Tuesday, January 12, 2021

The Best Paige In The Book Review: Maybe You Should Talk To Someone by Lori Gottlieb

Hey everyone! I am so excited to finally post this review! Bar prep had me losing my mind all summer (and into fall), and I'm sure you can guess where my mental health went after getting my bar exam results back, so I was SUPER excited to read Maybe You Should Talk to Someone by Lori Gottlieb! This book focuses on a therapist's' relationships with her clients as well as her own relationship with her therapist. As a psychology nerd and mental health advocate, I was already intrigued by this book when I found out about it. Upon further research, I read so many rave reviews! I am here to tell you that Maybe You Should Talk to Someone lives up to the hype and BEYOND!

Lori Gottlieb opens the door to what happens in therapy from the perspectives of both the therapist and the client. Reading this book when I was going through an incredibly challenging time was comforting as well as thought-provoking. 

This book is written from Gottlieb's perspective. She talks about 4 of her clients and their personal struggles as well as how those struggles are reflected in Gottlieb's own life. Her clients include a narcissistic Hollywood producer, a young woman battling cancer, a suicidal elderly woman who believes her life has no meaning, and a 20-something who is still trying to get her life together. Gottlieb discusses various psychological concepts that she sees playing out in her clients' lives as well as how those concepts and client stories relate to her own life. Gottlieb's own quirky therapist helps her work through these issues and find contentment.

Readers will definitely find a way to relate to the characters in this book. We've all has painful experiences in our life, and learning why we embraced and reacted to those experiences can be such an informative process. Gottlieb structures her book by having one chapter about her client and an explanation of the psychology behind the client's actions, then the next chapter about how she faced a similar situation in her own life, and finally how it played out in her therapist's office. This gives insight into how various issues look to both the therapist and the client. Having two different situations demonstrating a psychological concept also makes the reader stop and think how they may have experienced the same thing or acted similarly. Despite only knowing the characters through their one-hour therapy sessions with Gottlieb, the reader feels connected to them. I laughed, cried, and examined myself through the entire book. It was so relatable and incredibly informative!

While mental health is becoming less taboo, there is still stigma surrounding seeking out mental health resources. I love that this book normalizes the process of seeking out help from a therapist, shows how "normal people" get this kind of help, and demonstrates how beneficial it can be. It also talks about psychology topics and how they play a part in our lives and how we perceive and react to the world. I studied psychology in undergrad, and I love learning how the mind works and how people can react differently to life experiences. At a point in my life when I was going through some tumultuous times, this book was such a great read! There were so many times that I actually had to put this book down for a moment in order to process my thoughts. I heard so many great reviews of this book, but I was initially worried it wouldn't live up to the hype like Where The Crawdads Sing. I am so happy that this book ended up being even better than everyone said it was! I actually had a hard time picking my favorite quotes because there was so much content in this book that I adored! I definitely recommend reading it!

Rating: ★★★★★

Favorite Quotes:

  • "During my training, a supervisor once told me, “There’s something likable in everyone,” and to my great surprise, I found that she was right. It’s impossible to get to know people deeply and not come to like them."
  • " 'Your feelings don’t have to mesh with what you think they should be,' he explained. 'They’ll be there regardless, so you might as well welcome them because they hold important clues.' "
  • "We tend to think that the future happens later, but we’re creating it in our minds every day. When the present falls apart, so does the future we had associated with it. And having the future taken away is the mother of all plot twists. But if we spend the present trying to fix the past or control the future, we remain stuck in place, in perpetual regret."
  • "Follow your envy—it shows you what you want."
  • "There’s no hierarchy of pain. Suffering shouldn’t be ranked, because pain is not a contest."
  • "By diminishing my problems, I was judging myself and everyone else whose problems I had placed lower down on the hierarchy of pain. You can’t get through your pain by diminishing it, he reminded me. You get through your pain by accepting it and figuring out what to do with it. You can’t change what you’re denying or minimizing. And, of course, often what seem like trivial worries are manifestations of deeper ones."
Of the 12 books I read in 2020, this book was hands-down my absolute favorite! Maybe You Should Talk to Someone made me literally laugh out loud, cry actual tears, and pause and think about my life and choices. There are not strong enough words to encourage you to go out and read this book! Let me know what you think!

Make today the best page yet!

(All images and text reprinted constitute Fair Use. Maybe You Should Talk to Someone was published in 2019 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)

Sunday, January 3, 2021

How I'm Making 2021 The Best Page In My Book (so far!)

 Happy New Year! 🥳

2020 was supposed to be the best year ever: I was going to graduate law school, take (and pass) the bar exam, find a full-time job, and start living my post-student life after spending 22 years in school. However, courtesy of COVID-19, my "graduation ceremony" was a glorified powerpoint, the bar exam got pushed back 3 months and was aptly nicknamed "barpocalypse," and I missed a passing score by 3 points. There were definitely some high points in 2020, including getting engaged, losing 16 pounds, and getting more involved with blogging, but I'm definitely ready for a new year. Now that we've put 2020 in the rear-view mirror, I'm looking forward to making 2021 a big comeback year. Who doesn't love a fresh slate to start over? Setting goals is a great way to focus the progress you want to make, so here are some things I'm looking forward to working towards in the new year:

1. Health and Fitness Goals

I've always sworn by the motto "look good, feel good, do good," and I'm planning to stick to that this year. Physically looking your best is a great way to boost your mood, to feel good about yourself, and can lead to a domino effect on the things you do in a day. Since I'm studying for the bar until February, I'll probably be sticking to a wardrobe of sweats, leggings, and t-shirts for a while, and my hair and makeup will probably remain a semblance of what it looked like when I rolled out of bed in the morning. However, I'm still making it a habit to exercise and eat right. Elle Woods wasn't kidding when she said that exercise gives you endorphins, and endorphins make you happy (and probably that happy people don't kill their husbands as well). I'm still very much in love with the Beachbody program I joined back in May. The workouts are great, the support is awesome, and the nutrition info has been super helpful! The first fitness program I completed was FOCUS T25, and I finished an exercise program called Morning Meltdown 100 on the last day of 2020. I lost about 16 pounds with these programs, and I'm starting to see much more definition in my body. 

In the new year, I'm planning to go through all 4 of the INSANITY workout programs. I've always been interested in these programs, even before I started with Beachbody, and I'm looking forward to the challenge! I love that the programs come with workout calendars, so you know what you'll be doing on which days. Having a clear picture of what I'll be doing helps me to stay on track with my workout programs rather than just saying "I think I'll do legs today!" I've put each day's workouts into my calendar so I can see when I'll be on vacation, have important events going on, or any other potential to de-rail my progress. 

The INSANITY programs also come with a nutrition guide. I want to try to stick with those during the programs as well in order to maximize my results since nutrition is a big part of losing weight and getting into/ staying in shape. Exercise and nutrition are always popular New Year's resolutions, so if you're looking for a New Year's fitness program that will get you great results, I'd love to talk to you about the Beachbody program! 

2. Career and Professional Goals

My goals for this category may be a bit obvious, but I WANT TO PASS THE BAR! Studying day in and day out is definitely not my favorite thing, and I'm ready to start my career after spending 4 years preparing for it. I've been studying my butt off, and I plan to continue to do that until the exam. After that, I plan to look for long-term positions that I can work as a real attorney in once I do pass. Missing a passing score by a few points has been a humbling experience, and I'm ready to learn from it and move on. I really enjoyed getting to work as a (provisionally-licensed) attorney for the time that I did, and I'm excited to get to be a lawyer. As much as everyone makes jokes about lawyers not having souls, I think it's actually a great way to help others. Hopefully in May I'll have some much better bar results to share! 

3. Personal Goals

If I took one thing away from 2020, it's to make time for yourself and what makes you happy. I grew up with my nose in a book, but I stopped reading for fun once I started law school. When the pandemic hit, reading ended up being my escape. I read 4 books during the initial quarantine, and ended up finishing 12 books total in 2020. This year, I want to try to read 15 books. I'm currently reading Normal People by Sally Rooney, and I'm about 50% of the way through it. There's a bunch of books on my to-be-read list, so I'm sure I'll have plenty of fuel to meet this goal. 

Another personal goal I have is to publish a blog post every week or two. Writing is another one of my creative outlets, and having a place to talk about things I love, what's going on in my life, and give advice is something that I really enjoy. This goal will probably be a lot easier to manage after the bar exam, but I do want to be more consistent with my content. If there's anything you'd like to see here, feel free to let me know! Also make sure you subscribe (in the box on the right side column) so you get every new post to your inbox!

There you have it! I'm sure my goals will shift as the year goes on, but I'm excited to start the year with a plan. What are some of the goals you're working towards this year?

Make this YEAR the best page yet!