No. I don't think embedding Instagram posts works very well here. Tsk. Dammit.
Y'all know that love isn't just words.

Love isn't always grand. Love, the kind that lasts a lifetime, comes with arguments, sacrifice, patience, STFUing when you still got a whole litany to sing.

Long-term love is an unpaid, sweaty, demanding, annoying, fart-suppressing, no-weekend, no-vacation WORK.

So here's a crazy idea: How about you get a head start, practice giving love by taking care of yourself first?

How can you love another if you don't know how to love yourself first?

How can you be sure you can take care of someone else every day, if you aren't committed to taking care of yourself every damnfucking day?

Taking care of yourself first is not an act of selfishness. It's how being a responsible grownup looks like on a non-heroic, day-to-day practice.⠀

And if you get really good at taking care of yourself, you might attract like-minded peers: People who understand the costs of love. People who seek equals, not clingy partners. Who would strive to earn and maintain your respect, honoring your time and sacrifices. Instead of paying you off with words, sulkiness or gifts. And who can share the burden of love with you.⠀

Take care of your mind, body and spirit. Have a nice week. Easy on the spirits. I wish you a glad Valentine's Day.

(PS. The love you earn may come in the form of a job, a parent, a niece, a friend, a community. It may come when you least expect it. But will always come in the form and time you most need it.)

❤ . 🌺
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1.     Readers will read. Regardless to format or income or legality.  
2.     Something to remember: The Prophet was illiterate.
3.     The first verse the Prophet received was: “Read.”
4.     You don’t have to finish every book you’ve started. Time is valuable, books are endless. Even if you’ve spent thirteen hours trudging through the Infinite Jest. When it’s time to quit, quit.
5.     Guilt is a useless emotion. There is only one course of action to deal with it: Learn. Move on.
6.     Sometimes it’s alright to trust the Bestseller lists.
7.     Not a lot of books on the bestsellers lists have the power to educate, entertain or express eloquently. That said,
8.     Even some bad books have something to teach. Even if the only lesson they teach is “How to write a bad book.”
9.     There is no such thing as wasted time reading great literary fiction. The most obvious effects from reading well-written fiction is the changes in the quality of your thoughts. The second best thing is the quality of your conversations. Hence, the improved quality of friends you keep. (Three cheers to the Sekuts.)
10.  Minds evolve with books. The more books you read, the more you know. Eventually…
11.  The more you know, the richer a heart you grow. A rich heart is visibly less bored, never lonely even in solitude. (This is why readers make highly-adjusting world travelers.)
12.  Some books have the power to reassess the way you look at the world. You're generally fucked when this happens. Fucked and very lucky to bask in that renewed sense of wonder.
13.  If you only have space for one self-help book for the rest of your life, read something written by a formerly Jewish Atheist, whose hypotheses on happiness are firmly based on religious script and social sciences. If you have room for THREE self-help books, read something by a Nobel Prize winner and this thing by a Stanford University lecturer. All three books honor the biology of human behavior.
14.  There is no point in overdoing the book recommendations. You need to find your own groove in the world.
15.  Intelligence is overrated. More powerful than IQ is the compassion to say NO to a lot of things. Saying NO takes muscle. Muscle takes practice. You get where I'm going?
16.  Reading is a skill; it can be learned. You can train to read faster, or deeper. You can train to read from audiobooks, ebooks and on the go. You can learn to forgo paper books and social media because you know your limits and priorities. You can might never get used to the sacrifices you make in order to keep doing the things you love. But you do anyway. Growing up is a skill.
17.  It’s not about quantity of books. It’s always about quality and your relationship with the books you read. It’s about what you do with what you know that matters.

Fahrenheit 451Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Couple of years ago, I wrote a series of blogposts, trying to understand that elusive creature: The Reader.

I was trying to motivate myself to write my sub-sub-genre literary stories. When I learned who and where my ideal readers were, I relaxed. Instead of trying to write, I found out that reading could almost be just as good. I kind of said,
Fuck writing. Let's just read and see what happens.

Read I did. In hundreds and hundreds. Every day. For two years. On every book format. From every field, even those that obscurely made sense. And with jealous possessiveness for all the books I have not yet read, stacked and saved and sorted in boxes, ebook readers, MP3 players, phones and computer screens.

What relaxed my overachieving drive to write, and pumped my overdrive to read, was the realization that when the student is ready, the teacher will show. That when readers are ready, the books will be printed and reprinted, distributed and hoisted on shoulders and bandwidth, voiced through and in spite of brick and censorship barriers. When readers are ready, there will be no law too restrictive or expense too high or income too low.

Then, and only then, I read "Fahrenheit 451", and it said: "You can't make people listen. They have to come round in their own time, wondering what happened and why the world blew up under them."

Like, it took two years for me to finally find the book that verbalized a vague belief about why it doesn't matter who reads or when or how. That when someone is ready to ask that very specific question, she would have already been stung with the wisdom that'll allow her to swallow the truth. That there will be someone who'll whisper to her that very passage, from that particular book, through that secret, soft spot.

That "The most important single thing we had to pound into ourselves was that we were not important, we mustn't be pedants; we were not to feel superior to anyone else in the world. We're nothing more than dust-jackets for books, of no significance otherwise."

This writing? I'll probably share and link the heck out of it on every social media I'm part of. I can't just let a good story pass through me without tapping on the social spheres. But if nobody ever reads, I can be perfectly alright with that too.

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