Wanted: Blogger seeking Joy

“Happiness is like a kiss. You must share it to enjoy it.” Bernard Meltzer

I’m ready to start a conversation!

I want you is to share a post with with me about your happiness. It can be old, new, borrowed, or…you get the gist! Comment with your link, comment in general, or email twobookminimum@gmail.com! I love these stories, so also let me know if I can share them with others! I want to showcase your post so others can feel the warmth also.

Both a Facebook page and a Twitter chat are coming soon!

Share this post with anyone you like!

Best,

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It’s Fantastic Friday!

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My inaugural positivity post will be small, but hopefully it will bring some happiness while reading.

This week, I am grateful for this little fact:

I finished 4 books in 4 days. Granted, the books were around 200 pages each, but I did it. Even in a week full of distractions, I pushed back with making sure that I had quality “me” time. If you’ve been around my blog, you’ll know that books are what I equate to air. I cannot live without them. They are my healthy obsession, since they help my mind untangle and focus, as well as give me a little adventure before I fall asleep.

Books are what keep me going during low points in life and are a great treat during the highs. When I was little, books taught me lessons on life and growing up through Ramona Quimby, Junie B. Jones, the Boxcar Children, and the Babysitter’s Club. My first introduction to Sci-fi was Animorphs, my first introduction to ghost stories was Goosebumps, and my first historical fiction series was the American Girls. I lived these lives in parallel to my own, as a way to find happiness and relatability to characters while I struggled to find a connection to people in the real world.

Most importantly, books have been my constant in life. While the worlds I read about differ vastly, I know that they are always there. As long as there are authors, I will always have a story to read, characters to feel with, and a perspective that is similar to my personality.

Cheers for books, they are worthy of the name Fantastic.

 

Until next time,

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Introducing Happy!

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Today marks the beginning of journey for myself. There have been a lot of changes in who I am as a person over the last year. Depression will do that, if you let it, and I let it flatten me. In 2015, I realized that I was going to die if I didn’t seek help. This isn’t in any way metaphoric. I had given up and started attempting things I didn’t know I was capable of doing.  I did seek help, though, and though it’s still a bumpy road sometimes, I know I’m far removed from the person prior.

Lately, negativity has tried to make a comeback into my life in a way that would sink me again if I gave into it, but thankfully, I’m viewing negativity as an observer, not as a participant. I have implemented mental safeguards to ensure that positivity wins, which is a wonderful feeling for me. Born into a negative household, positive experiences didn’t register as important as I grew up, which counseling and heavy reflection have shown me how damaging that is for a person. This thought may be considered common sense to most people, but it isn’t for a person like me. I don’t want to delve too far into my past, and all the f***ed up things I remember, but I will say this: I didn’t get to be happy for a long time. I had no safe place around me, and I depended heavily on the notion that I was the only one who would stand up, grow up, and perfect life. Guidance was not easy to come by, and most advice I received usually damaged me more that helped me. I am alive today, because I made a choice to grab on to the notion that things will get better, even if it takes a long time.

“We cannot live only for ourselves. A thousand fibers connect us with our fellow men; and among those fibers, as sympathetic threads, our actions run as causes, and they come back to us as effects.”
Herman Melville

Today I’m making the move to start a project that’s been swirling around within me for a few years and I finally have the opportunity to make it a reality. It is going to be a really bumpy road at times, so I’ve devised a second project to help me during the low points. Today, I’m introducing “Fantastic Friday,” or to piggyback on Suzy, who writes the blog From the Fringe, a continuing list of things I’m happy and appreciative for.

I can’t do this alone, though. I need your help.

What I wish for is to start up a conversation. I want others to feel a safe space to tell me about their lives also. I want to help you, too. No one needs bear burdens alone, nor keep their happiness a secret. We need to celebrate and empathize with one another to make our web society more meaningful. I feel like connecting as blogging community is something I’ve always wanted, but have never been able to vocalize, and it would be a real honor to be able to get to know those who like to read my blog.

“We are like islands in the sea, separate on the surface but connected in the deep.”
William James

I will be leaving my comments open for you to share your story, a free forum to be unabashedly you, and if private conversation is more meaningful for you, my email address is twobookminimum@gmail.com. I check my inbox frequently, and I pride myself in responding to people quickly.

So comment below if you’re interested in starting a happiness journey with me.

Best,

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Dear Ashley Judd

Hi!

I have been watching your movies for a long time. You’ve always been an inspiration to me in the best ways. You taught me to be a woman who has a mind and a heart, and it’s perfectly ok to use them both. You showed me that men should take women seriously, and that basic human rights are hard to come by, but worth fighting for. I’ve read essays that you’ve authored, detailing world issues like poverty and birth rates, that need immediate change, but are things all nations struggle with. You gave me the tools to build myself up, to refuse to stay silent, and believe in my strength. you taught me that empathy and compassion are traits worth having, and it doesn’t make me less than others to want ethical treatment to grow and persist into the future.

These things I thank you for. Without having a strong female to look up to in the media, I think I’d be a different person. I might have given in to the pressure of choosing to be less educated, less steadfast, and less caring. Without you, I might have given up my goals, because there weren’t many people in my little world that wanted me to be more than a uterus.

Motherhood is a skill I have not yet learned. There will be a time when I will want to care for and educate a life other than mine, but that day has not come. Being a mother takes more than just being the carrier of a fetus. It is a career that requires so much of you, yet has such little legitimacy. Your movies, your craft, have shown how much good mothers matter for the future.

The reason I write to you today is to say to you that I watched Big Stone Gap last weekend. I was feeling a little homesick for south, and stumbled upon it on the “recently added” section of my Netflix. I laid on the couch, excited to see you strut your southern accent on my screen, showing the world that women are awesome. Ashley, this is a time I was bummed out by your movie.

I didn’t read the book it’s based off, but I think I get the gist. (Spoilers) Your character was supposed to leave the Big Stone Gap. Your character is shown selling all of her worldly possessions. She had a plane ticket sending her to Italy to find her long lost family. Yet, she put that all away for a man that couldn’t tell her how he felt for about 30 years. In your defense, Patrick Wilson is scrumptious. BUT. ITALY. Your character kept talking about finding a place she belongs, outside of Big Stone Gap, and then she settles for the coal miner down the road? (End Spoilers)

Love is love, I suppose, but you, as a person, have always advocated for women to be smart, independent, and capable. Your character was a stereotype. I know you may not have had much in the way of character development, but you chose to portray a woman you aren’t, nor do you advocate for. Your work wasn’t art this time, and I’m a little sad about it.

You’re a person that knows what’s at stake for females. I hold you to a higher standard than others, because you have asked me to. I’ve always loved watching your craft. You’ve offered so much hope for women. You’ve shown that we can be vulnerable and strong at the same time. You give women a role model in your films and in your personal life.

This in no way impedes me from supporting you. The humanity you have in real life far exceeds this movie, but I hope you go back to movies where your message supports a better world, because you were being heard by many and supported by even more.

With appreciation,

Two Book Minimum