Category Archives: To Read

Women and the Plight of Pain

Does society ignore women’s pain? Do women ignore their own pain? This is a conversation that  I think warrants a discussion. There is an underlying theme that women should and will experience a great amount of pain at some point. There is one organ in particular that is definitely associated with pain. And that is the vagina.

Yes, this post is going to be about the vagina. The love below, natures scared purse, lotus flower bomb,  the va-yi-nya ( broad city pun). One of the things I noticed is that vagina is kinda thought of a burden to most women. I mean it bleeds once a month, it secretes randomly, and it’s super sensitive.  There are some days when it seems like it’s 4 5  seconds from a yeast infection and always the fear of a smell. But Can I tell you, I love my vagina. It’s pretty effing amazing. Lets just start off with the obvious, it partners up with the uterus to produce a whole human being. It’s strong as AF, and that secretion is it’s ability to self clean (can we say independent woman).

But the reason I think this precious little organ gets a bad rep is because of the pain association.  I have tons of friends who experience cramping during their period. Which has been an accepted fact…periods pretty much equal cramping. Period cramps can be very very very very painful. Now the pain does range from person to person. For example some of my friends and family experience little to no cramping at all, some are bed ridden, some get dizzy and light-headed, and have even passed out (okay that last one has happened to me). However we all seem to get the same cocktail if we complain about pain ; ibuprofen and birth control, which may or may not help.

Something just doesn’t seem right. Isn’t there another answer?

I do want to bring light to this issue. Pain is your body’s way of saying something is not right and we as women should start addressing our pain. Also it needs to be address with a little more than BC and ibuprofen. We are NOT sensitive, hormonal, crazy and erratic. We’re in pain. So Ladies fight for yourself. If you don’t think it’s right, it probably isn’t;r talk to you doctors.

With that be said, I stumbled upon this podcast called Another Round (new fav) and they did an interview with Padma Lakshmi host of Top Chef and Author of a couples of books. She talks a little bit about her journey to understand why she was in pain during her period. I thoroughly enjoyed her story and her take on women’s pain.

Check it out

 

Genesis 3:16 To the woman He said, “I will greatly multiply Your pain in childbirth, In pain you will bring forth children; Yet your desire will be for your husband, And he will rule over you.”
Continue reading Women and the Plight of Pain

Americanah

I devoured Americanah. The novel written by the now infamous voice from Beyonce’s “Flawless,” Chimamanda Ngozi Adiche, is something that should be ingested and digested as soon as it touches your hands. It’s good for the soul.

The novel on its bookends is a story about two souls so clearly made for one another that it’s hard to imagine that anything could pull them apart. But it is in that pulling apart between countries and continents where the story really shines. Americanah is without a doubt a good love story—one that sucks you in and makes you want one of your own—but it is in the experiences that Ifemelu and Obinze have without one another that all of these truths about life spill out and fill its reader.

 Ifemelu, smart and without filter, leaves Nigeria during her junior year of college for the States. It is, of course, the plan for Obinze to meet her there in a few years when he is granted a visa. But when does life ever work out the way one plans?

While rediscovering (and recovering) who she really is, Ifemelu finds out what it is like to be a foreigner in another country, what it means to love but it not be enough, and the difficulties of being considered black in a country that is constantly denying its race problem, causing more tension and polarization than actually finding a solution. Lucky for us—Ifemelu starts a blog called “Raceteenth or Various Observations About American Blacks (Those Formerly Known as Negroes) by a Non-­American Black” clueing us in to all of her thoughts along the way.

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Americanah as a whole seamlessly drifts back and forth between time and across continents as our lovers grow up without one another. The book says things out loud that even in 2014 I’ve never seen in print. It’s honest without any signs of filtration, just like its protagonist. It is Adiche’s unraveling of the unspoken token things of cultures that is so nourishing for the reader. She talks freely about “taboo” subjects like black girls and natural hair and what it’s like being in an interracial relationship without dipping into the cliché; everything she writes feels real and honest and actually experienced.

Besides just speaking plain truths about race and culture in America, Adiche’s characters cannot be denied their realness. They are relatable in the way that in each character, you could pinpoint someone in your own life who so perfectly fits their description.

 Americanah is a hefty book, but reading it is more than worth it, it is a necessity.

The 99 Things You Learn Being a Single Girl in Your 20s

Well not all 99, but 12 that made me say “Yessssss” out loud and have flash backs to the moments and guys that helped me learn these very lessons

8. Just because someone loves you does not mean that person understands you

9. You should always be your number one priority, no matter how often your relationship status fluctuates

10. If he’s too good to be true, ignore the truth until you can’t any longer and promise to learn better the next time

11. Don’t overlook your friends for a guy

12. A steady rotation is never a bad thing

13. However, it gets really awkward when those in the rotation meet one another

14. You will not find your soul mate via a dating app

15. However you will download and delete dating apps at least three times before realizing this

27. Cry hard about something that upset you and never cry about the same thing again

28. It’s perfectly okay to stay in on the weekends with your best friend, watch “Law & Order” and complain about how single you both are

63. Often it means more to trust someone than to love that person

99. Just because you’re single doesn’t mean no one loves you

See full elite daily article here.

The Fault In Our Stars

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The Fault In Our Stars is one of those intoxicating books that you shouldn’t begin unless you have free time to read it all in one sitting; it is the type of novel that makes you feel bad for doing the things that you actually need to do to survive like eat and/or sleep because even if you need to do them- that’s time spent away from reading the book.

The story centers around a teenage girl obsessed with the concept (and the actuality) of death. Hazel Grace, as one of the main characters of the novel likes to call her, has the typical “emo” high school girl feel except she has a legitimate reason for feeling all of the feels: most of the sixteen years of her life have been spent battling cancer. Hazel would hate it if she saw that someone wrote a description of her as someone who is “battling” cancer, as someone who is also offended and over most of the cliché language involved with cancer patients and survivors. Still, every week her mom forces her to go to a support group for young cancer patients. It’s here in this group that Hazel meets Augustus Waters and the real story of The Fault In Our Stars begins.

No spoiler here, Augustus and Hazel fall in love and reading their love story—being swept up in their adventures through life and love intertwined with the painful reality of cancer is an experience unlike any other. Yes, their story is heartbreaking, but I laughed in the book a lot more than I cried. Hazel and Augustus are faced with unimaginable circumstances and it has shaped their thoughts and their humor (and, of course, their lives). But, I won’t ruin their story with my words, because, as Hazel says, “like all real love stories—it will die with us, as it should.”

The Fault In Our Stars is exactly the kind of novel worthy of your precious time- gorgeously literary, laugh out loud funny, and irresistibly beautiful.

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The movie adaptation hits theaters on June 6!

Girls Like Us

“And so the river flows, the circle game repeats, the rutted road gets easier to walk down…And that is how it is for all three of these women—all three of these girls like us—who were born into one female culture and changed it—year by year, song by song, risk by risk—so sweepingly and daringly.”

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These are the final words from the entrancing biography Girls Like Us by Sheila Weller. Girls Like Us is the thorough and delightful tale of three of the best singer-songwriters of the 60s: Carly Simon, Carole King, and Joni Mitchell. I was drawn to the book as someone whose childhood memories are touched with many a Carole King or James Taylor song tucked into the background. My parents are huge fans of the famed singers, and they made sure their kids were as well.

Honestly, I picked up the novel, hoping to find more about James Taylor and it’s true, the story did satisfy a lot of my curiosity about James Taylor’s involvement with all of the ladies on the cover, but what really pulled me in was how fascinating the women themselves really were. They were fans of braving paths unknown for women at the time, but somehow they were still dealing with the same issues any woman deals with whether you make your living from writing music about your life or not.

Between the three of them, they racked up quite a name-dropping list of husbands and lovers: Jack Nicholson, Crosby, Stills, and Nash, and Mick Jagger just to name a few. The names on the list are sometimes baffling and seem so fictional, one can only read some of the stories from their lives and laugh. But it’s the songwriters’ abilities to turn their luck or loss in love (and in life!) into these magical tunes that really make them special. Carole, Joni, and Carly were Taylor Swift and Adele far before confessional singing was cool—in fact, it’s because of their honesty and brashness that the confessional singing genre even exists.

Weller finds a way to segment and detail the lives of (what seems like) three very different women, and connect them to you in a way that you never could imagine you would be. And without even directly touching on what is considered right or wrong now for women, something in the way Weller tells the stories of these women is almost like a little nudge on the back saying, “Go on, just do whatever it is you’ve been wanting to do. Why not?”

Even if only for the love of songs like “Case of You” and “Natural Woman,” Girls Like Us is certainly worth the read. Weller helps contextualize how each of your favorite songs came into existence.

Carole King with “Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow”

“Case of You” by Joni Mitchell

Carly Simon with “You’re So Vain”

Scenes From An Impending Marriage

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Scenes From An Impending Marriage is a tiny graphic novel treat written by Adrian Tomine. What began as a wedding gift to the guests at his wedding blossomed into a hilariously real take at what it’s like to plan a wedding. Although it’s a short read, Scenes is a really intricate and loving look at a couple preparing for their big day.

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It’s not the kind of wedding book that one has to read before getting married. It’s the kind of wedding book one should read just because of how funny and heart-warming it is.

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Scenes From An Impending Marriage can be found on Amazon.