Read Fangirl by Rainbow RowellRainbow Rowell (goodreads.com)
Cath is a Simon Snow fan. Okay, the whole world is a Simon Snow fan.. But for Cath, being a fan is her life—and she’s really good at it. She and her twin sister, Wren, ensconced themselves in the Simon Snow series when they were just kids; it’s what got them through their mother leaving. Reading. Rereading. Hanging out in Simon Snow forums, writing Simon Snow fan fiction, dressing up like the characters for every movie premiere. Cath’s sister has mostly grown away from fandom, but Cath can’t let go. She doesn’t want to. Now that they’re going to college, Wren has told Cath she doesn’t want to be roommates. Cath is on her own, completely outside of her comfort zone. She’s got a surly roommate with a charming, always-around boyfriend, a fiction-writing professor who thinks fan fiction is the end of the civilized world, a handsome classmate who only wants to talk about words... And she can’t stop worrying about her dad, who’s loving and fragile and has never really been alone. For Cath, the question is: Can she do this? Can she make it without Wren holding her hand? Is she ready to start living her own life? Writing her own stories? And does she even want to move on if it means leaving Simon Snow behind?
Fangirl Cover

I just finished reading Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell. And now I want to be best friends with her, because she gets me.

This book means so much to me. I didn’t have a good time in college. I was lonely. I had no interest in partying. I was clinically depressed. And fandom saved my life.

I did have an adorable tall boyfriend with a receding hairline. (Reader, I married him.) He talked through my magnum opus with me, a blatant Mary Sue in which I wrote my hopes and dreams for season 5 of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. (I deleted it from fanfiction.net in a fit of embarrassment in 2009, but I’m planning to resurrect it from my old personal domain in the Wayback Machine and post it to AO3 soon.)

I was more distant from my sister than I’d ever been in my life. My little brother was very sick and ended up hospitalized.

I got a job explicitly to pay my way to fannish events. I made so many fandom friends. I printed up pages and pages of fanfic.

I started a fan campaign. It gave me a sense of purpose when my grades were tanking and my mom was in the hospital.

I embarked on a teaching career in a town two hundred miles away from anyone I loved. I read fanfic and posted on forums and LiveJournal and it was my only human contact outside of work.

This book just feels very personal and I’m so grateful to Rainbow Rowell for writing it.

Read Friends with Secrets (friendswithsecrets)
Three friends with different backgrounds participated in online text therapy sessions from January to April 2018. Friends With Secrets captures a slice of their lives — the good, the bad, the heartbreaking — and how they try to process the world around them. The sessions have been refined. The identities of the therapists have been protected.
Three friends with different backgrounds participated in online text therapy sessions from January to April 2018. Friends With Secrets captures a slice of their lives ? the good, the bad, the heartbreaking ? and how they try to process the world around them. The sessions have been refined. The identities of the therapists have been protected.

 

Just read all of Friends with Secrets and cried and I think there’s a lot of journaling in my future?

Read How Netflix’s She-Ra found a specific sound for its kick-ass princess (Polygon)
The reboot’s soundtrack was considered before animating began, says composer Sunna Wehrmeijer
The reboot?s soundtrack was considered before animating began, says composer Sunna Wehrmeijer

 

“Big and epic but also sparkly” is my new personal tagline.

Read I'm Turning 30. Do I Need Adulting Lessons? by an author (CityLab)
There's a whole cottage industry devoted to teaching Millennials basic life skills. Are young adults that hapless, or is being a grown-up really harder now?
 

There’s a whole cottage industry devoted to teaching Millennials basic life skills. Are young adults that hapless, or is being a grown-up really harder now?

Pocket suggests things for me to read, and a few weeks ago, it suggested I read this piece about adulting. As I lay in bed, my toddler sleeping peacefully beside me, I thought, “I really need adulting help.” Which in one sense is ridiculous, because I have been doing some adulting basics, like holding a steady job, or paying rent or utilities, for almost 18 years. My adult self is, in fact, an adult.

But then I look at my immensely dirty car, or think about the extreme level of disrepair my home has fallen into over the past six years of home ownership, or remember that W. is the one who does the laundry and the dishes and the cleaning and the yardwork and I think…

Yeah. I could use some help.

I had a revelation a couple weeks ago while driving and noticing that my windshield wipers need to be replaced. I’m really good at projects. In one sense, it’s completely correct that my personal brand could be KIMBERLY: SHE GETS THE JOB DONE. If the job has a clear objective and a defined endpoint. I can manage human and material resources to make magic happen.

If, on the other hand, the job is a repetitive task directed at maintenance that will need to be done over and over again (like laundry or dishes or toothbrushing), then I’ll have to work harder to create a system to make sure it happens.

I’m trying to figure out what those systems look like.

Maybe acknowledging that all of life is a process of incrementally improving and coming up with ways to hack your brain is the real adulting.

 

 

Read Brown Point Shoes Arrive, 200 Years After White Ones by an author (nytimes.com)
Ballet dancers of color have long painted, dyed or covered point shoes in makeup to match their skin. Could this small barrier to inclusion finally be disappearing?
 

Ballet dancers of color have long painted, dyed or covered point shoes in makeup to match their skin. Could this small barrier to inclusion finally be disappearing?

When we would talk about examples of white privilege in our Project READY work, the fact that I can buy dance shoes close to my skin tone was one of my go-tos. It seems like nothing until you realize that dancers are spending hundreds of dollars and hours to modify pink or nude shoes.

Read Unfollowing Everybody by Anil DashAnil Dash (Anil Dash)
...our social networks are not things we generally think of as requiring maintenance or upkeep, even though we routinely do regular updates on all the other aspects of our digital lives. Keeping in mind that spirit of doing necessary maintenance, I recently did something I'd thought about doing for years: I unfollowed everyone on Twitter.

I’m probably going to unfollow everybody from Twitter on Monday. Please don’t take it personally. I’ll then be adding my closest people back, and creating lists so it’s easy to find everybody else later. I just need my default feed to be quieter.

Read I May Have Found My Life’s Purpose (Katie Linder)
In action, radical self-trust manifests as a consistent practice of purposeful actions rooted in one’s capacity for steadfast self-awareness and self-loyalty that has a comprehensive effect on all aspects of the life experience.
I find myself having a lot of existential crises lately. I think it makes sense for somebody who is preparing for comprehensive exams but hasn’t fully articulated the research question for her dissertation, is parenting full-time with four hours a day of childcare, is sharing caregiving responsibilities for a post-op parent with her siblings, is in the middle of a chronic illness flare up, and lives in the world. (When I put it like that, it sounds like I have stuff going on!)

These crises come up especially when my kid is sleeping, especially especially when he’s having a rough teething night, so I feel like there’s little point in trying to sleep myself.

It was in the midst of just such a crisis that I decided to return to the work of Katie Linder, whom I think I found because she is one of the few people actually doing podcasts explicitly about scholarly communication and engaged scholarship. I took a break from her stuff when this flare up got unignorable, but it felt like exactly what I needed in the middle of my latest existential crisis.

And it was, even more than I anticipated. Dr. Linder’s latest blog post about Radical Self-Trust articulates exactly how I operate when I’m at my best, when I’m managing to keep the imposter syndrome and existential dread at bay. I highly recommend checking it out and following her work.