I love reading, not for class, just for me. But we all reach a point, where our lives don't really allow for us to spend as much time doing all of the things that we love. For me that point was undergraduate, and since I'm STILL in school (and still have quite a ways to go), I still just haven't been able to find time to really read for leisure; with the exception of Christmas and Thanksgiving break, I always take it upon myself to read at least one book while I'm away from my normal everyday life. Over Christmas break, I read Gabrielle Union's book, We're Going to Need More Wine," and aside from the fact that I absolutely adore her, the book was amazing! She honestly and authentically gave of herself to the readers. We took a journey through her life, beginning with her childhood, traveling through her adolescent years, traversed the teenage landscape and then we watched her career unfold to where it is today. It wasn't all happy, it wasn't all sad, it reminded me of life, it kind of just ebbed and flowed, I found myself laughing hysterically at points, and I also found that I was in tears reading certain parts. For an author to be able to evoke that range of emotions, with words on pieces of paper, they have truly done their job as an author, and have accomplished more than writing and publishing a book, because they established the human connection with their readers. But even more pleasant that my own experience of reading the book, where I naturally insert my own intonations; was hearing the book read via audiobook in Gabrielle Union's voice. At the end of that, I felt like I knew so much about her and the experience felt personal in a way. I connected on an even deeper level after hearing her tell her own story. The authenticity in her voice, made it feel as though she was actually reliving her own memories, recalling every small detail and taking the time to allow the nuances to set the mood.
I'm discovering that I really appreciate authenticity. I think society throws that word around a lot, but I find myself appreciating the raw, and unedited version of things much more than the watered down, rosy version that people present as an alternative. The chance to let your guard down, and speak your truth is liberating. I'm working on finding that in so many aspects of my life, especially dance; and reading and then listening to the book definitely validated my working towards liberation via authenticity.