Tuesday, 30 August 2016

Becoming by Laura Jane Williams

"What I hope they say about me, in the future, when maybe I’m not around anymore, is that yes, I had enviably long eyelashes. But also, I want them to say,
"Hell. She went balls-to-the-mother-lovin'-wall on life, huh?" 

I've been reading Laura's blog for as long as I can remember, and I am a huge fan of her writing from her about page quoted above to the now two books I've read by her and absolutely loved

I remember when this post, 'Would You Like to Be My Literary Agent' was posted on her blog, and her description 'Set across Paris, Rome, Detroit and.... Derby, it’s Eat, Pray, Love meets Wild in a post-Lena Dunham world' was enough to have me wishing to click pre-order on the then titled 'My Vagina's Monologues' ... I am actually glad that it's not called that as I love the title and the #thisismybecoming hashtag! After reading The Book of Brave in one sitting and feeling inspired, as soon as the book was announced, I was quick to pre-order, and await June's release & signed up to the newsletter getting snippets of information, and getting more and more excited for Amazon to deliver especially after seeing the book launch party on Instagram & then reading about it on Superlatively Rude

What I respect so much about Laura's writing is how honest it is. Posts such as This is How Much Money I MakeSome People Try to Keep Us Small Just Like Them & The Letter show the raw truths of her writing. The most loved post for me that I have bookmarked and re-read over the years is A Note About Being Strong and Sexy but now is followed by the most recent My Home ; I remember reading the first post, and being wholly inspired to build a strong body and shift pounds and at the same time her most recent post, made me realise it's okay to survive, especially when everyone has their own shit going on in the world ... I've stopped beating myself up about not losing as much weight as I'd of hoped over the past few years and started focusing on what I actually have achieved health & weight-wise in that time (I'm looking at the Shine marathon, and not going past the biggest size I've ever been again which I vowed not to do!). 

I follow Laura across social media and through her writing and I find her to be an absolute inspiration. I feel if you are 18-30 you need to be reading Laura's writing. I wish when I was 18, I had discovered Laura's writing in my life, especially when I thought I was majorly effin things up in my life. 

Becoming is a memoir beginning with the man who Laura thought she would marry left and married her best friend and exploring Laura's journey from then on. Life takes many turns, and includes a year long vow of celibacy and travels from Italy to America. Everyone has their own stories when it comes to love and heartbreak and this story really had me thinking about elements of my past; I could resonate with so many parts of the story from saying to myself 'whatthefuckisallthisfor?' and falling in love too hard, too fast, too young. I would definitely sit there on certain dates, and imagine what life is like for people in that moment, imagining/torturing myself with the details of other people's happiness. And given the right situation I would fly across world to tell someone I loved them too. 

The book itself took two and a half months for me to read which rarely happens as normally I will rush-read a book, skipping lines & wanting to get to the end. This book was different. I read at most two chapters at a time, making sure that I was actually reading and taking in the words on the page. I would read at my parents on the sofa, in bed with my dog and on journeys. I was telling my work colleagues how I was reading a book that was changing my life. I sat and sifted through my 'One Line a Day' journal over the past few months, and I spotted that I often wrote about what I was reading, the impact it was having on me alongside some own personal truths the writing was making me realise. 

I loved reading chapters, and spotting elements that I followed alongside Laura's blog writing and trying to link the two together (I may have been well off with some points though!). I loved the different formats from flashbacks to flash forwards, e-mails and documentation of Laura's own thoughts. When I got to the end of the book, alongside nearly crying at the acknowledgements and the beautiful thank you's written, I had a brief 'oh shit, what will I read now?' moment, like when you reach the end of an addictive series on Netflix! 

Post - finishing the book, I've found a love of writing for myself, and have started documenting stories for myself, in a way that I used to when I was a care-free eight year old wanting to write short stories. I've also finally conquered some inner demons, and let go of a crap load of guilt that I was carrying on my shoulders for the past five years and feel content with being who I am, and having my own becoming. The book, sits at the top of a stack of my favourite reads on my shelf in my living room, and every day when I notice the hot pink spine on the shelf, it gives me a little boost - Marie Kondo definitely got it right by saying display objects in your home that you love and that inspire you! 

Next step; I'm currently into podcasts, and so I need to complete listening to The Becoming Podcast - I started with episode 5, and probably should've started in order but hey ho & continue watching some Superlatively Wonderful Youtube videos on Wonderful You's channel ... which is quite an unusual to do from me, who rarely sticks with watching on Youtube! Oh & I really really hope that there is a book #2 coming up! 

If you haven't read this book yet, I suggest you do as it worth every word on every page. Thank you so much Laura for pretty much changing my outlook & life in so many ways and are such a brilliant influence and role model. I can't wait to see what is next to come! 

Find out more about the book on Laura's site here

Other favourite posts from Superlatively Rude; 
How it feels to build a life of your dreams
That time I was naked in a field and posted the photos on the internet

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