First blog is an exciting milestone I suppose. Although I feel like I have been having internal blogs blasting in my head for many, many, many years. I am excited to now share those blogs with the world and have a library of these seemingly random thoughts.
Speaking of libraries, this blog was inspired by my recent reintroduction to my love of reading. When I was in elementary school, I was a Rodriguez Reader, named after our principal, which meant I would log all of the minutes I had spent reading so at the end of the year I would be rewarded with a trip to the local indoor swimming pool. At first I did it so that I could show off my newest Disney inspired swimsuit, but I soon realized I really loved the people, places, and emotions I was being exposed to with every page I turned. I continued to read and eventually became a member of the Battle of the Books team in which kids competed with kids from other schools in trivia type challenges about various books. It is here I was exposed to the first book I remember being my favorite, “Hatchet” by Gary Paulsen. The imagery of the forest, the fears and accomplishments felt by the main character, and the theme of resiliency and creativity stuck with me, and you better believe I won that round of Battle of the Books!
In middle school, I discovered what would become my favorite novel I have ever read. It was introduced to me by my social studies teacher, Mr. Beckwith, who had also been my mom’s sixth grade teacher. He always told me how much less of a trouble maker I was than my mom, and I honestly never understood how my mom could be thorn in this man’s side because he genuinely took interest in what us students seemed to enjoy. He would then make suggestions of books and movies he thought we would love. Thus my introduction to the beloved Harper Lee novel “To Kill A Mockingbird.” Well Mr. Beckwith nailed it because I identified so much with Scout as I was also a curious tom-boy who loved talking to her father about just about anything. I have read that book numerous times throughout my life, and I feel the corners of mouth lift every single time.
In high school I enjoyed reading the material we had to for English classes and such, but the two novels I remember enjoying the most were “Slaughterhouse-Five” by Kurt Vonnegut and “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” by Harriet Beecher Stowe. I know those two novels could not be any more different from each other, but they were both so thought-provoking I couldn’t help but fall in love with them.
Then when I started college, I had a lot of stress that took over my life, and lasted for a long ten years. I would try to pick up a book, but my mind would race about the things I still had to get done that day. The things I wouldn’t be able to do because I was too broke, had too much homework, had to work. The things I was overanalyzing because I should have done them this way or that way so they were more acceptable. The things that had triggered my social anxiety or depression. Things.
Recently I decided that I needed help with the “things” and started seeing a therapist to help me on my journey to find myself again. It has been going really well and those “things” are becoming far easier to deal with. And wouldn’t you know it, with that, I am a Rodriguez Reader again!
I really hope you all enjoy this blog and the blogs that will come in the future. I also hope this can become a space where we can all talk about the good and the not so good “things.”