Strategic Sunday: Terminal Uniqueness

Greetings!

Here I am, returning from the shadows of obscurity. It’s been quite a while. A lot has changed and a lot has remained the same. That was my hipster way of saying that I’ve been running in circles waiting for the sky to fall these last few months. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve had some great achievements, and I’ve had some learning moments.

Terminal Uniqueness 

First, I’d like to say that no, I’m not a recovering alcoholic (though my mom seems to think so, more on that later). That said, the term “terminal uniqueness”– which is commonly referred to in A.A.– is the belief that the situation the individual is facing is unlike anything faced by other people. Now, if I’m being honest, when I go to my mopey “all hope is lost” place, I tend to think my “isms” are soooo different than what everyone else is facing.

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I mean obviously, no one could possibly understand my life. 2 parents that are still married who are unconditionally supportive of their daughter, friends that care, and a career that is gaining speed? Sheesh, the horror.

As I venture out into the world, I am reminded that my road has been traveled and I don’t have to go it alone. I’m coming to the understanding that I’m not a special little snowflake, and I’m finding comfort in the fact that I’m more human than I give myself credit. Now I am tasked with the pesky chore of connecting with my fellow humans. I’m a little rusty, but I’m working on it!

What’s Next…

So, I’m getting back into the blogging swing of things and I have a bunch of goodies to share. I had an epic 26th birthday in October, killed it in freelance writing in terms of earnings in the last 2 months, I’m “taking pride in my appearance” (again, more on that later), and volunteering at the library. In a nutshell, I’m back! So get ready, because I mean it this time! Happy Sunday!

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What I’m Reading

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I have been slacking on the literary front. Meaning I haven’t read leisurely in quite some time. To be completely honest, after my disappointment with Brooklyn GirlsI have not actually been reading as frequently as I should. I don’t think I want to go through the heartbreak again. 😉 Well, that’s about to change! I recently picked up Ladies’ Night by Mary Kay Andrews and it looks rather interesting. So far I’ve gotten through the first few chapters and it’s pretty good. Hopefully it’ll stay that way. I’ll be sure to fill you in on it once I’m finished. Here’s to hoping! What books are you reading? Also, any recommendations are welcomed! 🙂

Brooklyn Girls: Review

Brooklyn Girls

I recently read “Brooklyn Girls” by Emma Burgess. I have to admit, after reading raving reviews, I can’t say I wholeheartedly loved the book. Critics said it was “Fantastically funny, fresh and utterly relatable”; I don’t necessarily agree. There were parts to the book that had some merit, however after reading it, I was a bit disappointed. On a positive note, it was an easy read, it took me a Sunday afternoon to burn through the book and I did like the writer’s style however the overall story left a lot to be desired in my opinion. So without further ado and without giving too much of the story away, here’s my review.

Character Development of the Protagonist

The protagonist Pia, is essentially a 22 year old self absorbed party girl who fails to understand that actions have consequences. In the beginning of the book, I had to put it down and walk away a few times out of shear annoyance. I found Pia to be incredibly irritating and childish. Her world view is skewed and it makes it difficult to find empathy for her situation. I almost wanted to shout, “grow up”! Now, I understand that you cannot always identify with the character but her emotional depth and “growth” throughout the book feels forced and unnatural. She has a lot of demons to battle which I sympathized with. I was coming around to her mourning of the tragic loss of her first serious relationship until it was discovered to be a 2 year romance that took 4 years to get over. Now this is where I was super lost. Really?!!! 4 years and she still has a panic attack when she sees this dude and butchers a potential relationship. I understand that serious relationships are difficult to get over, but honestly I failed to sympathize with her. Not to mention her romance with Aidan, a 29 year old venture capitalist, is unrealistic at best. This dude is incredibly perceptive and too perfectly groomed for a 22 year old child who all of a sudden “grows up” in 6 weeks. I suppose it appeals to the inner romantic in people but again, it fails to be relatable in any sense of the term. Also the redeeming qualities and emotional/maturity hurdles Pia jumps through almost come off as obligatory and improbable. If I had to use one word for how I felt about the character it would be: exasperated. Also the other 4 girls had added some redeeming factors in the book at times, but still couldn’t quite tie it all together for me. That being said, this is a book series and the second book is out, though I’m not sure if I’ll give it a go at this point in time.

Synopsis:

In the beginning, Pia has her annual meltdown party for the breakup of her serious boyfriend. Her antics get her fired from her first “big kid” job that her parents landed her. After finding out, her parents threaten to take her back to Zurich to keep an eye on her. She then lands a restaurant gig and through a variety of episodes manages to get into the food truck industry with funding coming from a loan shark. She finds insta-success with some help along the way along with chance encounters with a handsome British guy. During the story she manages to go through some self-destructive behavior, patching up then messing up, then patching up again the relationships with her roommates/friends. All of this is going on while dealing with paying off a loan shark, competing with another food truck, warding off her parents, and then magically finding herself in the end all within a 6 week timeframe. There are a lot of moving pieces to this book and the author does her best to tie them together but I just didn’t “get it”.

Bottom Line

I think the author is a fantastic writer structurally. She strings sentences along together with ease in which you can easily run through the book fairly quickly. Her imagery is great and I could honestly see myself in the city right along with the characters. With that being said, that’s pretty much all that I was impressed with. Maybe my hopes/expectations were too high. When I first read reviews about the book, I thought to myself “finally, maybe someone out there has captured the plight of what 20somethings of this generation are going through”.Boy was I disappointed. Also I’d like to point out that all of these “broke girls” in the story had some monetary back up source of funding, which again many 20somethings of today cannot relate to. Also, not every 20something is a raving party girl; though the author attempts to portray the other roommates in that light. Seeing as I am 24, I thought I’d have an easier time relating to the characters as they are closer to my age. But honestly it kind of felt like a 1 note theme of “everyone has their own problems” but in the most cliche way. Don’t get me wrong it was a decent read, it just felt a little underdeveloped and lacking a sense of reality. I’ve heard great things about the author, so I’ll definitely give her some of her other books a shot, but the Brooklyn Girl Series just doesn’t do it for me. If you’ve read the book, I’d love to hear your take on it! 🙂

The Origin of My Reading Addiction

I LOVE LOVE LOVE to read. Seriously, getting lost in a book has been a past time of mine ever since I can remember. Being able to get lost in the imagination of literature is very enjoyable for me. The more vivid the imagery of the book, the more enthralled I become. When I was young I was very fortunate to have parents who not only supported my reading addiction but funded it enthusiastically as well. Every year in elementary school, there was a book fair. They would hand out these little pamphlets which had an assortment of books you could purchase. I would diligently circle every single book that I had to have (usually about a dozen books). 100% of the time my parents purchased every book on my list. (thanks mom and dad!) And every year I’d burn through the books as if I was fire and they were wood.

My childhood bedroom was actually a library which my parents converted into a bedroom. I insisted that it had to be my room because of the floor to ceiling, wall to wall book case that was in it. During that time it was my mission to possess every Nancy Drew book ever made. I owned all 56 of the Nancy Drew Mystery Series (Not every one ever made, but close enough). My formative years were spent filling up my bedroom with all the books I could get my little fingers on. 

Presently, my passion for reading is still very strong. I don’t do it as much as I would like (I currently have 15 books that need to be read) but I’m working on it. What got you into reading? What was your favorite childhood book?

 

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To Meetup or Not Meetup; That is the Question

So earlier I had discussed how I joined a nonfiction book club on meetup.com and I was too chicken to go to the meeting. Well I found one that was about fiction, writing, and coffee hosted by someone who was actually in my age group (score!). Of course like any girl ever, I creeped on the other potential attendees to get a sense of what I was up against. Besides the moderator, there was another girl around my age so I was pretty optimistic about the odds. There were two older gentlemen signed up to go as well.

To be completely honest, I was dismayed when I saw the two older dudes on the list. It has been my experience that most men that age participating in the event are either inappropriately flirtatious trying to seek out a potential young caregiver, very lonely and use the group as a talk therapy session, or both. So on the first meeting I had my reservations, but I went anyway.

The first sign I knew it would go well was the fact that it was held at a Starbucks (reading and my java addiction fueled at once?! Hallelujah!). I met the moderator and it turned out that we hit it off. I knew I liked her once we had shared our mutual disdain about how pretentious Juno was (My apologies if you love that movie, but no 16 year old pregnant girl has the sense of humor that of a cynical 30 year old). Was I really about to make a new friend in this crazy city?! Though I did thoroughly enjoy my time during the meeting, my reservations were not completely off base. Cue creepy old dude…

I have to first start off by saying only 1 out of the 2 older gentlemen was pervy. He was definitely over sharing about his personal life. (Hey, this is the first meeting of a book club, not an Oprah couch session).  The topic of magazines came about and he just had to mention his only magazine of choice was “Playboy”. Naturally…What the pervy guy lacked the other guy made up for. He had this grandfatherly sage wisdom appearance about him. He spoke thoughtfully and contributed intelligent and relevant banter into the conversation. I will admit that I’m really a 45 year old trapped inside of a 23 year old, so I enjoy the company of people twice+ my age from time to time. (Ugh I think I sound like Juno 😉 )

All in all, I am very excited that I grew a pair and went to the first meeting. I ended up meeting people whose company I actually enjoyed. Admittedly I’ve fallen off the bandwagon of being a fully functional human being and boarded the workaholic train. Even the creepy old guy was a somewhat welcome change to my monotonous work fueled life that I’ve been living for the better part of a year. If stepping off the ledge and jumping into a book club could be this fun, who knows what other interesting endeavors I could be missing out on. Until next time…

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