Book Reviews, Personal
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The Year of Be

This is a book review. But it also isn’t. It’s almost like a reflection, a series of word vomit if you will, as I ponder the past year and the year to come.

But while reading Anxious People by Fredrik Backman, I couldn’t help but be reminded of the humanity that exists in all of us. Of the shared happiness and fears and anxiety and joys that come with connection.

It made me laugh. It made me cry. It made fall in love with reading again.

In Anxious People, Backman takes you through a whirlwind journey of a moment in time shared by so many people all hiding behind their neurotic tendencies, cold exteriors, and longings—a longing to just be and belong.

It reminded me that in this weird purgatory of a pandemic, there are still so many connections to be made, so many stories to share, so many moments we may be missing if we don’t stop to look.

The past year, let alone the past few months, have opened up so many avenues of grief and sadness, but they have also opened doors for “new”—new beginnings, new hopes, new gratitudes.

It was so vividly seen in Anxious People that even in the uncertainties and the doubts and the fears, all it takes is just a little bit of kindness to help us realize we’re never really strangers, we’re never really alone.


When talking with my friend Shujanaa, we were summarizing our one word for the year. After pondering for the last few weeks I chose the word “be.”

It’s a word that holds so much weight—but only as much as you let it.

Let the year be what is. Let life be what it is. Be the best version of yourself. Be a better version of yourself.

Ultimately, be still, be present, be persistent, but also be proud of how far you’ve come—and how far you have left to go.

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