As November comes to a close, I would like to take the opportunity to think about what has happened the past month. This month’s a crazy one for me, with the exams and concerto competition (which I just played in today, and I am glad to say that I have survived it yay!). I can also say that I have grown as a person, learning more life lessons through the struggles.
Fortunately, despite the busier month, I managed to read two books during my free time, one of which I finished in one day because I was sick in bed and was too tired to practice.
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie- Americanah
A woman, Ifemelu, and a man, Obinze, lived in military-ruled Nigeria and were in love. However, Ifemelu had to leave her country to the United States to study, while Obinze lived an undocumented life in England. Their lives have completely changed since then, and they reunite again in democratic Nigeria fifteen years later.
The story does not really have a chronological order to it, going back and forth the present time (when Ifemelu is about to return to Nigeria from the US) and flashback scenes from the past, from when Ifemelu and Obinze first met. The flashback scenes very much tell us the background of the main characters and their development. Unless you like this kind of writing, you might find it draggy and want to skip pages just to see what happens at the end. Personally I feel that although the character development is slow, the length is necessary as it builds up slowly, giving me a stronger attachment to the main characters. Hence, the ending becomes stronger. What I didn’t really like though, was the final chapter, which kinda ended in a cliffhanger. Well, I guess the rest is up to my imagination, but having read a book and feeling attached to the story, an ending like this makes me question what to do next.
I’m starting to be interested in Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s writing. Definitely gonna grab a copy of her other books, like That Thing Around Your Neck and Half of a Yellow Sun.
Get it here.
Mark Manson- The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck
Mark Manson thinks that we humans are too busy chasing after things we want- we want to be happy, we want the perfect body, we want to be rich, etc. The more we think about wanting these things, the more unhappy and unsatisfied we become with ourselves because in the end we will never get there, and the process to getting them might hurt us more. However, if we accept the negatives about ourselves, we can turn them into positive action which in turn make us more positive about ourselves as we achieve things. This book tells us that life will never be perfect, we will encounter many struggles in life and things will never go our way, but when we accept the struggles and work towards them, we will have a more positive outlook towards life. We only have so little fucks to give in life, so we have to prioritise which fucks to give and which to not give a fuck because they ain’t worth it.
This book is a great reality check for me, it’s a constant reminder that life is not all unicorn and rainbows, and we will always be struggling. The key is to choose what you are willing to struggle for. In life, we cannot care for every single thing, so we should always know what we should care for. It teaches me to stay humble and stay focused on the important things in life. I wouldn’t say it’s a self-help book because it doesn’t really tell you anything about what to do, but it’s mainly pointing out a few issues that we tend to neglect and should bring our attention to. There are many issues that the author pointed out that I find very relatable to many of my life experiences, especially with regards to life as a musician or in relationships.
Now everytime I feel nervous before a performance, I tell myself it’s not worth giving a fuck about how things are going to turn out later because I know I’ve worked my arse off for this performance and I’m not going to let anything in the way. Thinking of this, I calm down right away. No need to sugar coat myself, telling me I’m going to be alright and stuff, just straight up brutal honesty is all I need now.
Get it here.
I’m currently reading a third book, but unfortunately I could not finish it before the month closes. Will talk about it next month, take care everybody!