I consider myself an optimistic pessimist. Meaning, I hope for the best, even if my thoughts don’t naturally go in that direction.
But lately, I’ve been complaining A LOT.
Sleep is a big part of keeping me on an even keel. If I am short on sleep, I act like a bad version of myself. Reading a good story also turns my mood around.
I try to read every night, but sometimes it doesn’t happen. Or sometimes, I start a new book, and the story hasn’t captured my interest yet. And sometimes, I just forget to do the things that are good for me.
I have a favorite design blog, Design*Sponge. The site showcases people’s beautiful homes, but also explores art, traveling, recipes, and artists. It has also started to focus more on writing.
I enjoyed the freshness of these stories, the ability to startle. Sure there was a breakup story, but the main character also had a collapsing lung. There was another story about a girl whose mom brings home a crocodile.
These stories forced the reader to suspend belief for a moment. To live outside the realm of the every day. Reading these stories allowed me to escape myself and all my petty gripes.
Sometimes, disappearing into a world of crocodiles and collapsing lungs is just what you need.
Last night, I also attended that Dave Eggers and Marlon James book event which benefited the Mid-Continent Oceanographic Institute. As I mentioned last week, MOI is an after school program that helps students aged 6-18 work on their homework, focusing particularly on creative writing.
Along with Eggers and James discussing their work, three students from the program read stories. The stories were written in letter format. One was addressed to an alien, one to a dragon, and one to the sun. Each was funny and charming.
Eggers and James were fantastic, but I think everyone who attended would agree the kids stole the show.
It was another reminder of the power of a good story. A good story allows you to lose yourself in the moment, to try to absorb all the joy and possibility in the weird, little world of that story.
This week’s video is “Only Happy When It Rains” by Garbage.