Words Wednesday is a weekly tag (created by me!) where each week you share a word, quote, or phrase that you’ve come across over the course of the week. Content can be from books, movies, songs, or even you’re really wise and poetic friend. If you want to participate, share your post in the comments and I’ll edit the post to add your link!

Has the start of February felt overwhelming to anyone else? I felt like I was so on top of things in January, and now a week into the next month and I’m starting to slip. There’s just so much to do and I don’t know how I’ll possibly have time to do it all! This is most definitely a case of me overextending myself, and the logical explanation is to cut back on how much I am doing, but I will not- I will just keep cranking out content, volunteer hours, and my actual work until I crumble. That’s enough of my rambling, it’s time for a quote.

“Holly wanted her life to read like a collection of unique stories, one adventure after another.”

The Barrens, by Kurt + Ellie Johnson

This quote is from an ARC (shoutout Netgalley!), so it may change by the time this goes to print, but I love the sentiment so I am including it nonetheless. I do not necessarily think the narrator of the book was endorsing Holly’s desire to have her life exist as a series of stories, but I think it’s such a fun way to think about life that I had to write it. Holly is impulsive and wild and gets herself into potentially dangerous situations without safety planning, which is not great, but she also makes incredible memories and goes on adventures that most people would be too scared to even attempt.

I think there’s something to be said for just biting the bullet and doing the thing. I want to try to embody this mindset more (with proper safety planning of course) in my own life, because too often I spend my days trapped behind a computer screen, or reading a book and enjoying other people’s stories. I want to be able to live my own life and to create my own stories along the way. I want to one day be able to look back and be impressed with how many things I did in life rather than have regrets about what I didn’t do because I was just too lazy at the time.

Looking at your life like a series of stories is also a good way to compartmentalize the bad parts. I am fairly certain this is not what the authors of The Barrens meant when they were writing it, but the more I’ve thought about this quote the more this aspect of it has become appealing to me. If you think of life as one big story, then every bad thing is just another stumbling block, and the negatives of life increase as time goes on. If you think of life like series of short stories, then that horrible period of your life that you just want to forget can literally be closed and shelved and never read again. The year of your life that you absolutely hated is just one unique story, and maybe that particular story didn’t have the ideal ending (or beginning, or middle), but now it’s over and it’s time for a new adventure to begin.

Holly is not the character that we all want to become while reading this book, especially because she is not even the narrator, but there is something to be said for embodying her free spirited adventure mindset. We could all do to be a little more like Holly in our day to day lives, finding adventures at every turn of the page.