Loading Yourself with Unreasonable Goals

This week I decided that I would get back into writing some posts for my blog. I hadn’t been on the site in a while, and when I logged onto it Monday morning, I found that I hadn’t posted anything since the end of December. I was shocked, and disappointed in myself. Then I took a step back and really thought about why I’ve gotten so behind. It’s not that I don’t have blogs ready to post, because I do even though I haven’t written any in a while. It’s more that I’ve been putting unreasonable goals onto myself.

Probably the best perk about working in publishing is access to books before publication. We get to read them far in advance, which, for someone (me) who has little patience when it comes to waiting for a book to come out (or waiting in general), is amazing. We jump on manuscripts as soon as they come in, compromising our preferred methods of reading (print over digital), and sometimes sleep, just to finally have it in our hands and be able to turn the pages. In the hallowed halls, we read and then rush over to our colleagues to either excitedly or upsetly discuss how much we loved or hated our newest conquest. The main characters’ joy become our joys, their fears our fears, their adventures our own. We are invested in these books: they are our world.

There is a downside to this as well though. For as excited as we get, we can only really talk about them amongst our colleagues: the outside world cannot share in our joy until the publication date. And by the time they are falling head-over-heals, as much as we’re bursting to share our thoughts with them, we’ve also already advanced to multiple favorites (hopefully) beyond them.

A second downside to this is my thinking that I need to blog about every single book that I read. Sometimes I’ll love a book and then try to force myself to write a review only to ditch it part of the way through (or all of the way) because I can’t figure out how to end it, or I don’t feel that it was written well enough. I found myself feeling like it was more of a chore than actually enjoying the process; I had lost the meaning of why I started this blog in the first place – which was because I love to write and share my thoughts. I don’t have to write about every single book I read, because let’s face it, I’m literally always reading. And that’s okay. We all have goals that we want to achieve, and that’s great, but, we have to be willing to admit when they’re unreasonable and need tweaking. For me. That’s this blog. So, with that being said, I’m going to give myself a break, breathe, and just have fun with this again. After all, we can all stand to treat ourselves a bit better at times.

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Follow Your Dreams

Life has a funny way of working out when you least expect it. Someone just told me that the other day, but it’s something that I’ve heard my entire life. And, were it not for the fact that one of my dreams came true a few months ago, I wouldn’t believe it.

Yesterday morning, I was on my way to work, reading an advanced copy of Jill Alexander Essbaum’s debut novel Hausfrau (German for housewife), and I came across a passage that stuck out. “What is the purpose of pain?…It’s instructive. It warns of impending events. Pain precedes change. It is a tool.” There are clichés that we always tell ourselves during difficult periods in our lives, but I’d never seen it written in such a way before. It was as if a veil had been lifted and I could really see the truth in the words. After reading that passage a second time, I took a moment to reflect upon my life, the recent devastations as well as recent achievements. Pain really does precede change. It doesn’t always happen right away – because, let’s face it, the greatest changes come along gradually – but it happens. And it’s always positive.

Three months ago, after yet another difficult period in my life, a dream of mine came true. Not just any dream, a HUGE dream. One that I had longed years for. When I was a child, my first love was reading. I simply loved books and all that they entailed, but it wasn’t until I was in college that I realized I could actually have a career in the book-world without being a writer. It took over seven years, but not only did I get a job in book publishing, I’m working in the imprint that I fell in love with two years ago.

Dreams do come true, but sometimes, in order for that to happen, you need to make an effort. In the seven-plus-years that it took for me, I tried and failed more times than I want to count. There were times where I felt that my goal was impossible and wanted to give up…but I didn’t. And I’m glad I didn’t.

NEVER give up on your dreams. Because, one day they will come true, and the reality of that will make you happier than anything else ever could.

Lauren Graham’s Someday, Someday, Maybe

In Lauren Graham’s debut novel, Someday, Someday, Maybe, we follow Franny Banks, as she tries to make ends meet in this cute, coming of age story about deadlines, crushes and what it means to be a struggling actor. Franny has a self-imposed deadline that ends in six months, yet all she has to show for herself is one commercial, a waitressing job she can’t stand, and a depleting bank account. With an agent that won’t return her phone calls, will Franny be able to meet her deadline, or will she have to return home to her dad and figure out a plan B?

What’s great about this novel is that you don’t have to be interested in acting or in “the business” to relate to Franny, because the real issue that she is struggling with is growing up and learning about herself. We have all been there. We have all struggled (some more than others) to get the job we want, struggled to be noticed by that person we love, struggled with our identity, and in Someday, Someday, Maybe, Graham reminds us of this. But she also reminds us that if we keep persisting and don’t give up, we can achieve life changing opportunities. Anything is possible.

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