A crucial skill

When Barak Obama announced his annual summer reading picks for 2018, I felt a little proud. I had actually already read several of them! But one book I hadn’t yet read was Educated: A Memoir by Tara Westover. It had been on my to-read list since it came out, and his recommendation instantly catapulted to the top. When my Audible credit for the month arrived, I exchanged it for the book. Now I walk nightly to Westover’s words. She worked hard to learn them, and revels in using them. I picture her writing down certain phrases that she feels so perfectly capture her experiences and pocketing them, like treasures. Sometimes I find this a bit tiresome, and sometimes I melt into them. And, sometimes, I am prompted to write down them too.⁣

the skill i was learning was a crucial one, the patience to read things I could not yet understand

Published by Emily P.G. Erickson

Emily P.G. Erickson is a writer with a master's degree in psychology. Her service journalism and personal essays about mental health, mindfulness, and motherhood have appeared in The New York Times, WIRED, Romper, Elemental, and elsewhere. You can find the latest from Emily at www.emilypgerickson.com.

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