2021 Retrospective

The last post I wrote began with the sentence “Coming off a strong May, I started the month [of June] off really lazy.”

I wrote that with a gust of motivational wind in my sails. Feeling defiant, the last thing I anticipated was the even lazier, nearly-half-year reading slump that followed.

The “Notes” section on the Monthly Breakdown page (where I typically write a one-sentence summary of my reading habits for the month that correlate with a bar graph above it; an explanation for why the chart looks the way it does) of my physical book journal for the year looks like this:

JANUARY: I started out very determined – let’s see how long this lasts
(8 books were graphed)

FEBRUARY: THE SECOND IMPEACHMENT TRIAL HAPPENED, I got really into Pokemon Go, and I continued spending my free time pining after a boy
(1 book was graphed)

MARCH: [Boy mentioned above] asked me to be his boyfriend, so I really leaned into him and not books
(2 books were graphed)

APRIL: Simply no motivation – I planned on reading poetry all month since it’s National Poetry month
(1 book was graphed)

MAY: Came back determined and set a new page goal for myself (1 million pages in one decade)
(8 books were graphed)

JUNE: Felt super lazy at the beginning of the month and got serious at the end
(6 books were graphed)

JULY: We’re past the halfway point and I’m not even halfway to my book goal 😦
(8 books were graphed)

(1 book was graphed)

(0 books were graphed)

(0 books were graphed)

(0 books were graphed)

(3 books were graphed)

Have you ever seen a movie or read a book where one of the primary characters gets into a relationship and suddenly they’re blowing off friends in favor of spending all of their time with their boy/girlfriend? That was me, and instead of blowing off friends (which, admittedly, I did that, too), I was blowing off reading.

Not only was it my first official relationship (and a first relationship after having come Out, no less), it was a relationship with a boy I had been talking to/going on dates with/trying to lock down for over a year at that point. When he finally asked me to be his boyfriend, I started living less inside the pages of books and more outside in the real world.

Mix in a re-opened holiday season after a shutdown pandemic holiday season – and a first, again with that word, holiday season with a boyfriend – I wanted to be a walking, talking wintertime cliche.

How that actually ended up playing out is an entirely different story; and, honestly, I should’ve stuck to the pre-written stories on paper and bound between covers. That said, I’d argue my “first” Fall & Winter seasons were way more dramatic than anything I probably would’ve read.

Dear Diary,

I chose a boy over books and in the end I got a 3-star review on what I thought was going to be a 5-star Christmas date.


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