Like everyone on this dear planet of ours, I’m presenting myself with some sort of “challenge” for the new year. Usually I just make a loose promise to myself that I forget within the first week of January. “Gabi, you’re going to remember that there are other food groups besides sugar,” I’d say. Or “Gabi, stop being such a flaming bitch.” But my diet still consists of cakes and cookies and I still hate everyone. Of course, neither habit truly bothers me any, so there’s never much motivation.
But you know what does bother me? The fact that I never read anymore. I mean, reading was my childhood. I was the first in my class to be able to read, and from that point on, I forever had a book in my hand.
Until the end of my sophomore year, that is. I haven’t read a book for enjoyment since (unless you could Twilight, but I consider that research). I just haven’t had the time. Scratch that. I’m sure I could have found time. But, despite the fact that I do so well in the classes, AP English has taken all the fun out of reading.
I mean, I get it. They want to develop our appreciation for writing as an art form and cultivate our ability to look beyond the plot. That’s lovely. But half the assignments we receive seem like nothing more than busy work to me. We’re given insane deadlines (one assignment was due online Christmas morning), and none of the work gives me a firmer grasp on the material than if I were given the opportunity to read in the manner of my choosing. Maybe I’m just ahead of the game. Maybe I’m behind. I don’t know. Perhaps this is me being your stereotypical frustrated teen, but I don’t think authors want us to analyze their work sentence by sentence. I think what the reader can take from a novel as a whole is more important than what specific word choices contribute to the overall mood of the piece. To me, if that mood at least translated to me, that’s all that should matter.
In an attempt to rekindle my passion for reading, I have embarked on a mission to read fifty-two books this year. Fifty. Plus two. Fifty two. That translates to one a week, but I won’t be holding myself to that. It wouldn’t make sense if I gave myself the same time frame to read Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix that I give myself to read Alice’s Adventure’s in Wonderland.
For the most part, I will be reading whatever I can download for free on the Kindle my dad passed down to me, which means classics. I have a running to-read list here, and I am always open for suggestions. So suggest away.
My mom had to quit her job as a hairdresser after she had my brother and me, and while she’ll always deny it, I truly believe she misses the work. I mean, why else would she use me as her living, experimental doll head for the majority of my childhood? I always had different haircuts, and in the summer after fourth grade, I was given my first highlights. Since then, my hair has been short, long, choppy, black, brown, blonde, orange, pink…nearly every color and cut you could think of. But no matter how much I loved a style, I’d get the insatiable urge to change it two months later. My mom couldn’t keep up.
But for the past two years, my hair has been long and blonde…ish. I went in for highlights a few times, but the change was always subtle. After growing tired of dark dye fading away too quickly, I grew to appreciate my hair for what it was.
Until last weekend. I was sitting in Biology, picking at my split ends and dreading the haircut that would take away that cool, unintentional ombre things I had going on, when I decided I finally wanted to change. Big time. The only color I’d never had was red because I never thought I’d be able to pull it off. But if I wanted to be happy with the change, I’d have to just go for it. So I acted on impulse and bought the dye. My mother had it in my hair by Monday night.
So now I have red hair. And I’m kinda obsessed with it. Other than the fact that I have to adjust my red- and orange-dominated makeup collection, I’m amazed at how well the transition went. I feel like I’ve been building up my wardrobe with the idea that my hair would someday be red in the back of my head the whole time. Maybe I’m secretly psychic. Who knows.
But since I love it so much, I’m afraid to wash my hair. I have color protection shampoo, and whenever I’d dye my hair with a red undertone before, the red would cling to my hair for eternity. Still. I’m paranoid about everything so I’m paranoid about this. I might stock up a collection of dye, you know…just in case.
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