I spent a lot of time over the holidays thinking about the direction I want to take 2LWithIt. This blog came to be while I was in law school (hence “2L” aka the second year of law school), and since I’m no longer in school anymore, I had a bit of an existential crisis.
Should I change the name? Should I even keep writing?
And then I was reminded that when I started this blog, I had an audience of zero. Over the years, that number has grown greater than I ever expected. I didn’t think anyone would take an interest in the things I had to say, let alone some of the more taboo things I’ve talked about.
Since its inception, 2LWithIt has covered difficult topics like: anxiety, depression, suicide, living with chronic health issues, breakups, trauma, body image, and so much more. I’ve been asked how I’ve been so brave, but honestly, it’s not bravery. I’ve written about the things that I know, and for the better part of the last five, going on six years, a lot of what I’ve gone through hasn’t been easy.
That brings me to this next book review. I want to start 2019 with a title that packs a punch. A “kick in the tush,” if you will. Whenever I’m asked why I like to read books, my first response is usually “because it teaches you something new.” Sometimes it’s a different point of view, sometimes it’s insight into a topic you didn’t know much about, sometimes it’s just a reprieve from the daily hustle and bustle. Whatever your reason is, I think reading is important.
I am a firm believer that a love of books should be instilled early and often, which is a stark contrast from newer generations that are quieted at dinner tables with iPads and cellphones. It’s might hope that 2LWithIt will encourage people who stumble upon these reviews to pick up a book, be it the ones discussed on here, or elsewhere. Reading is such an important skill to have, and big picture, I think a lot of the discord going on in our world today could be eased quite a bit if people on both sides of the conversation took the time to be more open-minded about topics and points of view they don’t agree with.
All that being said, let’s jump into the review. Becca Anderson is an author, teacher, and writing instructor who lives in the San Francisco Bay area. She writes with unfettered enthusiasm about topics that matter to her and for that reason, she’s my first author of 2019!
BADASS AFFIRMATIONS by Becca Anderson
The first title is “Badass Affirmations: the wit and wisdom of wild women.” Becca writes on the first page, “if you’re anything like me, there are always aspects of your life or your personality that you’re working to improve.” Truer words have never been spoken. She goes on to talk about affirmations, and how the repetition of positive statements helps shift your mindset to become more positive and productive.
There’s no secret to the affirmations; they work if you put in the work. The affirmations focus on “can do” language like “I will” or “I am,” instead of “I will try” or “I might be able to.” To facilitate this positive change, the book is organized in a way that you can pick it up and open to any page and you’ll find a place to get started.
There are six chapters in total, including: (1) What’s Wrong with Being Confident?; (2) All’s Fair in Love and Lust; (3) Stay Beautiful, Inside and Out; (4) Do You Work Here?; (5) Ohana Means Family; and (6) You are Unstoppable.
Each chapter is broken into “affirmation stations,” where readers can find affirmations specific to the topic in the chapter. In addition to the affirmations, there are “badass women” spotlights, as well as more in-depth quotes that give the affirmations context. For example, in Chapter Four: Do You Work Here?, there is the following quote by acclaimed ballerina, Dame Margot Fonteyn:
“The one important thing I have learned over the years is the difference between taking one’s work seriously and taking one’s self seriously. The first is imperative and the second is disastrous.”
These words are in the company of many other notable women, including: first ladies, CEOs, comedians, abolitionists, teachers, actresses, scientists, and musicians, to name a few.
At the end of the book, there is a section entitled “journaling,” where there are twenty prompts. These are meant to get those creative juices flowing and to reinforce all of the badass affirmations found throughout the book. This book would make a great gift to a girlfriend, sister, mother, even a coworker in need of a little inspiration to get started on their goals for 2019.
BADASS WOMEN GIVE THE BEST ADVICE
The second title is “Badass Women Give The Best Advice: everything you need to know about life and love.” Much like “Badass Affirmations,” this book is written into bite-sized chunks, so you can really pick it up and start reading anywhere in the book.
There are six chapters in total, including: (1) Love Is All You Need, Really?; (2) Love, Lust, and What We Were; (3) Love Hurts (Sometimes); (4) Womanly Wisdom: Love Lost and Found; (5) Do We Really Even Need Men Anymore?; and (6) Strong Women, Strong Coffee, Strong Love.
Becca describes this book as a “heart-to-heart with two hundred of your best friends” with advice from a gamut of “loquacious ladies of every strip from movie stars to moms, literati, glitterati, psychologist, sexperts, and all around bad girls tellin’ it like it is.”
The advice goes deeper than bedroom tips; it provides a framework of inspiration and affirmations to encourage girls and women alike to cultivate self-worth on a personal level. It’s great to feel wanted by a man, but it’s an even greater feeling to love yourself. This is something I’m still learning in my late twenties, and honestly, I think it’ll probably be a life-long practice in the age of social media and endless comparison.
Like “Badass Affirmations,” “Badass Women Give The Best Advice” includes lots of quotes, as well as spotlights on notable “badass women.” While certainly a light-hearted read to pick up when you just need a little positivity, Becca concludes the book with a nod to women’s rights and suffragettes like Susan B. Anthony, Lucretia Mott, and Elizabeth Cady Stanton who tirelessly fought for the rights and opportunities women have today. But for them and many others like them, I know I personally would not have been able to pursue things like a college degree, let alone law school and now working in what was once, and in some areas still is, a male-dominated field. Albeit subtle, the history lesson is an important one to remember.
I received this book complimentary on behalf of the publisher, but all thoughts and opinions in this post are my own. All photography featured in this post is my own unless noted otherwise; please seek permission before copying or reproducing the images.
Book Stats: Badass Women Give The Best Advice by Becca Anderson; Badass Affirmations by Becca Anderson
Page Count- 255; 219