Finding myself in a book… is happiness.

In choosing an independent learning project I had a couple of ideas. First, I thought of gluten-free cooking. I want to make healthier meals that taste yummy. I really just wanted something that would force me to make dessert every other night.

I also thought of learning to play the guitar. I began to learn in high school, but gave it up quickly. Music is not something I am passionate about. That defeats the purpose of having a learning project that I enjoy and look forward to.  (And my husband said my fingers would be sore.  I’m a wimp.)

I did not think of reading for my project until Prof. Ellington replied to a twitter post I made.  It was about being passionate about reading things that challenge me or make me happy. She suggested I should make this my independent learning project.


Photo CC- by Stefano Corso

Of course I should spend this time learning what I want!

I will read books.

During my time in college I have tried to keep up on this type of reading, but honestly I have turned to books that allow me to unplug my brain for a little while during my lunch break. There is nothing wrong with that kind of reading. I just want something more.

I want to read books that challenge what I think of the world. I want to read books that makes me question if I am believing and doing the right things.  I want to read books that have me question if I am becoming the person that I want to be.

This weekend I attended a conference put on by an author whose books have stretched me and caused me to grow. I have been looking forward to this time for a while. I just had no idea that this would be the perfect start to an independent learning project.

Don’t you love it when that happens? When everything is arranged beforehand and just falls into place, like it was meant to be?

Shelly Volkhardt has written three books, one about what she calls “Kitchen Table Counselling.”   The premise is teaching women how to help and support other women through difficult times. I used to work at a crisis pregnancy center as a lay counselor, and later I worked with women that were battling addictions and had been released from prison. Shelly’s book was so valuable to me during those times. I had not experienced those specific issues, but still wanted to walk alongside women  who were in the midst of them.

I used the principles in the book to help me know how to best serve those women during times of pain and crisis. I never had all the answers, but I learned how to listen and love people.

I was able to attend the conference this weekend, and be reminded of who I am.

I am working with people in a different way now that I will be going into the education field. But the same principles of helping others apply to working with others in the workplace and in the classroom. It was a good reminder that I don’t lose who I am as a person just because I am learning a different set of skills.

I am looking forward to reading again, and I love that reading goes really well with coffee or dessert – I really do like dessert.

Happiness comes easily when you're open to it

Photo CC- By OpenEye


3 thoughts on “Finding myself in a book… is happiness.

  1. I LOVE this idea! To be honest I’m a little upset I didn’t think of it. I really am looking forward to your future posts, and I hope you will be sharing titles alongwith what you are learning. I’m always looking for good reads, I’ve never tried reading the books that make me think if I’m liking the person I’m becoming. I usually read stories, I’m currently reading “The Best of Me.” (I must add that it is AWESOME!) Good luck with your project!


    • Kayla, I wish I would have thought of that too! I got the idea from someone else. I will be checking out “The Best of Me.” If you think of any others please let me know! I will be sharing what I am reading each week so stay tuned. 🙂


  2. I really love the idea of this project! So glad you decided to go with this. It’s very challenging when you’re in college to find time for the reading you want to do. I feel like I missed out on some good years of reading when I was in grad school. Now you can fully justify whatever time you can spend reading because it’s assigned homework for this class!


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