June Wrap Up

By Kendra Sue - July 03, 2019

Hello all! It's been quite a while since I made a blog post. I've been working a lot and I recently got my wisdom teeth taken out so I've had a little more free time so that's why I'm writing this now. My next post will be a book review of a book I finished recently but for now I might as well explain what I've been up to. This might be kind of a long post so good luck if you're reading this. 

I went back to paper bullet journaling, I've said it before that bullet journaling has always been hard for me, which is why for the longest time I thought digital bullet journaling would work better for me. There was a much different feel to it and I love my iPad Pro. I love how I can create digitally, and if I make a mistake it's so easy to just get rid of the mistake without much worry. But I also don't take my iPad with me....anywhere. I even stopped taking it with me to my classes because I don't do anything with it. I thought I would take more notes on it but I've found that I don't actually look back on those notes and prefer pen and paper. Lately it's just been something I use at home to browse social media and play games on. 

I've been wanting to go back to a paper journal for awhile and I've been contemplating which brand to get for awhile. My friend Therese talked to me about getting one called Dingbats, which I'd never heard of before so I decided to check it out. It's A5+ journal which means the pages are just a little bit bigger than your average A5 notebooks. My only qualm with it is the pages are much thinner than I anticipated. The journals I've used in the past, Lemome and Minimalist Art, have had thicker pages and have had less of a ghosting/bleeding affect on the back pages. The only thing I didn't like about those was the pages weren't as wide and I didn't feel like I had enough room to make the spreads I wanted to. The Lemome definitely won over the Minimalist Art journal, but even the Lemome was too small. I love my Dingbats journal,  especially due to the bigger pages, but I might check out Archer and Olive for my next journal depending on when I complete this one.

Here are some photos of my current spread and some of my page ideas that I've designed so far. A lot of these ideas have come from pinterest, youtube, and instagram. So far I've really enjoyed amandarachlee from youtube's tutorials and inspiration, she's the main reason I got back into paper journaling because she made me fall in love with stationery again lol. I think I've bought just about everything she's recommended and my wallet is suffering.

My theme for July is cacti, which, funnily enough, was my theme last July in my old bujo. It came up on my archive on instagram and I thought it was funny I had the same idea last year.

I already have ideas for my August and September spreads and I need to slow down a little bit lol. But August is my birthday month so I'm really excited for my idea for August! 

I also didn't read as much as I wanted to in June. I wanted to read some queer lit for June but I think I only read one book the entire month of June which I'm actually pretty disappointed about. It was a very slow month for me because a lot was going on and I'm actually super relieved June is over. The one book I read was The Dangerous Art of Blending In by Angelo Surmelis. 

[Spoilers Ahead]

A synopsis in my own words is basically this: Evan is a teenager living with his very Christian, very Greek parents and Evan just happens to be gay. His mother doesn't approve and he has lived a life of abuse from her for being different and her assuming he's gay even though he hasn't outright come out as gay. 

It showed a very realistic view of abuse and the subtlety of it at times, especially from family members. The mother always finds a way to demean Evan even while complimenting him. This is such an abusive and powerful tactic people use: build a person up only to tear them back down again like you were doing them a favor by complimenting them but taking it away like you didn't actually mean it, making them question what's true. 

What I liked about the book: So I ended up relating more to the book than I thought I would, I'm not going to get into why but it definitely struck a nerve with me. It really reminded me of some situations I've been in with people over the years and reminded me to be wary of what people are saying to me sometimes, to take certain things, even compliments with a grain of salt. 

A lot of people I've seen on Goodreads thought the theme of Evan's love life overpowered the abuse in the book, but I couldn't disagree more. I thought there was a good balance between the good and the bad. I'm sorry, but it's really upsetting, especially for someone who's been through abuse, to read a book solely about abuse with absolutely no good in it. I understand that it's the reality for a lot of people, but Evan is still a person who was having a lot of mixed feelings, not only with his family but with the boys he was having feelings for. There was bound to be some good in the story even in the darkness. 

What I didn't like about the book: It's such a small thing, but I want to know what the point is of the guy from Evan's summer camp if he's always had feelings for his best friend Henry. From what I read it seemed that he always liked Henry, he just didn't know how to express those feelings and didn't know if he should. Was it just because it was someone he wouldn't see again for a while? I just have questions. 

I don't actually know if there is one, I need to do a little research, but I wish there was a trigger warning for the book. But I'm a big believer in this kind of stuff anyway as everything in media can be upsetting depending on the audience. I knew the book would be transparent with the abuse from the start just from how the book is described, but I didn't know how transparent. There are several instances of physical abuse but the main running theme of this book is the mental and psychological abuse Evan experiences on almost a daily basis. 

She would say things like "You know I love you, right? Even if you are ugly and worthless and bring sin to this family." (not a real quote from the book, just something along the lines of what she'd say from what I remember.) This is blatant mental abuse and it was honestly very triggering. So I do wish that had kind of been mentioned more as a foreword (it might have been) than an afterword. 

If you go to my Goodreads account right now I'm reading like six different books right now. All of which I will get to eventually, I've just seemed to prioritize different ones over the others. Some are re-reads, some are reads I'm nearly done with but just haven't had the time or desire/motivation to finish them, and others I've started recently on a whim and I regret the most because I'm already too busy. 

I think that's all I have for this blog entry since I haven't posted in a while. What's your theme for your bujo this month? What are you reading right now? Let me know in the comments below! 

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