This Week In My Library 1.30.24

Jan 29, 2024

love letters, beach volleyball and critical thoughts

Life of a Bookman

Bookman: 1. a person who has a love of books and especially of reading. 2. a person who is involved in the writing, publishing, or selling of books. Oh, hi that's me!!

Listening to Books: I don't love audiobooks. Every time, I fail to even make it halfway. In the last year, I've done this three times, most recently with Detransition Baby, which one of my prized BFF chats was raving about. It was free on Spotify so I gave a listen to this book – one about three women—transgender and cisgender—whose lives collide after an unexpected pregnancy forces them to confront their deepest desires around gender, motherhood, and sex. Team, I didn't get more than 30% in before I dropped it, and I don't know if it's the book or it's me (and my inability to listen to books). Any votes for me to keep going? Let me know.

What I'm writing: Love letters. Lots of them. Recently, someone asked me what makes a good love letter (and aside from the LOVE part) my answer was this: don't make it about you, which we often do. Keep the focus on them, and let your love letter be a mirror for all the best parts of them that you so easily see. It's the difference between “You make me feel alive.” and “Your spirit breathes life into everything you touch”. (Cheese factor dialed up to make my point here). The first is you-centric. The second is them-centric. Go for the latter. I love writing love letters – to best friends, to new friends, to romantic partners, to family members. It gives me peace to know that they know how I feel, and I know I told them.

Oh, and I always hand-decorate my own cards. Exhibit A of a love letter from last week:

Women’s Studies

What gets passed down becomes our history. A few for the canon: One of my top Brazil moments was showing up to a 7AM beach volleyball practice in Rio with my bestie of 20 years, whom I met through high school volleyball. There were drills. There was a significant amount of sweating (and sweating out the wine). Lottttt of ass pats. And cursing. Just like old times, but with sand. A lot of it. The craziest part was this volleyball school is run by Jackie Silva, first-ever Gold Medalist in Olympic beach volleyball when it was added to the games in '96. True volleyball royalty.

This is a woman whose story isn't well known and should be. The wildest thing I learned about her was that when the sport started to get bigger in Brazil, money was flowinggggg from sponsorships. To the men. So in protest of not getting paid (not getting paid!!! We're not talking about getting paid equally, just to GET paid at all), Jackie wore her jersey, the one plastered with sponsors' names, inside out. And she got dropped for it. I can't imagine what that risk was like early in her career, but I intend to find out ;)

Watch this 10-minute video about Jackie, and I know you'll be inspired. Very.

Pass it on

Stories are heirlooms. Here's one of mine: Historically, anytime I wanted to make a change in my life, I would start saying something along the lines of “being more disciplined” and then getting somewhat hard on myself in that area.

I don't do that anymore. I say really positive, really supportive, really encouraging things to myself instead (and I'm not always perfect but I'm aware of when the shitty, critical coach thoughts get loud). And part of what helped me make the switch was this podcast episode by Hidden Brain: Being Kind to Yourself. It's worth a listen, and I bet you'll realize the same thing I did. Being hard on ourselves doesn't lead us toward our goals, it leads us away.

xx

STAY INSPIRED

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