Starting To Date Again 

After the unfortunate realities of abuse. 

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Oh, look guys. Bre’s got herself a man. Ever think this would happen only five months after breaking up with the last one and two months after realizing what he had been doing to me? No? Yeah, me neither. Thought it’d be at least ten years before I got over my fear of guys enough to actually start dating another one of them. Or perhaps more than years. Perhaps lifetimes. Let alone this guy being my coworker and roommate. Talk about high risk situations, right?

Anyway, it’s been two months since I sat sobbing with my mom after self-harming alone in the bathroom, and telling her the details of what I believed happened to me. It’s been seven weeks since I had a panic attack in the park, six since getting a counselor, five since breaking down in the middle of the grocery store, and one since going into the doctor (finally), and asking her what I need to do in terms of the medical side of things since going through all this. It’s exactly thirty-four days until the one year anniversary date of being raped for the first time. I probably spend too much of my time thinking about that, but that’s besides the point.

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Blogger Recognition Award

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So a few weeks ago now (at least I think it’s been that long), I got nominated for the Blogger Recognition Award by Charlie Chatters. I must admit that I had never heard of her blog before getting the mention, and I’m almost disappointed I hadn’t had a chance to check her out earlier! I don’t spend a whole lot of my time blog reading – perhaps it’s just because I haven’t managed to find a whole lot of them I’ve enjoyed incredibly, but I’m so glad to have the chance to get involved in a bit of the community and with some of the incredible people within it. After all, we’re all writers living our lives in the best way we can, right? And community is kind of my thing. It’s a good reminder to me to invest more time in the important things – less stressing and more friending.

Anyways, Charlie Catters is a delightful blog and totally worth checking out. For sure. She writes a bunch on video games, books, her experiences in life – you know, the kind of content that’s really worth reading, and the kind of person who’s worth getting to know. I’m beyond honored that she thought my blog – one of which I’m still very much in the process of developing – was worth mentioning. So thanks so much, love. Can’t wait to see some of the next amazing things you come out with.

So here goes:

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Fangirl Review 

Let’s see if this popular book is worth the read, shall we? 

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Long story short: it definitely is.

Now, Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell is a slice of life story. To be honest, I don’t dive into this genre frequently. I prefer the fantasy and extraordinary – novels that take me out of the monotony of life instead of celebrate it. That being said, it was an enjoyable read, cute and relatable in all the ways a coming-of-age-college-romance story should be. I thoroughly enjoyed in, melted in a puddle of sap when I read all the cutesy scenes, and spent a little too long daydreaming about finding a Levi for myself.

The novel itself is about a young girl – Cath – attending her first year of college. She’s there essentially alone, seeing as how her twin sister, Wren, is more caught up in partying and drinking.

You’re right, it is Cath and Wren. Get it?

Anyways, she’s written to be a socially awkward nerd. Cath has trouble making friends, being around people, and she lives mostly on the internet writing fanfictions. She’s quite popular online, which is something, but I couldn’t help but consider her a bit of a Tumblr cliche. It’s not just her awkwardness and fanfictions – it’s her nativity, her obsession with slash (boy-on-boy) fics, sassiness, and how she’d rather live her life hiding than actually living it. Not that I’m saying any of these things are bad, but I can’t help but think that Rowel had studied internet culture and created a character solely for the purpose of being relateable. The other characters are somewhat flat – Reagan, Levi, Wren – which is too bad, but I don’t find that it harmed the story in any way. After all, the point is Cath and her development, not on the emotional struggles of everyone else. The only purpose for them being around is to basically influence Cath, so I guess that solves itself. Her father, however, is a little more fleshed out, and I appreciate Rowell’s take on bipolar and mental illness, having a bipolar dad myself.

However, I would say that those are the only few criticisms I would actually have for the book. The style was modern and engaging, and Rowell takes us deep into Cath’s head. We experience things with her, relatability or not, and it pulls us into the story. The dialogue is particularly engaging, and I’m not sure whether I like the modern language or sassiness better.

The main thing about the book that I liked, however, was Levi. Can you blame me? He’s a twenty-one year old student who used to date Cath’s roommate, but who soon falls in love with her. Can we just take a moment to talk about gorgeous male characters?

So, Levi’s a little older than Cath. He has experience. He’s touchy and in love and clearly wants to do nothing but make out with her – probably more. Fine, whatever, he’s a guy. That’s the way it goes. But he spends half the book trying to win her over. I mean, he drives across the country for her. He walks her home almost every night in the dark, he spends hours listening to her read her stories and enjoys_them. He remembers the littlest details about her, makes sure he’s always available, and takes an effort to learn about and enjoy the things that are important to her.

When they start dating, however, he’s an absolute treasure. Although they have kissed once before, he waits until he knows she’s comfortable with it. He never pressures her to come over to his house, and when she finally does spend the night in his room, he respects the fact that she’s nervous, going as far to say as that “sex isn’t even on the table if you’re not comfortable.” Whenever they get close, he always asks her if she’s okay with it, and probably my favorite thing – when she says she feels awkward and nervous about everything, he never asks her why, never presses her for answers or tells her that she’s worrying about stupid things. All he does is tell her that he would like to see her because he misses her even though it’s only been a few hours, and he’ll do whatever he can to make her feel comfortable and safe.

Basically, I want a darling boy who cares about me as much as Levi cared about Cath. Next time I have a family member in the hospital a few hours away, I’ll expect my boyfriend to drive up there and make sure I’m (and the rest of my family) is alright.

Last thing I’m going to rave on about this book – Cath’s transition into a relationship. Now, it’s well known that she writes slash, and it’s assumed that some of those scenes are probably a little more intense than just a PG-13 rating, and yet she’s incredibly naive and awkward when it comes to her own relationships with boys. Throughout the story, we see her start to process what it means to be in a relationship. She goes through the process of realizing she likes this guy, to realizing that she wants to hold his hand and kiss him and even go further than that. She doesn’t feel guilty about these feelings, doesn’t want to do this stuff to make him happy, but simply because she wants to. 

However, she also realizes that she’s not ready, and she’s okay with that. She’s not putting pressure on herself to do anything beyond what she was comfortable with. She understood where she was coming from, what she needed, and not only set boundaries for herself, but expected that everyone else around her to respect those.

You don’t see a lot of relationships handled properly in media. They’re either codependent, abusive, or some other bad representation of things. But in Fangirl, Cath was just a girl. She was discovering herself and what love means for her. Further more, she wasn’t shamed or ridiculed for the fact she’s an eighteen-year-old virgin and doesn’t lose that status by the end of the book. She’s strong and can stand on her own. She takes care of Levi as much as he takes care of her, and she’s never once compromising herself for him. To be honest, I think Rowell created an amazing relationship standard that mroe young girls (and boys) should be learning. Instead of all the other crap, of course.

Have you read the book? What’re your thoughts?

We’re All Allowed To Have Lazy Days

This one just happens to be one of mine. 

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Busy weekend with my sister’s birthday, busy week ahead of me working and starting to move into my new place, and I think I may or may not be getting sick. By sick I mean that I’ve pretty much slept through the past three days and I’m still exhausted, but hey, we’ll see how it goes. Hopefully it’s just a result of what my dad refers to as ‘the monthlies,’ but I’m really hoping I won’t be falling asleep on the job tomorrow.

Anyways, because I’m being slightly lazy today and owed you all a post anyway, I thought I’d show you guys some incredible things I just found on Youtube. You all know what TED talks are, right? I just found these two over the past days of endless sleep that really got me thinking. I think they’re so crazy important to listen to and to understand – and the women who do the speeches are absolutely incredible.

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