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reading diary | The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry

I think that reading books about books is a very special experience for all book lovers. It's comforting to see an author portray their own ode to the bookish life through their work. It's so meta, but through them, readers can feel understood and appreciated. I've read many stories about books, bookshops, and readers, and they always inspire me to read even more.

The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin is a beautiful example of a book about books, and I adored it. It's a heartwarming story about a cranky, lonely bookseller who unexpectedly finds himself having to raise a child who was left at his doorstep.

my language journey | preparing for France

Never have I felt so much pressure to study French. Knowing that in less than a month, I'll be living with a French family and studying French in France makes what I'm learning so much more real than it ever has been before.

While I've been studying French in school and on my own, it has always just been something that I memorize and deconstruct in a way that I can understand it. It's hard to imagine it being a real, tangible, living language that people actually use every day without thinking about it.

the podcasts I'm listening to

I have a new found love and appreciation for podcasts. I love having something to listen to while I work, clean, or walk around campus. I'm not always in the mood for music, and I very rarely listen to audiobooks, so podcasts are usually my go to.

With podcasts, I don't have to pay close attention to what the hosts are talking about, like how I do when I listen to audiobooks, but I always feel like I'm still getting something out of listening. It's a good way to multi-task. I could be folding laundry, but also learning things through my earbuds. I've also made it a part of my bedtime routine to listen to 10-15 minutes of a podcast each night, and I've found that listening to people talk helps me relax and get sleepy.

I'm selfish

I'm selfish.

I think deep down, all humans are inherently selfish. We care about ourselves, our time, our interests more than those of others. But I believe there are two different types of selfishness.
It can be a natural thing. In a life or death situation, you automatically focus on your needs alone. Selfishness is a survival mechanism to ensure you take care of yourself. That you get enough rest when you need it. That you have shelter and food before you focus on others.
But it is also a sinful thing when we become so self absorbed and block out everything else. When we disregard what others want, or don't pay attention to those who are in need. We become so absorbed in our own world and our own problems that we don't care.

the minimalist bookworm

Spring cleaning is my favorite time. Something about the sunshine and all the hopes for summer causes an incessant itch to purge everything. I hate unnecessary clutter and find it so satisfying to get rid of boxes of stuff from my closet, room, desk, and even my bookcase. I been called unsentimental by several people. I throw out so many things without even thinking, it can seem like I don't care about anything. However, I wouldn't call myself unsentimental, I just have a very different view of sentimentalism.

If I don't feel sentimental about an item, I'm not going to keep it. I don't want to pretend to feel sentimental about things that I legitimately don't care about, even if they are things I "should" feel sentimental about, like old toys, or knick knacks given to me from relatives. I am just way more selective with the things I care about. I also tend to feel more sentimental about memories and experiences than objects.

This philosophy, and my general hatred of clutter in general, has caused me to become a minimalist in all aspects of my life, including my reading and book buying habits.

I'm going to France

I honestly never believed I'd be writing something like this. My mind still can't grasp that it's really happening! France has been my biggest dream and I'm scared that saying it out loud will wake me up. But it's real and it's happening.

My study abroad plans have changed a lot. At first I thought I would travel for a full semester, living and working in the heart of Paris. When that opportunity didn't work out I thought it wasn't going to happen at all, and I tried to find peace with that. But it's amazing how God can open hidden doors you never thought were there. He is so faithful to answer prayers, even if it's a seemingly meaningless little summer study abroad trip.

When I started this year I never imagined I would get to travel, but as of right now I am going to be in France for a month this summer and I have never been more nervous and excited for anything! Of course I'll be chronicling my journey and going into more detail about where I'm going and doing on here as it gets closer. For now this is just an announcement, but be prepared for a bunch of pictures and journal entries in the future! 

Thanks for all your support! I love you all and can't wait to take you guys with me!