after grad school, i told myself i would get back into reading for pleasure. when there aren’t thousands of pages to plow through every 10 weeks, it is funny how you have the capacity to consume books for fun. during the pandemic, i asked my fellow bookworms for recommendations and this one came up over and over again. a couple of weeks ago, while in puerto rico for spring break, i finished a book by elaine welteroth that i am certain i will read again and again – more than enough.
first, this was an incredibly easy read. it felt like elaine and i were either exchanging stories at a boozy brunch or at a sleepover with girlfriends where you share your deepest and darkest secrets, hold on to the magical nuggets of wisdom that are dropped and laugh until your sides hurt. as a fellow black woman who was raised in california (and even did a 10 year stint in the bay), there was so much familiarity. elaine covers everything from imposter syndrome to being the only person in a space that was not created with you in consideration to colorism within the black community to navigating heartbreak to remembering not to shrink ourselves in an effort to make those around me more comfortable with their shortcomings.
there truly is something for everyone but a little something extra for those of us identifying as millennials, women, black, biracial or simply someone trying to shatter both ceilings and stereotypes. my top takeaways from the book were:
- own every piece of yourself unapologetically
- if you believe a space is for you, others will believe it is, too
- the dopest shit happens outside of your comfort zone
- there is a fine line between being dedicated to your work and your work being detrimental to your health – know the difference
- don’t be afraid to let your loved ones show up for you in times of need
something tells me that my upcoming thought of the week will be courtesy of elaine welteroth. i can’t wait to see what she does next.