I Hate Reading But I Had To Read This.

I Hate Reading But I Had To Read This.

I finished reading “You Are a Badass” by Jen Sincero and I honestly got emotional at the end.

Most of the book was just a confirmation of things I already believe about the universe, the circle of life, love, and the pursuit of happiness, but with Jen’s writing style, reading these philosophies made my already strong beliefs resonate so much more than with my stream of conscience alone. There were also several new golden nuggets of information in there that I really needed to hear free myself from societal confines.

I recognized a lot of my own personal insecurities that have been holding me back from achieving my dreams. Since reading the book, I’ve also shifted my thinking about money and have been operating at a higher financial frequency than ever before! This evolved thinking has done worlds for my mood and even my relationship which I thought was already perfect. I mean, you’ve seen us! I truly didn’t realize that things could get EVEN BETTER with us. This book has truly been a powerful force at getting me out of my own negative habits. Putting the philosophies of this book into practice is exactly why I had the best 5 city Vacation Ever! Followed by the best Halloween Ever! Followed by the best Thanksgiving Ever ❤️! Followed by the best Christmas Ever! And I’m sure New Years Eve will be just as amazing. I can’t wait!

I am so fucking pumped I can’t stand it! I need to GO now! I need to move! I need to make my dreams happen today! I’ve got the power! I’ve always had the power! My life is proof of that. While reading the book, I had to frequently put it down mid sentence to take deep breathes because I would get so damn fired up by what she was saying. I’ve never been more emotionally motivated from a book as I was reading this one. Truly I was brought to tears by the end of it. I was honestly experiencing several bouts of low energy at the time, feeling quite powerless and out of control but while reading my brain was firing at lightening speed. All the possibilities of what I can and will do flooded my psyche and the force of that potential power rushed back into my veins all at once! I experienced and “intellectual high,” if you will.

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Pay attention because this book review is coming from someone who used to LOATHE reading! I’ve always hated reading because I’m an extremely slow reader and I’m an extremely slow reader because I’ve always hated reading. Therefor, I avoid it at all costs. Still, I’m very self conscious about it. People asking me to read things and then proceeding to watch me read it so I can laugh with them or understand their point of view is among my top ten list of things that makes me anxious as hell. “Hey ace read this joke. It’s the middle paragraph.” *five seconds later* “ISNT THAT HILARIOUS!” And I just sit their with an awkward smile on my face... not because I got the joke (I didn’t) but because I’m shocked that they think I can read 500 words in 5 seconds! So, as you can imagine, I have never read ANYTHING that has gotten me so excited about life and my oh so sweet future! You HAVE TO READ THIS BOOK! Please! And then let’s talk about it. I want to know your thoughts. I want to know what you decided to create after you read it. I want to know if it got you as hype as it did me! I honestly didn’t know books could do that. That might sound crazy to some of you, but you have to understand, I truly avoided books like the plague! No joke! 

You want to know a fun fact about me? I graduated high school and college never, I repeat, NEVER having read a full chapter of a book. I’ve never read a school book cover to cover. Yes, my hate (or more accurately fear) of reading goes that deep! I’ll even admit for the first time in public, that I was in an assisted reading class where I had to read along with the audiobook and speed up the recording every week or so: easiest class in the world, right? I’ll get an A no problem, right? All you gotta do is select a book and follow along. I got a B in that class because I hated reading so much that I would skip chapters to get through it. The first book I ever read was because my EVER-SO-SMART-AND-INCREDIBLE mother, for Christmas, got me $200 and a book. The catch was: if you want the $200, you gotta read the book... you’d think it would be a no brainer for a teenager with no income right? Well it worked! It only took a year but goddamnit I did it! And boy did I HATE every moment of it. The worst of it though was by the time I finished it, it was already Christmas again. She had forgotten about the deal entirely. She laughed and gave me $200 as my present for both years. SMH...

The book was “7 Habits of Highly effective Teens”. Her hope was that I would apply some lessons from the book to the strained relationship between me and my younger sister. Gross! Wait... So I got gypped out of $200 and this was just a lesson? “I’m never reading again!” I cried. That didn’t last very long, being nearly impossible as an aspiring actor. I was just being a pissy teen. And the irony of the entire situation was completely lost on me. So while my mom’s plan worked for a spell, she didn’t account for the pride I inherited from my pops. I thought that every book I encountered from then on had a hidden agenda. “I hate when books try to teach you a lesson! That’s some bullshit!” I decided then that I didn’t need to ever read a book to be smart. (Teenage Logic is priceless.)

While I don’t recommend this, I will say that this new philosophy of mine forced me to get really good at deductive reasoning. Since I wasn’t reading, I had to get keen on listening intently and to this day I absorb information in a way that doesn’t require reviewing notes. There’s tons of information I learned in middle school science and math still imprinted in my brain and I can even remember the moment I first learned it. That’s clearly not a direct correlation from not reading books, but I do believe it had a profound effect on the way I learn today. I mean how could have gotten through school with passing grades otherwise, right?

To put the final nail in the coffin of reading books FOREVER was my senior year English teacher, Mr. Erlich. In my remedial reading class (yes, I took it senior year) I had finally chosen a book that I was excited about. No hidden lessons or self help tips, just good storyline: A series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snickett. This was the first series of books I was actually psyched to read. I was like wow! Who knew books could be engaging? But I selected it mainly because I saw Kayla Hernandez pick it up. She was a beautiful half Black & Caucasian frizzy headed goddess whom I thought was too divine for me to ever exchange anything but a smile across the room. My only way to know how the other half lives was to engage in her interests. Classic! While I never ended up pursuing Kayla, I found a book I really enjoyed. Plus, I could finally finish my book reading assignment in Mr. Erlich’s tough ass English class. And I could do it for once truthfully without looking up the movie version or spark notes. I was pumped.

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I almost had a smile on my face as I completed the book report. Laying on my stomach in my room, book open, writing out my assignment, I had a breakthrough. OH THIS IS WHY THEY CALL IT HOMEWORK! Because you’re supposed to work on it at home and not in the class before while you’re supposed to hearing the current lesson for the next assignment. The project was so easy. I was shocked. Hell yeah I know the rising action. Hell yeah, I know the setting, characters, plot! Hell yeah I know the themes and lessons the characters learned. I got this shit. It’s so easy to do book reports when you actually read the book! I couldn’t wait to read the next one. I didn’t know that working to get an A on an assignment could actually be enjoyable. I turned in my book report with an unconcealable grin and a confidence in my homework that I had never had before. But, as you can imagine, my positivity for reading books was short lived. The next day, Mr. Erlich returned my report with a fat “C-“ written over it in red ink next to a paragraph of notes. I was devastated, not by the C, but more by the disappointment on his face as he handed me back my assignment.

His paragraph read something like: “These reports are to be written on advanced reading level books. This book is for children. You took the easy way out and you have been graded accordingly. I expect you to take these assignments seriously.”

What.
The.
Actual.
Fuck!

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I got a higher grade on reports for “advanced” books that I never read! Here I am, finally stepping out of my comfort zone and this is the reward? That’s some baby back bullshit! I was really getting excited about this new track I was on. He had no idea that my tumultuous relationship with books was finally being mended by this “Children’s” book and that he had destroyed all hope for that relationship with less than 50 words. Needless to say, I never read another book cover-to-cover until 2016. 8 years! After being duped twice for reading, why would I want to put myself through that again? Reading is hard for me. I think I’m dyslexic but like most of the population I’ve never been actually evaluated, so who actually knows? But in my self diagnosis it makes sense. I really struggle to read through a line of text the first time straight through. I could look at a label or a sign for 10 minutes and not be able to tell you one word that it says. I get super anxious about the first day of rehearsal reading the play because who the fuck knows what’s going to come out of my mouth and literally everyone is watching! I flip words. I read sentences backwards. I write incredibly slow. I read at the speed at which I speak. So while I don’t know for sure if this is dyslexia, I can make a pretty good guess.

Going back to evil Mr. Erlich: generally speaking, teachers and parents have no idea how detrimental their “words of wisdom” can be. You’re trying to help and what you’re sayin logically makes sense but your tone is causing me a great deal of emotional turmoil. This is why I think AI would be better teachers and cops than humans. Humans are emotional and fucked up and they fuck us up with their fucked up biases especially when we’re too young to differentiate fact from opinion. We then have to spend the rest of our adulthood unfucking ourselves, and some of us are never fully successful at the unfuckery before we die. So then we end up creating more fucked up humans with the ability to fuck up other humans and it’s all fucked. Parents fuck us up too man.

But seriously, while replacing humans with robots is a joke, we need to diligently work together as humans to unfuck ourselves as adults before we allow us to steer the positive paths of future generations towards a life of pessimism and lack of self esteem. Because, retrospectively, replacing my uncompromising and angry dad with an unbiased intelligent cyborg is starting to seem like not such a bad idea and the thought of me uttering the words “I love you, Robot Dad!” is seeming less and less farfetched than “I love you Real Dad!”

Anyway! You all know that I go off on crazy ranting tangents but the point of this post is that YOU ARE A BADASS and this book unlock that for you. And now you have an understanding of how strong my recommendation must because of my former HATE for reading. Now I can’t stop. Thank you Jen Sincero for helping me get unfucked. #YouAreABadass

I am a professional Actor, Graphic Designer & Photographer. My career started as a full-time designer in 2013. Two years later, I said “hell no” to depression, quit my job and, went full-time freelance with my own design company, The Striped Heart. Shortly after I accepted a company membership with Tony-Award winning Dallas Theater Center’s acting company. My greatest asset is my creative outlook on life. I've been engrossed in the world of the arts since I was very young. They way art moves and inspires people is what keeps me going. I was born to be a connector and a leader. I strongly believe we were put on this earth to create. Therefor it is my ultimate goal to keep art and creativity alive and well for as long as I live. People say I'm not funny...