I managed to read 5 books this month! But this might be my most disappointing reading month yet. March is always a weird month for me. Celebrating another birthday in lockdown doesn’t help either, but my sister and brother-in-law bought me an iPad so I’ve started drawing again! I’m really excited to practise and improve so I can draw all the head canons my heart desires. My current loves right now are Jujutsu Kaisen and SK8 the infinity so they were my obvious first drawings. (Sorry, Miwa but I want a selfie with gojo too…) I’ll be posting more art stuff on twitter to show progress!
I was contemplating writing this post for a while because as I reflected on this year, I felt very underwhelmed about this whole year that it almost didn’t feel worth it. But I thought, “you know what, f— it let’s look back at this mess of a year.” I haven’t even written a monthly rewind post in over a year; my reading challenge was in shambles. While it’s been one stressful year, I’ve felt pretty much disappointed in myself throughout, so I thought reflecting would be a great way to make me more accountable and strive to do better for the next year.
L I F E
I began this year buried under paperwork; my Snapchat memories tell me I was quite literally spending the first days of 2020 in the library, working on my dissertation. In between crying over my mess of a dissertation, I worked part-time and prepared for post-grad life. I realise I never really spoke about my university experience here, apart from mentioning that I attend one. But I studied BA Sociology at university. My university experience was relatively lacklustre, I struggled quite mentally through the three years, and my course had its ups and downs. But I was quite pleased with my final dissertation. It was titled “Devout, devoid, and everything in-between”: Challenging stereotypical portrayals in select Young Adult Contemporary novels.” It was a thematic analysis examining three young adult novels on two interrelated aims: exploring media representation of Muslims and Islam and examining theoretical ideas on how societal perception of Islam affects Muslims’ portrayal. As I near my sixth anniversary of this site, I don’t think seventeen-year-old me would have ever thought this random passion blog would have ever affected my life to the point where I would write a whole dissertation based on my experience and work on the internet.
And I think like most people this year, as we all entered various forms of lockdown, my energy to do more quickly dwindled. During the UK’s first lockdown, I spend hours writing my dissertation while spending the nights playing Animal Crossing and Kingdom Hearts. Here in the UK, we have gone through multiple lockdowns already, now following a tier system. As I write this, I’m currently furloughed in a tier 4 city. I’m glad I’m able to stay safe at home, but I can’t help but feel sad about the effect this year has had on my productivity and mental state. I was so sure I would smash my reading challenge, catch up on all my arcs, and finally create more content.
I was so prepared to apply for all these work experiences and internships. But this year has reminded me to take things slow, and it’s okay not to be productive all the time. I graduated with a 1st in my degree. It was such an exciting achievement for me notably because I’ve never achieved high grades all my life, hovering around the Bs and Cs from secondary school to college and partially through university. My mental state wasn’t all great during university, I was worried that I wouldn’t even pass with a 2:1 at one point, but I’m grateful I managed to pull through in the end. It’s a shame I won’t have a proper graduation, but I’m just thankful to have pulled through in the end.
Oh, gosh. When I sat down to write this post, I quickly realised how many books I didn’t read this month, like I had planned to. In my defence, it was a busy month. I started the second year of university, my sister got married (walima and mehndi at the end of the month), and I also saw BTS in concert. So I apologize for this very boring rewind.
B O O K S
I was contemplating whether to even make a graphic for this month’s rewind… My reading number was extremely low, for me, this month. But I give myself a pass considering everything that had happened. If I was going to read one book, I’m glad it was a book I actually enjoyed. Girls of Paper and Fire was an amaaaazing book. The world is so beautiful but devastating. A cast of characters that were diverse and multi-faceted. Read it if you can.
An interesting discussion about blogger privilege in the book community. Fadwa’s Discuss corner is a really great section of her blog where she boosts smaller voices. Have a look of the others if you have the time!
I’ve long stopped reading books by Sarah J. Maas but this review of Kingdom of Ash had me really shocked. Maas’s writing is one of her strongest assets but honestly, these comparisons are really shocking to read.
That’s it for this month! Tell me what went on in YOUR life this month! What sort of things was important for you this month? New obsessions? New TV shows? Or book? Any new song recs (I’m always open to new music!)? Best books you read this month?