Take 2: Restarting the Blog

Well everyone, it’s been a hot sec. This blog really fell by the wayside, and I’m sorry for that (except for the fact that I’m not really because I just got way too busy.) But there’s nothing like a global pandemic, a post-graduation existential crisis, and a lack of a summer job to make you get back to blogging! I have no idea what this will become in the future or even the coming weeks, but I do know that, at least right now, kinda miss writing, so here we are. Let’s just start with a little life update. 

What have I been up to in the last year+ since my last post? Well, I: 

  • finished by junior year of college 
  • studied for and took the LSAT 
  • started my senior year of college 
  • turned 21 🥂
  • applied to law school 
  • wrote the two longest papers of my college career for my senior capstones, both on literature 
  • was accepted into law school 
  • finished my last month and a half of undergrad remotely from home 
  • decided on a law school (Carey Law at the University of Maryland) 
  • and, as of last week, officially graduated undergrad (that’s still a weird thing for me to say) with a B.A. in English Literature and Environmental Studies and a minor in music and I think with cum laude distinction (they kicked me out of the system before I could check my final GPA and don’t have my diploma yet 😥) (#HumbleBrag) 

So, you know, not a whole lot.  

In that time, I honestly did not read many books for fun. This is absolutely not to say I didn’t read; on the contrary, I read far more than I anticipated. When I last wrote in March of 2019, I was in my second semester of junior year and was only taking one English class (Contemporary American Poetry). This meant I had a lot of extra reading power to read what I wanted to. That shifted quite quickly after the semester was over. I transitioned from reading random books for fun to reading books that fit in with my senior capstone project for my Environmental major, which meant reading less and more closely. The project was based on climate fiction, so everything I read up until February of this year that wasn’t for class was cli-fi. There are certainly worse and less interesting genres to be reading continually, but I think a lot of English majors and avid readers will admit that burnout, especially in a specific genre, is a very real phenomenon. In addition to this, my first semester English classes were a senior seminar (which included a variety of books chosen by the professor and my English capstone project) and a Gothic literature class (wherein I realized just how strange Gothic writers were). The second and final semester included a Climate Emergencies class and a Ralph Ellison seminar. Needless to say, this was a lot of reading and writing that really got to me by the end, especially when I had to transition to being back home and working there.  

Since my semester finished two weeks ago, I’ll be honest and say I haven’t done a whole lot of reading. It’s been more social media and Netflix than books (maybe I’ll start doing movie/show reviews given how much I’m watching versus how much I’m reading.) I still think I’m facing a bit of a reading burnout, but I think I’m on the tail-end of it (at least I hope I am.) I had started Darkdawn during my spring break before we got sent home (I was on campus for break) and only just finished it a couple of days ago. Other than that, I haven’t read anything. I have, however, taken up listening to audiobooks, which is something I never thought I would enjoy (my attention span for listening is not great). I had a 6-hour drive home from school that I had to do by myself for the first time and decided it was as good a time as any to try an audiobook, so I listened to Rebel and it was a great decision. I still don’t think audiobooks are my favorite way to consume books, but I also recently picked up hand embroidery and they are perfect for that too (my current one is What If It’s Us). I did rearrange my shelves when I got home and it made me realize just how many unread books I have (not least because I bought about twice as many cli-fi books as I read.) Currently, it’s really intimidating me and it doesn’t help that I just put a bunch of eBooks on hold from my library, so I don’t really know what to do about that. My options are to: 

  • Follow my gut, which is probably not the best choice, because my gut is telling me to not read any of the books on my shelf
  • Read them based on how long I’ve had them (I don’t know precisely when I got each one, but I think I have a general idea for most) 
  • Use a TBR jar. I’ve done this before with okay results, and it’s the one I’m leaning towards since it’s the most equalitarian of my choices 

If you have any thoughts/suggestions for tackling a huge TBR, please let me know, your girl is STRUGGLING. 

I think that’s it for now. I’m not going to make any promises about posting frequency or what my posts will be about. I’m just trying to settle back into the whole blogging (and reading) thing. I think my next post might go into a little more detail about my last year of undergrad and what I was up to, because I was really excited about a lot of what I did and am eager to share it. Maybe I’ll do a post-grad reflection with tips and recommendations for college. Who knows! I sure as hell don’t!  

I do promise that I will start reading all of your wonderful posts again! I realized that was something I missed too and I feel kind of bad about it, but let’s consider it one of my post-graduation summer resolutions.  

So that’s it! I’m excited to jump back into this and maybe broaden my horizons (I might “rebrand” in some ways.) Until next time, stay safe! 

Keep reading, 

 Francesca M. Healy (1)

 

*A quick addendum: it feels a little weird to be writing about my life and books right now as if nothing else is happening in the world. I had committed to restart this blog before all the sh*t went down (not that it hasn’t always been going down in some way) in the US and decided to move forward with it regardless. I assure you, I am 100% aware of it and am doing what I can to help. It’s a privilege to be able to go on with my life and my blog and I want to recognize that, and I implore everyone who follows me to educate themselves on social issues and do what they can to make a difference in whatever ways you are able. I believe that reading builds empathy and we need empathy now more than ever, but we also need that empathy to turn into action. 

3 thoughts on “Take 2: Restarting the Blog

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