Daily Bookish Challenges | Day Three

What are your favourite books to give as gifts?

This is a tough question, because I don’t typically give books as gifts. As much as I WANT to, and I do have some readers in my circle, I have very few who would rather have books than other gifts.

But, this year, I am giving some books. And I’m definitely not sharing them with you. Can’t give away the surprise, no?

I did, however, give my husband two books for his birthday:

41 by George W Bush

Killing Patton by Bill O’Reilly

 

Ironically enough, the people in my life who I do sometimes buy books for lean more towards nonfiction than fiction–which is completely opposite from what I read, so buying books for them can be difficult! It is absolutely uncharted territory for me, and I must rely on reviews and suggestions, rather than my own knowledge.

Thank goodness for gift receipts…I’ve never been the most confident gift giver.

Daily Bookish Challenges | Day Two

What’s on your book wishlist for the holidays?
Surprisingly, I don’t normally ask for books for Christmas.

*gasp*

WHAT?!

I know, right? As much of a book lover as I am, why wouldn’t I ask for books for Christmas?

Well, one, because it’s so damn hard to choose which books to ask for. I have such a huge wish list, I can’t just give the whole damn thing to my family. They would have no idea. My Nana used to get me the latest Nora Roberts books, but I have long outgrown those, so she’s stopped with that. Now, I usually just ask for Barnes and Noble gift cards, which I hoard until I can figure out what I actually want to purchase.

The second reason is that my mom LOVES clothes shopping. And she loves clothes shopping with her girls. So, every year, we would do a pre-holiday (and birthday, since it’s in November) shopping spree. She’d come down to Indy, take me to lunch, sometimes my sisters would come along too, and we’d all go crazy. So most years, I’d know what I was getting. But, my wardrobe would be set for the year–and it would be fashionable! Haha!

This year is a little bit different–since I live so far away now, we couldn’t do our traditional shopping trip. I missed it terribly. Instead, I built an Amazon wishlist, and there were quite a few books on there. They are exactly what you would expect from me:

Harry Potter by JK Rowling–I KNOWWWWW…but I still don’t own them, and it’s killing me. I would love to own the new UK collection, but if someone gets it for me, it’ll be the US version. If I buy it with my Christmas money afterwards though…I will be ordering it from across the blue.

Hogwarts Library–obviously.

I got The Wise Man’s Fear and The Slow Regard for Silent Things for my birthday, but The Name of the Wind is still on the list to complete the collection. I suspect it has already been purchased though…

Not that Kind of Girl by Lena Dunham–I haven’t read this one yet, but I keep hearing about it, so I must.

The Giver Quartet by Lois Lowry–That big gorgeous gray and red hardcover version.

Quiet by Susan Cain

Chronicles of Narnia by CS Lewis box set

The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley

The Lunar Chronicles Series by Marissa Meyer

Solitaire by Alice Oseman

Chasers of the Light by Tyler Knott Gregson

 

I can’t wait to see what books I get, and I’ll be sure to do a book haul post in January! Happy Holidays!

 

TreesofReverie December Readathon – Daily Challenge #1 – Introduction

Show or explain to us what your collection of books looks like. Do you have a specific way or order to how you like to keep your books?

If you haven’t figured it out yet, I am mildly obsessive about certain things. My reading habits are where I am the most compulsive, probably because it is the one thing in my life that has been the most constant.

My books HAVE to be arranged alphabetically by author, then title. There is no other way to do it, in my mind. They have always been this way, and they will remain this way. Every time I get a new book, it immediately gets shelved, and that can be a painstaking process sometimes, because everything has to get shifted–especially if that book is towards the beginning of the alphabet!

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There are a few exceptions to the alphabetic rule…but very few.

I have a To Be Read shelf now, but those books are also in order by author, of course.

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I also have pulled some “reference” and “miscellaneous” books out of the regular collection, mostly because they just didn’t fit into any real order and they were messing up the aesthetics…and most likely they are going to end up in a closet soon, because I’m running out of space in my two bookcases.

Do you have a moment in your life where your love of books and reading became significantly evident? Is there a particular thing, event or person that influenced your passion for books?

I don’t remember not reading. My love for books is more like breathing than an actual hobby. My mom told me once that when I was little, before Kindergarten, she came upstairs and found me sitting on the floor reading one of her romances. I looked at her and said, “Mommy, this book has people kissing, and they aren’t married. You shouldn’t read this.” I can remember sitting at the base of our giant bookshelves up there and just being surrounded by books, pulling them all off the shelves so I could look at them all.

What sort of book or world is your favourite to get lost in?

I love fantasy the most–but it has to be the kind of fantasy that is rooted in historical legend. Books like Game of Thrones and Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter. You know the kind I mean. The worlds that feel like you could almost step into it yourself.

I also really enjoy historical fiction based on real people, where the author has done extensive research. I want to be so transfixed that I feel like I am actually there, walking with the person.

What book/s would you recommend to others so that they could have a chance to get lost in your personal ‘bookish world’?

Any of the books I’ve already mentioned. The Thorn Birds, of course. The Secret GardenThe Slow Regard for Silent Things is another one of my more recent favorites, but they’d also need to read the rest of the Kingkiller Chronicles first.

 

Show Me What You Write In

We are a little over a week into November now, and based on everyone’s tweets and Tumblr posts…it sounds like NaNoWriMo has not been easy on ya’ll.

I have tremendous respect for those of you working so hard to write your books. I just don’t have that fortitude and creativity…which is why I’m doing the blog version!

No matter what we are writing, we all have our methods. Some use a laptop, some prefer old school pen and paper.

I have become an obsessive journaler. I collect magazine articles, calendar pages, letters. And obviously, I write, constantly. Book quotes get written down, any random thought that comes into my head. Plans for my blog….really, just everything. As you can see, this year has just exploded, and a 3 inch binder has not been enough.

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What do you write in? Do you journal?

Vendetta

The year I graduated high school, a life long tradition was started. Every year on this day, I watch a movie. It’s the only movie that I really have a tradition for, and I absolutely love it.

You know what movie it is.

That’s right.

Image Source:  Zing Revolution.com

 

Say it with me now:

Remember, remember!

The fifth of November,

The Gunpowder treason and plot;

I know of no reason

Why the Gunpowder treason

Should ever be forgot!

R gets home this afternoon, and we will for sure be watching this as soon as I get home from yoga. He loves this movie as much as I do, and even has a little Guy Fawkes mask sitting in our “nerd” collection in the hall.

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In case you thought we weren’t nerdy enough…also…this is really creepy when you come up the stairs at night.

An Introvert in an Extrovert’s World

Today’s post is supposed to be titled “Favorite Nonfiction.” And it started out that way. But, I couldn’t leave that as the title, because, while this post is about my favorite nonfiction book, it is also about much more than that.

Susan Cain published Quiet in January 2012. Where was I in January 2012? Dating. Online dating to be specific. Meeting complete strangers for drinks at bars. It was absolutely terrifying. I was terrible at it.

And then I heard about this book. Or maybe it caught my eye at a book store, I can’t remember. But Susan Cain came into my life hard. Quite frankly, she saved me.

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For those of you who don’t know Quiet, this is a book about being an Introvert in an Extrovert’s world. Cain not only describes the differences, but also goes to great lengths to help us understand ways to be ourselves and still feel comfortable and confident in today’s society.

Not too long ago, my sister had my whole family take personality tests. I was not surprised to hear that everyone, except me, was some variation of extrovert. I had known that for years. They call laughed, though, when I told them mine:  INFJ (Introverted, Intuitive, Feeling, Judging). The rarest type in society. Only 1% of people have this personality. Where this comes from in my family, I don’t know, but I’m definitely the odd man out.

Growing up in an extroverted family was not easy. I very much wanted to keep up with all of the social activities, sporting events, and oh please god just let me get a word into this conversation! But mostly, my brain kept telling me that my books were waiting upstairs in my room.

School, especially college, was hard. For many people, college means parties! New friends! Clubs! For me, college meant feeling extremely out of place in a very big environment. People seemed to cling together quickly and easily, and I didn’t understand why that didn’t happen to me. Classes required group projects, and because I was in the business school, my groups were filled with aspiring sales people and entrepreneurs. Extreme Extroverts! All of my ideas were overspoken and thrown out…if I even tried to speak them at all. It has always been a very big frustration to me when I try to add something to a conversation and I get interrupted. I’ll try again once, maybe twice. After that I usually give up trying to participate.

But let me get back to January 2012. Remember that very dark place I talked about the other day? I was desperately trying to pull myself out of it. I needed something positive, fun, anything. So…online dating. Fun right? I was going to meet people. Yeahhhhhhhh….mmmk. Introvert’s Nightmare.

But then I read Susan Cain’s book. And she taught me that introverts need to recharge after social stimulation. I also learned how to prepare myself when I knew that I was going to be out in a big public place or bombarded with social stimuli.

So, I’d pick a bar or a restaurant that I could easily control. I’d show up 15 minutes early, and make sure I already have a beer before my date arrived–through the door that I could easily see. It made me much more relaxed and able to enjoy myself.

And hey…I found my husband that way, so it must have worked right? (Except he came in the wrong door on that first date. And I spilled beer all over myself.)

Applying these methods have also worked in other areas of my life too. R knows very well my “Haley Limits,” as he calls them, and helps make sure I’m recharging when I need to. My work is busy, but I am careful to watch and make sure I’m not multitasking to the point of overstimulation (and that is a problem for me sometimes, as a bit of a control-freak). I’m blessed to be able to work out of my home, so that helps too–and I’ve made my office a very calm place to focus.

My relationship with my family has grown up quite a bit as well. Maturity has a lot to do with it, but also, I know now that I will never be able to keep up with all of their activities. When I’m home though, there is nothing we like to do more than open a bottle of wine and play card games. And that, I can most certainly enjoy.

I would encourage you, at the very least, to watch Susan Cain’s Ted Talk. She discusses themes from her book–specifically our society’s obsession with GroupThink. (Confession time, I’ve probably watched this 10 times.) And I really do believe that everyone, Introvert or Extrovert, should read Cain’s book. It is that important. Especially for managers, teachers, religious leaders, parents–anyone who has any type of coaching or teaching role, especially with children. It is crucial that everyone is included in this world, that no one’s ideas are left unheard just because they are not as bold or loud as others.

Because some of us sit here, behind computers, behind books. We have ideas too. Some of the most brilliant minds in this world have been introverts. And they only become leaders because they have to. Susan Cain mentions this in her Ted Talk. They come across more genuine because they aren’t trying to steal the spotlight. They are up on that life stage because there is something out there that needs doing, and who else is going to do it but that introvert who is going to make it happen? So they stand up, even though every part of them is resisting. And at the end of it, they are beaten and exhausted and drained and small. Sometimes, it kills them. But it must be done.

Who are you listening to?

Movin On–Indy to Dallas

We’ve been in Dallas almost three months now. That’s crazy to think about sometimes. I grew up in Indiana, and while I moved gradually from the north down to Indy, I never left the state. And now, we are living so far from home that sometimes it feels like a whole other planet.

There are a bunch of differences between Indiana and Texas, and a lot of similarities too. I meant to write this post sooner, and just kept putting it off. I don’t know why. It just never felt right. Still doesn’t, really.

Here’s some differences:

1. The tap water is never ever cold. This is a huge annoyance to me. I can’t just go get a drink from the faucet, I have to let the pitcher get cold in the fridge before it’s drinkable. I guess because the ground (and in turn the pipes) is warmer?

2. The roads don’t have potholes…just ridges. And mannnnn are they bumpy. They don’t use salt here from what I understand, so they don’t get the big gouges in the asphalt like Indiana does. Over time it just kind of shifts and creases into itself.

3. And speaking of roads….all of the sudden….SEMIs!!!! Funny story with this one. The freeways here are insane. They just build roads on top of roads on top of roads. So when you go on an onramp, you might have another on ramp crossing next to you, with cars coming the opposite direction. If you aren’t expecting it, it can be pretty jarring. One night, we were coming back from the movies, and hit one of these. R was driving, and all of the sudden, there was this semi coming RIGHT AT US. It looked like it was on our bridge. We thought we were going to die. But no, it was on the bridge next to us, but it was so scary. Driving here is taking a bit to get used to.

 

4. Children in bars. This has got to be one of my biggest annoyances. Until 9, children are allowed in bars. So all my favorite hangouts, where I go to be an adult, become family restaurants essentially. Which, on one hand, is great because our best friends have a 1 year old (who is an absolute joy when we go out), so they are able to come out with us more often. On the other, it means that there are 8 year olds running around being idiots while I’m trying to have a peaceful adult evening. For me, there’s a difference between Bar and Family Restaurant.

5. SPEED BUMPS EVERYWHERE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

6. There are these things called Frontage Roads that make entering and exiting highways so much easier. Thank you Texas for Frontage Roads.

7. I have trucker arm from sitting by my window in my office. Not even kidding. One of my arms is noticeably frecklier/tanner/sunburnt than the other.

8. Clouds are rare. It may be a little overcast in the morning, but by 10-11 am, it will be completely blue sky. And when it rains, it will rain straight down with very little wind. We had one really big storm with 90 MPH winds, but the air is just so still here.

 

My favorite thing about living in Dallas so far is that there is always something to do. There is always a festival going on–really just about every weekend. R is out of town this weekend, but Untappd is having a beer festival that we would have gone to probably if he was here. We’ve been to a Chipotle festival, there’s a big whiskey tasting coming up. There’s certainly no shortage of restaurants for us to check out. We also live right next door to the Dallas Arboretum, which is a big garden architecture place. I’ve even joined a yoga studio, which is something I’ve never considered doing until we moved here. We live right on a big lake with a walking path all the way around, and though we haven’t researched it yet, I think there are canoe/kayak rentals and stuff like that. There’s also a much bigger reservoir not too far from us.

Also, the people here are super friendly. You can’t go to a grocery store or sit at a bar without someone striking up a conversation with you. For someone who grew up in a small town where everyone knew everyone…that’s my honey. I may be an introvert, but I also feel more awkward in social situations if I just sit at a bar and DON’T talk to the bartender, or the person sitting alone next to me. That’s just so weird to me. Because back home…I probably KNEW that bartender or that person sitting next to me. So when the girl in line behind me the other day at Target started laughing because she had a stack full of freezer meals and made fun of herself for being single, of course I chimed in about how not too long ago I was buying exactly the same thing! We were so distracted, the cashier had to cough to get my attention when it was my turn in line! Whoops!

It still doesn’t completely feel like home yet. My apartment does. I love our townhouse, with my office and the porch overlooking the neighborhood. But I’m still getting used to living in Texas. I’m trying to get out more often on my own, and I think once R’s store opens, that will help–we’ll get into a real routine, and I’ll stop by the store on my way back from yoga, like I used to do on my way home from work. We’re getting there. It was a bigger adjustment than I expected it to be, but it hasn’t necessarily been a bad one, just different.

I do really love that there is a taco stand on every block. Thank you lord for TexMex.

You Can’t Just “Shake Off” Depression

A link was shared with me today that raised my blood to full boiling point. You can check out the article by clicking HERE. (Oh, and the IUPUI’s Press Release, because it is being endorsed by the school:  HERE). Trust me, it’s not pretty.

A freshman at IUPUI decided it would be a fantastic project to pop a video camera in the schoolyard, play Taylor Swift’s peppy new song “Shake it Off,” and let people dance with clown hair and other props. All with the tag for suicide prevention.

Because people with depression can absolutely SHAKE OFF their sadness, emotions, and SUICIDAL THOUGHTS.

 

 

My initial reaction when I saw who made the project was the typical excuse. “Oh, he’s a freshman, he has no maturity. He’s just some dumb kid with a video camera.” But you know what, no. That’s not an excuse. I have had brilliant conversations with 15 year olds who know exactly what depression is. They feel it. Every single day they battle with it. They know what it is like, to sit in a dark room, hiding under blankets, afraid to talk to anyone, not really caring even to open a book or turn on the TV, because nothing feels. Not even feels right, just nothing feels like…anything. They go to school because they have to, and no one understands why their work is “half-assed,” when they are really intelligent kids. It’s not because they aren’t trying on purpose, it’s because their brains just have no energy left. They have essentially run out of gas.

So all those excited, happy people dancing on the video? What we aren’t seeing are the depressed people sneaking by behind the camera. “Please don’t see me, I can’t dance today.” And that’s just those who are even walking on campus, trying to make it to class in the sunshine.

Sunshine. What a curse it is sometimes. Like dancing, it is a sign of happiness, joy, life. And for some, it’s the devil, nosing in the window to see if you’re ready to come out yet. Why can’t the world just leave well enough alone?

 

My depression was situational, not clinical, thankfully. There was a period of about 2 years where the darkness closed in and I really just didn’t know what to do. My life was broken, and so I felt erased, worthless, and so completely emotionally damaged that most of my strength was just gone. I didn’t ask for help, I was too proud, too ashamed. I was never suicidal, thankfully my world never got that black. But the monster that attacked was a very real thing.

That’s over now, and looking back, it’s so frightening to see the pit I had dug for myself. Sometimes you don’t realize how far down you have gone until you’re out of it. And mine was only one long moment. One chunk of life. My heart crushes at the thought of my friends who suffer from clinical depression–those that feel this way on a periodic or cyclical basis. I’ve had people close to me snuffed out too soon, and while their pain ends, it’s devastating to the family and friends who cared for them. We never really know the depth of the pain people are in.

Depression is a beast.  Sometimes, it grabs you all at once and sucks you under. Other times, it takes you like that frog in the slowly heating pot of water, warming you until you boil. And what is really, truly scary about it, is the entire time it’s taking you….you stop caring. It steals your feelings, it steals your ability to choose what happens to you. It becomes this big dark blanket that wraps around you, at first it is comfortable, soft, warm. Ok, it’s nice to be alone and quiet for a bit. And slowly, slowly, slowly…you suffocate. And by that point, you’ve isolate yourself so well, that no one recognizes that you’re drowning. And that is why everyone is always so surprised when someone commits suicide.

 

This is why the video and the article upset me so much. You can’t just “shake off” depression. It’s not just a bad day or an attitude that you can dance away. Even if there are depressed people in that video, and there might very well be–I don’t know their story–chances are…it’s a mask. We are really good at masks (another reason people get surprised).

I am sure Harris’s point was to raise awareness. I see that at it’s base, and I am sure that is why IUPUI is endorsing it. These things go viral so quickly. We saw what happened with the Ice Bucket Challenge. And while a lot of great awareness and money raising came out of that…I just don’t see a real benefit to this specific video. All I see is a really terrible catch phrase, and a whole bunch of hurting people being pushed further into the dark. I hope I am wrong. Or, that someone comes up with a twist to this that actually promotes suicide awareness in a different, more helpful light. It is so needed.

 


 

A Disclaimer, and some information:

  • I am clearly not an expert on depression and mental illness but it is something that interests me and is near to my heart, so I spend a lot of focus on it personally. I experienced it myself, and I’ve had a lot of discussions with my friends who have seen and experienced this. I’ve also done a lot of reading on the subject…because that’s what I do when I’m passionate about something.

If you need help, please please please, don’t be embarrassed or ashamed or scared to ask for help. There are SOOOOO many people out there who have gone through what you have gone through, or have been trained to help you. Tumblr now will even pop up and check on you if you type Suicide in the search box. Reach out to your people. Even online people. We are here. And there are more of us who love you than you think. Don’t let that monster take you under. We will notice. You will be missed, I promise you that.

 

Perfectionitis

I am a perfectionist.

I got it from my mother, but it manifested in a completely different way from hers. She LOVES to clean, and she always looks fantastic. Me–I am completely OCD about very particular things:  my books are alphabetical by author, then title; I am constantly making lists; my pens are separated by type and quality. I’m even making a list of WHY I’m OCD. Areas of my life are neat and tidy–like my office. Everything has to have it’s exact place or I am thrown completely out of wack.

At work, I obsess. I remember calls for weeks at least. Few names escape me, details are soaked up like a sponge. When people ask me questions or for help, I often either know the answer or where to go for help. I’m not trying to brag there, it’s just because I feel I have to be perfect. I feel very deficient if I don’t know how to solve something. My job is very much about critical thinking and puzzles, and I will agonize over the tough ones or if I think I’ve made a mistake. I also have to have everything complete before I leave at the end of the day. It bugs the crap out of me if I can’t get my work done before I clock out at the end of the day. Open cases drive me crazy.

The big downside to all of this is that I am a perfectionist to the point that if there is something I can’t do perfectly, I won’t do it. This sometimes comes across as laziness, but that isn’t the whole picture. Not really. My introvert nature does enable me to sit still for long periods of time, and I do love to read. But really, I am never satisfied with what I do, and it completely frustrates me. In my head, I should be able to pick up a guitar and play like Jimi Hendrix. Or a paint brush and create a Monet masterpiece. Why does my pen not flow into Rowling billions? My brain knows that these things take years of hard work and practice, but I feel like I should just instantly be perfect.

Even picking up a sponge to clean a bathroom is hard for me sometimes. Why isn’t it instantly spotless? I’ve scrubbed all afternoon and it’s still streaky! It’s why I would rather fold laundry into piles and put them away all at once. It’s a system, so that the shirts and underwear and tanks all go into the drawers in their perfect little piles. I’m sure it’s silly, but it’s what makes sense in my head.

I wish sometimes that I had gained the type of perfectionalism that makes me want to be super healthy and fashionable all the time. Because, actually, I do really want to be those things. I just don’t know how to be that kind of perfect perfectly. And so, I’ll obsess if my books are in the right order and I’ll stack the notebook paper on my desk just one more time so that it lines up just right. And you know all of my work will be done before I clock out. Because that, I can do. Perfectly. Or at least as close as I can get.

It’s just who I am. I am a perfectionist.

A Lack of Baby Fever

A blog buddy of mine over at Pure Geekery posted yesterday about the battle between those who are childfree and those who are parents. After writing a very long comment in response, I thought I’d write my own post about it. This is something I haven’t yet blogged about here, because it is 1) not at all book related, and 2) a very personal topic. To see the original post that Nicole wrote, check it out here.

I will not be having children. Yes, I am a woman. Yes, I am married. And, as far as I am aware, I am capable. But, I will not be having children.

I say I, instead of we, because while my husband fully supports my decision on this, it is my body, and ultimately my decision. It is also a decision that was made, for the most part, long before he came into the picture. I’ve known since I was able to say baby that I was just missing whatever that THING is that maternal women have to make them great mothers. That need, that drive. I don’t have it. When someone would hand me a doll, I would look at it with incomprehension. Playing house to me meant building it, organizing it. It certainly did not mean taking care of babies.

However, the older I got, the more I realized how different I was. The societal pressure to have children is a real thing. Mommies are everywhere in our culture. I grew up in a very small town where, for the most part, the goal was to get married and have children. Sure, there was college and career goals. But, for women, many of those career goals all cycled back around to having kids. I don’t say that to cheapen it. Don’t get me wrong here. I have absolutely nothing against mommies, and certainly nothing against working moms. Dude, those women are killer. But, it’s what I heard, over and over and over again. Graduate, go to college, find a husband, have babies.

Why didn’t I feel that way? I wanted to travel! I wanted to read every book in the library! I wanted to see things, do things. Kids just were never on the agenda. I struggled with it for years while I was trying to figure out who I was.

When I met my first husband, the pressure became real. Over and over again, babies were on the menu for conversation. Every family gathering, every social event.

Now that I’m married again, those questions come up again, but because we’ve been more open about our intentions with our families, thankfully it’s a little easier this time. The questions mostly come from strangers making small talk.

Those conversations usually go one of three ways.

1. On rare occasions, I find someone who actually gets it, says ok, moves on to something else. They may ask why, but usually in this instance it’s a nonissue. I love these people. There should be more of them.

2. The person says, “Oh, I bet you change your mind. Having babies is the most important thing.” These people I want to smack. Because it isn’t the most important thing, not to me. See above. I have a loving husband. I read, I love to travel. My life is AWESOME.

3. Flat out judgement. These are pretty rare too, thankfully. But I’ve experienced them. They think I am broken, damaged. Something is clearly wrong with me. These are the conversations that shake me, make me questions myself.

 

Now that I’ve told you all that, to address Nicole’s article. I agree with almost everything she said. I wish this was a much smaller issue than it is. I wish there was not such a big divide between the women who have children, and the women who don’t have children. I realize it hurts people outside of those of us who are able to actually make a choice in this matter. I don’t want that. I know too many people in my circle who have struggled, to ever intentionally hurt them. I wish that not having children was more socially acceptable so that women were not instantly asked the question, “Oh, when are you having children?” It would solve so many problems.

This is a very real, very personal issue for me. This is not a fake fight, not for me. There are many women in this world feeling the pressure to have children who know that it is not the right path for them. I have made my own choices. And I am absolutely happy in those decisions. But that does not mean that it hurts less to be judged sometimes. And if I am vocal about my choices, or stand up for what I believe in, it is so younger girls know that it’s ok to feel this way too. You can make decisions for your own mind and body. They are important decisions. Think hard on them, think long on them. Don’t take them lightly. But you do not have to do what everyone else is doing.