Rainy Days + Rereading Books

It's raining, I'm in a coffee shop, and I'm tapping my feet along to a Spotify station. It's a Sunday, post-church, and I'm looking out of the huge window-wall at a Starbucks while I write this, drink and phone to my right. Outside, I can see people hiding under their umbrellas, making a beeline for the coffee shop; they're on a mission to simply find shelter and a warm beverage. Dustin Tebbutt is singing "Plans," in my headphones, and the rain outside along with Dustin's beautiful voice is making me feel so at peace right now. I have been under a little bit of stress lately - self-inflicted as well as the inevitable kind - so to be able to write a new post with this newfound calmness is refreshing.

The reason that things have been a little on the not-so-peaceful side, is because I am making the transition from "taking a semester off" to "going back to the U and finishing up my degree." I'm so stoked that I get to finish my last year and a half with my friends. However, it's kind of stressful getting from point A (home) to point B (at school and enrolled in all the proper classes). There are a lot of processes involved, guys. Who knew. 


Let me update you all on what I've been reading/listening to/coffee beverage I've been drinking this March. I'm really good at focusing on one topic at a time, as you can tell.

  • Current coffee drink: Double shot on ice with 2 pumps of caramel instead of the classic syrup, and a little bit o' soy. Hint: there are three shots of espresso in a grande, so you're welcome. And it's the perfect amount of sweetness.
  • Current album: American Teen by Khalid. Some people say, "I've had this song/album on repeat!" and they've played it maybe three times. But seriously... I've had this album on repeat (minus when I was listening to Dustin Tebbott a few paragraphs earlier). I've listened to this album many many times - PS: it's great to listen to while writing. PPS: "Winter" is my favorite track. 
  • Current read: Saint Anything by Sarah Dessen. It's my 2nd time reading one of my favorite novels, and it's almost better the second time reading it; I'm noticing little things that I didn't before (or at least I'd like to think that I have been), and it reminds me why I love Dessen's books so much. I've been listening to the audiobook while I clean, and last night, I listened to it and read along while drinking a cup of tea - it was a crazy night. Let's take notice that this book is making me drink TEA now. This book changes you in ways you never thought possible. #CoffeeDrinkerTurnedTeaDrinkerSometimes

Below is a picture from when I met Sarah Dessen on her book tour for Saint Anything in 2015. There's something about seeing and being able to talk to an author whose books have played such a big part in your childhood/young-adult-hood and overall development as a writer. It gave me that boost of hope and and comfort, knowing that what I've chosen to do with my life isn't a waste.

Books matter. Words matter. 


I'll leave you with one of my favorite quotes from the book:

That’s the thing, though. You always think you want to be noticed. Until you are.
— Sarah Dessen, Saint Anything

Reagan Fleming

Individualistic

It's amazing how words we read, a sight that we come across, or something we listen to can evoke many different emotions, all remarkably different to each person. 


In the evolution of my reading preferences, I have gone from Junie B. Jones, to Nancy Drew, to Jane Austen, to Anne Lamott and Charlotte Brontë. (I will always have a place in my heart for little Junie B. That crazy kid.) Looking back at these authors, I realize I was kind of an odd kid since I chose to read Pride and Prejudice for fun when I was 12. Half the time, I didn't know what was going on due to the British lingo, but I enjoyed it and finished it nonetheless. I guess I wanted to know why it is said to be a classic. 

My taste in music has also evolved: Obviously I listened to Hannah Montana, JoBros, Aly & AJ, and I just listened to whatever was on the radio. Now that I am in my 20s, I have a very eclectic taste in music (pop/instrumental/electronic/indie/singer-songwriter). Do I listen to the occasional JoBros? Yes. That is called nostalgia, people, and that is totally normal. 


This past year at college, I wrote down my favorite quotes from books, interviews, song lyrics, poem stanzas, etc. on index cards and taped them up around my desk in my dorm room. I taped said index cards as well as pictures of family and friends in hopes of making it feel more homey. It did its job, and it made my dorm room feel more like my bedroom back home rather than a place that I just inhabit.


I have realized that some statements mean something more to us than others. For instance, there are many times that I get excited about something that I am reading, and I recite back to my friends. More often than not, the other person doesn't like or appreciate the quote the way I do. This forces me to tell myself: Hey, you have eccentric taste, my friend. 

This amazes me about books, poems, essays, songs, and other works of art: there will always be a different interpretation for the audience member. In my high school English classes, I LOVED the questions on exams and homework assignments that gave a quote or an instance that happened in a book we were reading, and it asked you to explain what you thought it meant. I always got these questions correct, because as long as you defended your thought process, there was no wrong answer. That's what I love about art: there are no wrong answers. 


Words, lyrics, paintings, etc. all have the power to move people. An author's words have the power to make their readers not feel so alone in the world, even alone in what they're going through. The reader and the author are able to have this connection, simply from having their words read.

This sums up why I am a writer. I know how much other peoples' words have changed me, and I want to do so for others as well. 

Reagan Fleming