On Reading Duchess Goldblatt

To continue the theme of books I have been reading, I thought I would write about the book I just finished. 

At the beginning of June, I asked my family if they wanted to start a reading group. We played a pick a number type of decision matrix, and I got to pick the first book. This opportunity left me in a quandary. What if I chose the wrong book? What if no one else liked it? I found myself filled with insecurity in my decision-making skills. I decided to look at my “Want to Read” list. I found a book that had been highly recommended by the “anticipated books of the Summer” list people. It had been in my wish list for a while, and I noticed it had come out the previous day. I had found my book for the group. 

I chose Becoming Duchess Goldblatt by AnonymousI had not read any of the author’s Twitter posts; I was only familiar with the book because of reviews. I still have not read any of the Twitter posts since I started and subsequently finished, though that may change. 

The author wrote about how the Duchess came into being and how it changed her life. I thought about all the ways that I have found to get myself through difficult times. While growing up, I didn’t so much as have imaginary friends as imaginary worlds that I would create and then run stories through when I need to make my mind go far away from the things that were happening in my life. I wish now that I had written down those stories and adventures. I just let them play out in my head and then wander off. Now, I write all those stories down as they pop up in my head. 

Reading the book for me was also reassuring. I saw, to an extent, parts of myself. I saw the struggle I had trying to get my brain to work after the trauma of coming close to death and the resulting cardioversion to get my heart to go out of afib. That was a hard few years. I needed to relearn so much, and at the same time, I was trying to get a master’s degree. Needless to say, things did not go smoothly.

I learned a lot about myself and the many masks I have worn to appear normal in the world. (We all wear masks; over the years, I have felt mine subtly choking off my creativity as I struggle to be what I assume people want to see.) It was very inspiring to me in how I needed to start releasing that part of me that I keep so carefully hidden and protected from most people. 

I would love to say all the ways that it has touched me. All the people in my family who have finished it have all said how inspiring it was. When I finished the book, I felt a renewed sense of purpose for myself. Why can’t I finish the book I am writing? Why can’t I do some of the things I want to do? And at the same time realizing that I need to move slow and steady, easing into everything, and yet, keep working even if it is only a little bit at a time. Small chunks are better than no chunks of finished work, give myself the space to continue to heal and grow. Accept myself for who I am right now, and move from there. 

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