Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Self-Inflicted Wounds by Aisha Tyler

  If you don't know who Aisha Tyler is, please head to Google right now. Please go to YouTube. PLEASE, EDUCATE YOURSELVES! Watch The Talk on TV sometime, why dontcha. She is a hilarious powerhouse with the brightest smile I've ever seen. Homagerhd. Top that off with brains, shot-for-shot wit, and this lady is in love. I've been in that girlcrush kind of love ever since I saw her on Comedy Central, years and years ago. For those of you who do know, I just want to gush about her book I'm currently reading--"Self Inflicted Wounds: Heartwarming Tales of Epic Humiliation". I'm only on page 74, but the humiliation and the tales are scroooong. Not strong, but SCRONG.

  Aisha is telling all sorts of deets from her early Blerd years, making me feel not-so-crazy. From dangerous exploits of french fry making to stepping into womanhood one burning cologne splash at a time, Aisha is teaching some serious life lessons about walking proudly covered in the battle scars of life. Instead of hiding 'em in shame, wear them proudly! You've learned a few things! You're stronger!

 I love this book, and I'm not even done with it yet. It's so engaging and so real. She's smart, she's brilliant, she's amazing...but good GOD the crap that happened to her in the developmental stages of life are incredibly hilarious. The best part is that she shares her shame to teach the kinds of lessons our own parents have fumbled with over and over. You know the ones--"Everybody fails", "sh*t happens", and so forth. Above all else, it's inspirational. Kinda like she's saying "get your stuff together, put on your big girl/boy panties, and make a change in the world!"

  I also love that she tells it like it is when it comes to the wounds we inflict on ourselves. We often seek to blame others--especially our parents--for some of the things we know we're responsible for.

  I just want to share some of the tidbits from certain chapters that stood out to me.

  • "...I hope that you, like me, will embrace your fears, learn from your failures, celebrate your victories, and run headlong into (metaphorical) danger. Get up, go out into the world, and do awesome shit." (pg. xiv)
  • "...the only way to salvage the experience is to try to find a way to learn from it, to grow as a person, take responsibility, and move on. That kind of personal examination and growth is what self-inflicted wounds are all about. A long, slow movement toward adulthood, and the learning and growth that can only come with a few scrapes and scars." (pg. 7)
  • "Stark and egregious errors, the truly epic failures, forge character. They burnish your edges and make you the person you are." (pg. 16)
  • "...to truly win, to become the kind of person who both knows how to pursue excellence and can recognize it once achieved, you must fail. You mustn't just be able to deal with failure, you must embrace it, wrap your arms around its shoulders like a frigid bedmate who rejects your every sexual advance..." (pg. 16)
  • "Pursue failure, and you will trip over success along the way." (pg. 16)
  • "...hold fast to who you are without apology or compromise, because the things that make you odd as a kid make you unique as an adult. Don't ever let anyone make you feel ashamed of who you are, no matter how outside the main." (pg. 22)
  This book is a straight up gem that was suggested by my father, of all people. Y'know how it is--bumbling, stumbling late-bloomer hippie child and Baby Boomer parent praying to GOD that someday she stops sinking in the quicksand and sees her own beauty. Yeah, yeah. He wanted me to read this book SOOO badly. So, I did. I'm glad he did, and I read it every chance I get. I'm reading sloowly, and will probably re-read to underline the quotes I missed the first time. It really is a must-read for all of us clumsy, bumbling nerds and geeks of all ages. You will not feel alone once you begin reading. 

(Shoot, ANYONE who's had an awkward childhood oughta give it a read!)


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