September 2017 Wrap Up

1. Rising Strong, Brene Brown 4/5

“There are too many people today who instead of feeling hurt are acting out their hurt; instead of acknowledging pain, they’re inflicting pain on others. Rather than risking feeling disappointed, they’re choosing to live disappointed. Emotional stoicism is not badassery. Blustery posturing is not badassery. Swagger is not badassery. Perfection is about the furthest thing in the world from badassery.”

The physics of vulnerability is simple: If we are brave enough often enough, we will fall. The author of Daring Greatly and The Gifts of Imperfection tells us what it takes to get back up, and how owning our stories of disappointment, failure, and heartbreak gives us the power to write a daring new ending. Struggle, Brené Brown writes, can be our greatest call to courage, and rising strong our clearest path to deeper meaning, wisdom, and hope.

I did not expect to like this book as much as I did. I've heard about Brene Brown for a while and for some reason I've never picked up this book. One of the things that I worry about with nonfiction is if it will read as a textbook. This book kind of did but in the best way possible. This book was super interesting. It's so weird to read about vulnerability and shame because apparently that's the "death of a researcher's career" because no one wants to talk about it. This book resonated with me because I struggle with vulnerability. Not to be vulnerable necessarily but knowing when to be vulnerable. When does being vulnerable become oversharing? Is that possible? If you have any interest in vulnerability or are going through a hard time right now I urge you to pick up this book.

2. What Happened, Hillary Clinton

“Will we ever have a woman President? We will.
I hope I'll be around to vote for her--assuming I agree with her agenda. She'll have to earn my vote based on her qualifications and ideas, just like anyone else.
When that day comes, I believe that my two presidential campaigns will have helped pave the way for her. We did not win, but we made the sight of a woman nominee more familiar. We brought the possibility of a woman president closer. We helped bring into the mainstream the idea of a woman leader for our country. That's a big deal, and everyone who played a role in making that happen should be deeply proud. This was worth it. I will never think otherwise. This fight was worth it.”

I have to thank my grandmother for 'introducing' me to Hillary Clinton. We were at a bookstore in Florida in the beginning of Obama's second term. She picked up Hillary's book, Hard Choices, looked at me and said, "I don't hate a lot of people but I hate her." I didn't know much about Hillary Clinton other than the fact that my family did not like her. I just shook my head slightly and looked at the other books. I didn't understand why they hated her so much and I vowed to read one of Hillary's books one day and make my own decision. At the time I had no idea that I was going to get to vote for her one day.

When I heard that Hillary was running for President a second time I didn't know if she would get anywhere. The beginning of the election was not pretty, people were scared. I remember seeing Trump accuse Megyn Kelly of being on her period after she asked a tough question. I stared at the screen in horror and vowed that I would never vote for him. At that time no one thought that Trump would make it very far but then he became the Republican nominee.

I knew he would win and it was terrifying. My family and I voted a week early and I don't think I let it sink in. I walked over, bubbled in my vote and then left. I knew I was the only one in my family who voted for Hillary. I didn't take the chance to let in sink in, a woman could become president and I was voting for her. This was a big deal.

Reading this book was difficult and at the same time it was freeing. It was like finishing a chapter and starting a new one. I cried through most of this book but I felt empowered. I thought about the rainbow coming after the storm. I thought about the suffragettes, the women who fought for my right to vote. The suffragettes who didn't get to see the nineteenth amendment come to fruition. I wonder what they would have done when if they found out a woman became a presidential nominee. 

I truly believe that things will get better. After the election I thought about all the things Hillary could have done as president and how that was wiped away by one single man. I was wrong though, it wasn't wiped away and those dreams are not dead. Women are marching, the people are protesting and our children will reap the benefits. I will be able to show my daughter how people fought for her and the rights that she will have. That gives me peace and the strength to keep fighting on.



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