, but here goes I guess. I just wanted to say that I am back. In a way I feel really guilty for not writing these past few weeks. And by not writing, I mean at all. I stopped penning little stories and I didn't manage to help my friends Mandy and Dave out with their website and I didn't even get any uni work done.
My reasoning behind this absurdity is that I made the conscious decision not to write during depressive episodes. For the first time in what has probably been a good two months, I feel joyous again. Depression is not a new issue to me. It isn't even an obvious one. It is simply another aspect of my personality which comes and goes.
The past two months have been a little strange. I can't really remember what it was that triggered all of this but three nervous breakdowns, two bottles of Mega B and one failed uni semester later I am starting to feel a lot like Melissa again. I am hopeful that this is how I will continue to feel.
What I have learnt from all of this is that "this too shall pass" because it always does. Always. No matter what you have done or what you are doing through, you can always redeem yourself. You can always start a new ending and you can always make something beautiful from something imperfect.
Welcome to Breathe The Rain! My simple hopes for this blog are to fill others with inspiration, aspiration, emancipation and admiration for oneself and others. These are things I adore and issues I hold dear to my heart. If you have the time, please follow or comment, I love the feedback