Thursday, December 31, 2015

Happy New Year!!

2015 came and went. It is crazy how our day-to-day schedule keeps us busy and we tend to forget how quickly the months passes. It most likely happens to most people but for me the first three months are the longest in the year because we are sobering up from the holidays and since the brand new year has started, it leaves us with wonder and optimism as to what will happen in the year and whether we get to accomplish the goals that we want to tackle in order to improve our lives and our future.

Was 2015 a great year? My answer is that the year was okay. 2014 was a year that I wanted to forget because a ton of things happen in my life that I definitely do not want to relive again. A lot of drama within that year both personal and in the world. 2015 I definitely believe was a year of change both good and bad. There's a ton of people that I know that within this year they either ended any long term relationships, experience college life outside of my hometown, and half way into the year I moved into a new place.

I am grateful for the move and the change of scenery but I discover that this change in my life arrive with some of its consequences. My grandmother used to lived with me for years and because of her presence I felt safe and warmth in my home and since that move I haven't felt that in months. I understand the circumstances and why she isn't living with me but I miss her and I miss that safeness in my home. I still see her from time to time but I miss how she was always available for conversation and to provide me guidance in my life.

The other thing that is happening in my life is I am in the half-way point in my university studies. I am currently trying to find a university to transfer and the process is not easy. I am currently in a 2 year Community College program and technically should be in my Junior Year but many of the places I applied either didn't accept me, aren't providing much tuition or room & board for that matter, or the application process happens in 2016 and will transfer in the fall meaning I will hopefully be a year behind in my studies.

It would have been easier to transfer to the university that is nearby my place but it wouldn't make sense paperwork wise to attend somewhere and then go through major headaches and more difficulty to transfer somewhere else. I am applying for the Fall 2016 because if everything fails then at least I have that as my backup. Having this stress is exhausting and I am trying to find outlets to calm myself down and focus what I need to accomplish in the next upcoming months. Part of that distraction is books and that is why I am writing this now to showcase where I am coming from in my year of reading.

Originally I wanted to a book every day regardless whether it was a graphic novel or an actual novel but early on I discovered that was not going to possible and realistic. Then I quickly changed it to read 52 books meaning a book a week and it had to be fiction or nonfiction. What went wrong is quickly Goodreads started showcasing that I was behind in my reading and having that thought constantly ruined my passion of reading and made it feel like a chore. So I decided that I wanted to read more novels then in the previous year and it sounded like a reasonable goal. I had to read at least 40 books so if I read 4 books a month I would be good on that goal.

Between the stress of school, my living situation, and other excuses it was difficult for me to pick up a book, be passionate about it, and actually finish the novel. Certain books that I read that normally would take me maybe a week at most to finish would turn to a month or even more. It wasn't until May when my passion for reading started to kick in and make me love books again.

In July I read Aristotle & Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz and it felt like I experience a life changing event in my life and brought emotions I haven't felt in a long time and brought both comfort and enthusiasm in my life for randomly choosing the book and it enable me to be confident and be persistent when reading a challenging book. Within this year I was able to finish the Percy Jackson & The Olympians Series which came as a total surprise and got to meet the author because he published a new book and one of the tours stopped in Miami. 

Midway into the year I read up that Steven Spielberg was doing a film adaptation of this phenomenal book called Ready Player One by Ernest Cline and that book kept popping up in my life and it had gotten to the point that every time that book was mention it felt like a thorn in my side but for good measure. I have the book in paperback and decided to finally read it to understand the commotion and instantly Iw as hooked into the story. I love everything about the 80s from the music, films, and culture so I felt like I was in paradise and Ernest Cline is magnificent at sucking you into this story about video games and virtual reality. 

One day in August I was surfing through Amazon and I saw that for the Kindle store they were selling Dragon Ball volumes for extremely cheap and with a little researching I discovered that my library has the mangas so I decided to invest in this classic series that I love as a child and was able to finish it completely and it was worth the journey. Through reading the manga I was able to tie up the loose ends of this series because I never saw the animated show in its entirety. Akira Toriyama is both brilliant and hilarious when it came to Dragon Ball Z and I cannot believe that it is officially over for me.

Then as the wonderful Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens was approaching quickly into my grasp after 3 years of waiting, I decided to invest in the new canon and read plenty of comics which some were a hit-or-miss, I read a few books that were meant for elementary/middle school readers but nonetheless the story were fantastic and it made me feel as though I was watching a Star Wars movie and I have more to read for 2016. The film was what I wanted and exceeded my expectations and I cannot wait to read more and dig deeper into the expanded universe. 

The future seems scary which is normal because we are entering into new territory in our lives and I do not know what will happen in this new upcoming year but I hope everyone will be safe, that 2016 will bring more happy memories than sad, and I hope 2016 will be safe and allow me to grow as a human being. What will be my reading goal for 2016? I am going to be realistic and honest.

I am not going to read a book every day because I know I will automatically fail at that. 52 novels in a year seems practically but feels like a chore for me. I am not automatically going to pick a number like every year on Goodreads because I do not want that stress in my life. Goodreads in my opinion is a safe haven in social media where everyone can speak their thoughts and share the passion of books. I definitely want to read more novels and expand my taste in literature and be able to grow as a human being and be able to share my thoughts with my friends and family.

In the end I want to read more books than I have in the past and for now my goal is to read 40 books. I need to learn how to find books that instantly grabs my attention and makes me want to read it every time I am available. I love Netflix and my programs but I want to dedicate just a little bit more time on my reading and hopefully improve my skills in being patient with books. Also I need to get into the habit of if the book doesn't seem interesting at first to give up and find something else to read until I can try again at a later date. 

In the end I just want to be happy and I don't want to make this into a competition of how quick I can read books because it is not a competition and I know countless other individuals who read 1,000 books in 3.2 seconds so it makes no point to act like them because they read at a faster pace than me and they read 24/7 which is difficult for me to accomplish. I wish everyone a wonderful night and HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

P.S. I know I haven't been posting my reviews from Goodreads to this blog but be patient with me as I have countless other reviews to write and edit. Thank you for your patience! 

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