This is why I love Sofia. Not because of her praise, but because she inspires me to be better. Not only is she in NY pursuing her dreams, she is aware of where she is, where she wants to go, and who she wants to be. This makes me proud that I am her friend, and grateful to have her in my life. In my short time here on Earth, I’ve learned that a huge part of success is support. That goes for any field and any venture. A circle of supportive, positive, and honest energy is something I try to keep in my life. I don’t always succeed, of course, but I try. Sofia is definitely a pillar of support for me, along with Zack, my family, and a few other friends. She makes sure I don’t lose sight of who I am, pushing me to do things, calling me on my bullshit. Sofia starting a blog directly inspired me to start my own, to explore my voice as a writer. Sofia writing a play has encouraged me to just go for it one day, and not to judge myself before I even start. We’ve had a relationship that is unique in that I create and she builds upon it. And it goes both ways. She creates, I critique and add. We always compliment each other and turn what one said or did into something better and more specific. But enough praise, I bet I’m making Sofia blush. For those of you who do not know Sofia, you will soon enough, believe me.
As a side note, I started reading (non-textbooks) again lately. I used to enjoy reading so much as a kid, but it fell on my list of priorities. As I got older, I suddenly “didn’t have the time.” When, in reality, there is plenty of time. I realize when I am reading a book that I miss it so much. It seems like I read about one or two books a year, which is pathetic. Right now I’m reading a book that my current English professor wrote almost 11 years ago, “Please Please Please,” by Renee Swindle. I’m about 60 pages in, and this novel is definitely not what I expected, but I love it. The language is wonderful, and although its gears aim more towards a female audience, I like it. It’s an African-American drama of race, relationships, romance, and infidelity. The biggest thing I’m taking from it so far is the realization that I rarely read works about and/or by black people. Or even female writers! Sure, I have read a few, but the majority have been by authored/about white men. And the ones that were not by white men I read in school, which means I need to seek more diverse literature outside of the classroom. Just a little observation brought about by the fact that race is a hot topic in this novel.
But back to the book; when I fall in love with a book I have a habit of plowing through it because I just can’t stop reading. I want to further the story, find out what happens next. I’ve taken it slow, though, to avoid that sinking feeling that is left inside me when I realize that this book I was thoroughly enjoying has ended. The last time I read a book for pleasure like this was when I was working in San Francisco and was taking BART all the time. It was Invisible Monsters by Chuck Palahniuk. But writing things down makes me accountable, and once I finish this book, I’ll start another. Reading can reduce stress, inspire me, and serve as an escape. So another goal of mine in life? Read more, especially ethnic and female authors. I need to explore more works from Zora Neale Hurston, Maya Angelou, Junot Diaz, Sherman Alexie, Brent Staples, Richard Rodriguez, and a bunch of others too.
Expand your mind, Craig.