I don’t read self-help books. I find them pedantic and patronizing. Same goes for memoirs, generally. I like literary fiction; short stories, if I must. I think it’s important for my brain to hurt a little trying to wrap my head around a story or concept. I want to spend extra time learning big words and rereading passages that didn’t make sense, or maybe made too much sense. During this quarantine though I’ve read two memoirs and two self-help books and not one novel

I spent the last four years in a fog of postpartum depression and anxiety. I got married, bought a house, had a baby, became a mom, and tried not to fail at any of those things even though I was pretty sure I already had. I’ve been a graphic designer for 10 years. I’ve worked for friends and as a freelancer and now I work for influencers and professionals but I still feel like I’m playing pretend. I’m finishing my MBA this year and added an LLC to my freelance business and STILL I feel like I’m a little girl in her mommy’s shoes.

I said yes and worked all night. I lost sleep I didn’t have to lose. I lost myself in trying to be all of the things I’m supposed to be. So I read the goddamn self-help books. I read the memoirs of the strong women. I felt solidarity in their stories and while silently scoffing because I should be reading a book that is teaching me something, I realized that they were and I guess that’s the whole stupid point.