BOOK REVIEW: When breath becomes air by Paul Kalanithi


What makes life worth living in the face of death? What do you do when the future, no longer a ladder toward your goals in life, flattens out into a perpetual present? What does it mean to have a child, to nurture a new life as another fades away?

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This book is so heavy and profound in so many ways. Paul teaches us that in the face of death, one must choose what matters most in life. In his frail and weak state, Paul chooses to fight for his life.

It may have caused a lot of doubts but Paul enlightened each and everyone that the values and the important things continuously changes. I felt how painful it was for him to lose his identity. The once strong body that he has is now failing him to the point that the mere act of lifting his leg was too tiring for him. I think this is one of the hardest things to accept when you have a terminal or serious illness. — It’s the constant thought that you will never be able to go back to who you are, what you do and how others will perceive you. Your body will fail you, your mind will trick you. Everything will change.

He also mentioned how long and excruciating it is for doctors to deal with the fact that they hold responsibility for judgement calls. You know the famous spiderman line, With great power comes great responsibility? That is exactly the burden each doctor carries. Most of us are in awe of doctors. Some of us puts them in a pedestal. Why? because they have the power, skills and knowledge that can alter someone’s life. But that is also the burden that they carry everyday. It is the same power that saves lives, the same power that ends one, and never intentional.

With this revelation, I loved how he explained his personal commitment to treat each patient as individuals, not just charts. He made it to a point to know the patient, understand his life, his mind, his values and his identity. Why? So he knows how just how important it is for him to do the right thing, the right diagnosis, the right treatment, etc. — ‘In taking up another’s cross, one must sometimes be crushed by its weight’. It’s beautiful.

  • It’s very easy to be number one. Find the guy who is number one and score one point higher than he does.
  • Books became my closest confidants, finely ground lenses providing new views of the world.
  • Brains give rise to our ability to form relationships and make life meaningful.
  • Direct experience of life and death questions was essential to generating substantial moral opinions about them.
  • How could I ever learn to make and live with such judgement calls? I still had a lot of practical medicine to learn, but wold knowledge alone be enough? with life and death hanging in the balance? Surely intelligence wasn’t enough. Moral clarity is needed as well.
  • Some days, this is how it felt when I was in the hospital: trapped in an endless jungle summer, wet with sweat, the rain of tears of families of the dying pouring down.
  • Drowning, even in blood, one adapts, learns to float, to swim, even to enjoy life, bonding with the nurses and doctors who are clinging to the same raft, caught in the same tide.
  • A spoonful at a time. Openness to human relationality does not mean revealing grand truths from the apse, it means meeting patient’s where they are in the narthex or nave, and bringing them as far as you can.
  • The cost of my dedication to succeed is high, and the ineluctable failures brought me nearly unbearable guilt. Those burdens are what make medicine holy and wholly impossible, in taking up another’s cross, one must sometimes get crushed by the weight.
  • Good intentions were not enough, not when so much depended on my skills, when the difference between tragedy and triumph was defined by one or two millimetres.
  • Death comes for all of us. Most lives are lived with passivity toward death – it’s something that happens to you and those around you.
  • Even if you are perfect, the world isn’t. The secret is to know that the deck is stacked, that you will lose, that your hands or judgement will slip and yet still struggle to win for your patients. You can’t ever reach perfection, but you can believe in an asymptote toward which you are ceaselessly striving.
  • Severe illness wasn’t life-altering, it was life-shattering. It felt less like an epiphany – a piercing burst of light, illuminating what really matters – and more like someone had just firebombed the path forward. Now I would have to work around it.
  • The pain of knowing and not knowing the future, the difficulty in planning, the necessity of being there for each other.
  • If the weight of mortality does not grow lighter, does it at least get more familiar?
  •  The defining characteristic of the organism is striving.
  • The tricky part of illness is that, as you go through it, your values are constantly changing. You try to figure out what matters to you, and then you keep figuring it out. Death may be a one-time thing but living with a terminal illness is a process.
  • You can’t ever reach perfection, but you can believe in an asymptote toward which you are ceaselessly striving.

Overall, this book is a really good read. It’s scary and honest. 

Have you read this book? I really liked this one. Could you recommend a similar book? If you like this post, can you please like, comment and subscribe to my blog? ❤ I’ll appreciate it. Thank you! 

LEARN: Fountain of Youth


How far would you go to find the Fountain  of Youth? 

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Just a brief background, my curiosity about Ponce de Leon arise when I read the book Before Ever After. And the things I will be mentioning below may or may not be correct as I read just the tip of the iceberg regarding the myth.

In the simplest of terms, the Fountain of Youth restores the youth of anyone who drinks it. Ponce de Leon is greatly associated in his explorations and thought of exploring to find the said Fountain. A lot of people would argue that it is only a myth which is agreeable sine no one really claims to have found it but it would also make you think because it has been mentioned and studied quite often by other figures such as Herodotus, people of Carribean, Alexander Romance and Prester John.

A lot of people sought the great gift of eternal youth as can also be seen in the popular movie, Harry Potter and the Philosopher Stone or the Elixir of Life among others.

Do you believe there’s a Fountain of Youth somewhere? Kindly like this post, share some love and subscribe. ❤ 

 

BOOK REVIEW: The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin


I don’t think I’ve ever highlighted a book as much as I did with this one. ❤

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I don’t care about the other reviews that I’ve seen. I honestly learned a lot about the book. More than the everyday solutions and scenarios inside their house, there’s a lot of behaviors or mentality aspect that I find amusing. ❤ When I tell you there’s a lot, I mean there’a huge vault of information!!

Let me break down the the monthly resolutions of Gretchen in the book.

JANUARY (Boost Energy)

  • Sleep earlier
  • Exercise better
  • Organize
  • Act more energetic

To be honest, the first chapter was more common, obvious and repetitive. BUT, just continue reading. Okay?

FEBRUARY (Remember Love)

  • Quit Nagging
  • Don’t expect appreciation
  • Fight Right
  • No Dumping
  • Give proofs of love

Marital satisfaction significantly drops after the first child arrives. Small frequent gestures of thoughtfulness were more important than flowers on Valentine’s. What you do everyday matters more than what you do once in a while. 

Gretchen suggested that to avoid nagging, she found it useful to limit reminders to ONE WORD such as ‘camera’ or like ‘door’ and that chores DIDN’T NEED TO BE DONE ACCORDING TO ONE’S SCHEDULE. To add to that, she also practiced DOING IT HERSELF and to BE APPRECIATIVE of the other person’s efforts.

To avoid expecting appreciation, she needed to remind herself that she didn’t need her husband’s approval and whatever it is that she’s doing, whether it’s washing the dishes or taking out the trash, it’s because SHE’S DOING IT FOR HERSELF. That way, if the other person didn’t notice or said thank you or appreciate the gesture, there’s no need to sulk. ‘If you do it for other people, you end up wanting them to acknowledge it and to be grateful and to give you credit. If you do it for yourself, you don’t expect other people to react in a particular way. 

To be able to fight right, it is important to make ‘repair attempts’ by using words or actions to keep ad feelings from escalating and that you ACKNOWLEDGE OTHER PRESSURES IMPOSED ON THE OTHER PERSON such as feeling overwhelmed by the demands of work and keeping the house clean, etc. and to AVOID GENERALIZING PHRASES such as ‘you never’, you always’. How a couple fights matters more than how much they fight.

Here’s a fun fact! Men and women both turn to women for counsel, advice and for talking. Why? MEN AND WOMEN HAVE DIFFERENT DEFINITIONS ON INTIMACY! For women, it’s heart to heart conversations while men feel close when they are sitting beside each other. Get it? You might crave for a long conversation after playing video games with your husband but for him, playing is already your bonding!

Give proofs of love by DOING SMALL TREATS FOR YOUR SPOUSE. Often since we are always with our spouse, we tend to neglect or just take them for granted and one way to do that is to SPEND TIME ALONE TOGETHER and should HAVE AN OUTDOOR AND INDOOR GAME THEY PLAY TOGETHER. 

Also, she shared a marriage mantra — ‘I love ___, just as he is’. When you give up expecting a spouse to change, you lessen anger and resentment and that creates a more loving atmosphere in a marriage.

SEE THAT! I’m still in February and there’s so much insight and advice. ❤ Let me move on to March. KEEP READING.

MARCH (Aim Higher)

  • Launch a blog
  • Enjoy the fun of failure
  • Ask for help
  • Work smart
  • Enjoy now

Enthusiasm is more important to mastery than innate ability because the single most important element in developing an expertise is your willingness to practice. 

We seek to control our lives but the unfamiliar and the unexpected are important sources of happiness. It’s because an unexpected situation gives a powerful sense of satisfaction. People don’t notice your mistakes as much as you think. 

LEARN NEW SKILLS. Challenges allows you to expand your self definition. The more elements make up your identity, the less threatening it is when any one element is threatened. — which is so true by the way! Right? Imagine if you are a financial banker with a side hustle of being a teacher and running a bakeshop. When one fails, you still have the other two! A new identity brings you new people and new experiences.

In order to be successful, YOU NEED TO BE WILLING TO ACCEPT MORE FAILURE. And to be more accustomed to this mindset, she kept telling herself ‘It’s fun to fail. It’s part of being ambitious. It’s part of being creative. IF SOMETHING IS WORTH DOING, IT’S WORTH DOING BADLY.  And in working smart, Gretchen noted that SMALL EFFORTS, MADE CONSISTENTLY, BROUGHT SIGNIFICANT RESULTS. 

APRIL  (Lighten Up)

  • Sing in the morning
  • Acknowledge the reality of people’s feelings
  • Be a treasure house of happy memories
  • Take time for projects

Lighten up by simply REFRAMING YOUR MIND and DECIDING that YOU ENJOY DOING IT, whatever it may be. Gretchen also dropped this phrase that really struck me and that is THE DAYS ARE LONG, BUT THE YEARS ARE SHORT. Such a powerful phrase to remind us what matters.

To be a treasure house of happy memories, she practiced KEEPING PHOTOS and KEEPING FAMILY TRADITIONS. Traditions make occasions feel special and exciting. MAKE TIME FOR LITTLE PROJECTS as they reconnect us with sources of ‘feeling good’ that we’ve outgrown.

MAY (Be serious about Play)

  • Find more fun
  • Take time to be silly
  • Go off the path
  • Start a collection

I think the key work of her first resolution is ACTIVELY FIND MORE FUN. Why? because the absence of feeling bad isn’t enough to make you happy. Also, she stumbled upon this realization which I believe we should all contemplate on and that is just because something was fun for someone else doesn’t mean it’s fun for me. I think it’s more important to stop thinking what other people might think and to start being true to yourself. Gretchen suggested that when you do figure out what you find fun, FIND A GROUP OR A CLUB WHO LIKES THE SAME THINGS AS YOU DO. Why? because it makes people feel closer and brings a significant boost in personal confidence and happiness.

Look at those things that do have a beauty in your life and look at them more and more. 

TAKE TIME TO BE SILLY because there’s this emotional contagion where we unconsciously catch emotions from other people. GO OFF THE PATH by EXPANDING YOUR INTERESTS. Gretchen included a quote from Matthew Arnold, ‘All knowledge is interesting to a wise man’.

JUNE (Make time for Friends)

  • Remember birthdays
  • Be Generous
  • Show up
  • Don’t gossip
  • Make three new friends

The first part of the chapter, GR established that make time for friends is sometimes not literally just time. She imparted resolutions such as BE GENEROUS because according to studies, happiness is often boosted by providing support to other people than receiving one. And to be generous, she further broke it down to HELPING PEOPLE THINK BIG, BRINGING PEOPLE TOGETHER AND CUTTING PEOPLE SLACK. Words of enthusiasm and confidence from a friend can inspire one to tackle an ambitious goal. In bringing people together, some suggested to have a ‘Bring another friend’ dinner or in parties. To cut people some slack, we need to REMIND OURSELVES THAT PEOPLE’S LIVES ARE FAR MORE COMPLICATED THAN THEY APPEAR FROM THE OUTSIDE. A big part of friendship is  SHOWING UP. Based from her experience, she immediately set up dates to see her friends.

MAKING NEW FRIENDS will expand one’s world by providing an entrance to new interests, opportunities and experiences.  If you are not friendly, GH suggested some resolutions to make it easier such as ACT FRIENDLIER, act the way you want to feel. SMILE FREQUENTLY. A study showed that people tend to like people who they think likes them. This makes sense as I find it true for me. 😛 ACTIVELY INVITE OTHERS TO JOIN THE CONVERSATION, CREATE A POSITIVE MOOD and OPEN A CONVERSATION. How? one suggested to learn something newsworthy on Google so you have something to talk about. LEARN TO SHOW INTEREST and ASK QUESTIONS about the other person.

JULY (Buy some Happiness)

  • Indulge in modest splurge
  • Buy needful things
  • Spend out
  • Give something up

Money, spent wisely, can support happiness goals of strengthening relationships, promoting health, having fun and all the rest. SPEND MONEY WHERE IT MATTERS TO YOU. Some examples of modest splurge are good knives, quality pillows or remodeling a certain part of the house or if you’re really into children lit, a complete set of Wizard of Oz. Also, she expounded that the MORE YOU HAVE, THE HAPPIER YOU’LL BE IS WRONG. Why? because according to GH, a constant stream of luxuries can take away the savor.

In Buying needful things, I learned that there are an underbuyer and overbuyer. I’m always the overbuyer. 😛 in some aspects I think. A research also proved what I thought and that is people think they like variety more than they do but if there are options and asked what they would choose, one always picks the same thing every time. 😛 Exactly me with clothes. 😛 In Spending out, USE WHAT YOU HAVE. Don’t wait for a special occasion to use something.

AUGUST (Contemplate the Heavens)

  • Read memoirs of catastrophe
  • Keep a gratitude notebook
  • Imitate a spiritual master

GH started with Philosopher Boethius saying ‘Contemplate the extent and stability of the heavens, and then at last cease to admire worthless things. THINK ABOUT DEATH, LIVE FULLY AND THANKFULLY IN THE PRESENT. As William Edward Lecky said, ‘There’s a time in the lives of most of us when we would have given all the world to be as we were but yesterday, though that yesterday had passed over us unappreciated and unenjoyed”. This hits home!! GAHH.

SEPTEMBER (Pursue a passion)

  • Write a blog
  • Make time
  • Forget about results
  • Master a new technology

DO WHAT YOU DO. Whatever you enjoyed doing as a ten year old or something you choose to do on a Saturday Afternoon and MAKE TIME FOR IT and TREAT IT AS A PRIORITY. 

In forgetting about results, GH mentioned that what makes a passion enjoyable is that you don’t have to worry about the results. An atmosphere of growth brings great happiness but it sometimes comes when you’re free from the pressure to see much growth. ENJOY WHATEVER IT IS YOU WANT TO DO.

OCTOBER (Pay Attention)

  • Meditate on koans
  • Examine True Rules
  • Stimulate mind in new ways
  • Keep a food diary

I was AMAZED by the KOANS! I didn’t know such existed!! Okay, to further elaborate, a Koan is a question or statement that can’t be understood logically. Aside from the koan, HEURISTICS! and GH actually shared some very valuable TRUE RULES that she has been observing such as My husband is my priority at all times, Get some work done every day, I know as much as most people, Try to attend a part that I’m invited to. Some people also shared, Always say hello. What would my mother do?, Things have a way of turning out for the best and People succeed in groups.

NOVEMBER (Keep a Contented Heart)

  • Laugh out loud
  • Use good manners
  • Give positive reviews
  • Find an area of refuge

FIND REASONS TO FIND THINGS FUNNY, LAUGH OUT LOUD AND APPRECIATE OTHER PEOPLE’S HUMOR. According to Tolstoy, ‘Nothing can make our life more beautiful than perpetual kindness’. 

DECEMBER (Boot Camp Perfect)

Even when a day was bad, it had bright spots. 

 

 

Who here has read the book? and for those who haven’t Have I convinced you enough? Honestly, we all have the time now and with what is happening in the world, we all need to ACTIVELY FIND AND OR DO WHAT MAKES US HAPPY. Right? So read this book. ❤ 

And if you happen to like this post, please spread some kindness and like this post, leave a comment and subscribe to my blog. ❤  

 

MOVIE REVIEW: Runaway Jury


Trials are too important to be left up to juries

RUNAWAY

First of all, I didn’t know that there’s a business operation based solely on the careful selection of a jury! Two opposing lawyers will battle it out in court proving that the defendant is innocent or that the defendant is guilty. But the mere study and cautious selection of the right type of jury can sway, make or break your case.

Two, have you seen Meet the Fockers? I cannot really picture him as a serious lawyer. 😛 Three, I salute Easter in the movie of how he can silently influence the other jurors. Four, the real action I think is not really inside the court room (as I would have wanted) but rather the silent manipulation happens outside.

Overall, the novel turned movie is okay.  Though it’s not something I would recommend or watch again.

Who of you has seen the movie? Did you like it?

Leave comments below so we can discuss the movie. ❤ and if you can like this post and subscribe. Thank you. ❤ 

THOUGHTS: The 6 Phones I’ve had in my life


Phones have a special place in our lives. Do you agree? It’s the first thing you look for when you wake up in the morning and the last thing you hold when you go to sleep. Don’t deny it! You can’t even leave the house without it. Sure, we can offer the excuse of for emergencies and the importance of communication these days.

But there’s an obsession already. Right? And I’m not being a hypocrite. I am also guilty of such. And since we have all the time in the world now, I decided to clean a particular drawer where all of my gadgets are. And here it is, A collection of all the phones that I’ve used and own throughout these years. 😛

I did not include the Siemens Phone that I used when I was in grade school. My dad usually lets me bring it to school for Emergency but it was never really mine. 😛

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NOKIA 3530

My first ever phone. 😛 It was a semi gift during my grade school graduation. I can still remember how excited I was since it was one of the first few phones to have a color display. ❤ There was no camera but one of the things I loved most about this is how I can download different wallpapers to customize it. (Yes, as early as that, I knew I loved black – Thus my black casing.) This served me all throughout my 4 years in HS. Haha.

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Nokia 1616-2

This was especially helpful when I was living a double life. 😛 A call and text function just to cater my confused lifestyle. Haha. I used this for a brief time when I was in college.

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Sony Ericsson K800i

This is my College Phone. ❤ I love that it has a scroll in the middle. It’s what makes it unique and the flash saved me a couple of times when we were clubbing back then. 😛 Since this has a Photo Vid feature already, it’s small screen is a disadvantage.  And though it has a VGA Video Call already, I don’t think I ever used it. I was using this phone from College up until when I was working.

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Blackberry 9700

The hype when I started working! Everyone was talking about BB Messenger. I think the advantage of Blackberry is it’s BB Hub where all of your emails, instant message and SMS are all in one push notification. I loved how there’s a certain professionalism status or symbol it gives by using a Blackberry.

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Iphone 4S

The first phone I ever bought from my own pocket. ❤ and my second apple product next to my Itouch. I think this used to be my favorite phone. ❤ You all know how apple works. I love that it has so much storage, the quality of the image is great. I liked how compact and it easily fits in the palm of my hand. I used this when I was working already and the reason why I had to let this one go is because of the battery. :/

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Samsung Note 5

The phone that made the switch worth it. ❤ I still like Apple of course. But the ease of use of Samsung especially that I am studying and working, is such a gem. I usually have to transfer downloaded files, edit power point and documents for school and with this phone, everything was seamless. I can edit right away and with the help of an OTG, everything was easy! Aside from that, the quality of the image under a Natural Light is perfect and doesn’t need any edits. ❤ I love love love this phone. Unfortunately, after 4 years of using it, I think the problem was battery too. :/

 

Currently, I am using a Samsung Galaxy A70. So far, I am loving my new phone. It may not be the latest model, but its features is also high quality. As you can see from the history of my phones, I don’t normally buy the latest or the highest model, I like to maximize the life of each one, or maybe just an excuse because I’m somehow (kuripot). 😛

 

What’s the best phone you’ve had so far? Are you an Apple fan or Samsung User? What was your first ever phone? Let me know! Leave some comments below. ❤ Hope you can like this post and Subscribe. ❤  

BOOK REVIEW: Unwritten Letters to You by T.B Laberge


GOODREADS: Unwritten Letters to You is a collection of writings ranging from heartbreak to longing for love. Within each page comes the words that are often so hard to speak, and with each chapter you will find that blood can be turned to ink.

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WOW. JUST WOW. Everything you may have been feeling? It’s in here. I am happily married but I can also easily relate to the words of a person who has been left behind, cheated on or in the personality of someone who is searching for a person to love.

  • I’m still looking for that smile, that wink, or maybe it’ll just be a sigh that will set my world on fire. Whatever it is, I’m still looking for it.
  • I fear that I will love someone that will always be the wind to my sails, pushing me on but never staying.
  • What if? What if my love and desire for you broke through the doubts that cling to me? What if I chose to love you even in the prospect of the unknown?
  • I wanted to be a forever, but I was only a moment.
  • You were alive before they came around, so don’t let them stop you from living again. Just because they didn’t want you doesn’t mean you are unwanted. Just because they didn’t want forever with you, doesn’t mean you don’t deserve a forever. Just because love wasn’t written for you both doesn’t mean your life is written with any less love.
  • You are more than the marks left on your soul, more than the tears of a broken heart, you are a soul that is eternal.
  • You must not reduce yourself to a puddle just because the person you like is afraid to swim and you are a fierce sea to them. Because there will be someone who was born with love of the waves within their blood, and they will look at you with fear and respect.
  • Love is saying I do, even when you feel like you don’t.
  • If you are happy, then I’m happy. If you’re sad, then I’m sad. Because it’s not about whether or not I fix you. It’s about me, being here and sharing the weight of these moments with you. I fight beside you, because that is love. It’s sharing the struggles, the joys and love we have. It’s about walking this life together and I want you there for as long as possible.

Damn, is he good with words! You can feel the passion, love, longing and sadness with every word he’s written. A must read!

BOOK REVIEW: Girl in Pieces by Kathleen Glasgow


GOODREADS: Charlotte Davis is in pieces. At seventeen she’s already lost more than most people lose in a lifetime. But she’s learned how to forget. The broken glass washes away the sorrow until there is nothing but calm. Every new scar hardens Charlie’s heart just a little more, yet it still hurts so much. It hurts enough to not care anymore, which is sometimes what has to happen before you can find your way back from the edge.

Honestly, it took me longer than I expected. It’s not a light read and to put it out there, this book and the story can be a trigger for those with history of self harm, depressed or any suicidal thoughts.

Spoiler Alert? At seventeen years old, Charlie wakes up in Creeley, a rehab center for women who self-harm. Her father committed suicide by drowning himself, her mother gave up on her, her best friend, a fellow cutter is brain dead, she lived on the street, got sold for sex and her only friend who she likes only wanted to be friends.

I learned that talking really helps and it goes both ways. It’s important to talk to someone. Don’t keep whatever hatred or tension or sadness pent up. Lend an ear. Offer to listen to. People around you may be struggling too. Always be kind, a little kindness goes a long way. We never really know what battles other people are fighting everyday.

This is also the reason why I feel like I need to highlight Michael, Ariel, Linus and Felix. They are such a ray of sunshine in Charlie’s recovery. It’s nice how Mikey offered to help right off the bat, after not being in touch for so long. The lives of Michael and Linus also showed hope that things do get better and people get better. Michael has been sober and is living his best life. He realized he was tired of all the nonsense. Ariel! She’s what everyone needs! A mother figure to knock some sense in all of us. Don’t you think? Linus also told Charlie that she still struggles all the time and that sometimes, she just needs to wait it out. Felix, on the other hand has been helping Charlie on keeping busy and helping her translate all her feelings into paper.

Just one bit about Riley though – I loved his gift. You know how you need not tell the person what you like because he sees you? He watches you and knows what you want, what’s important to you and all? Like how Riley gave her this art book because he saw how her eyes sparkled when she was looking at this particular book.

I’m also happy with the way things ended. It should not always be a happy love story. It’s nice that Charlie is getting her shit together and that she did not llet Riley’s on stage performance affect her progress. And Oh! I also need to discuss Blue’s significant part on Charlie’s recovery. She was consistently there for her, making her feel at home, having someone to come home to, to talk to after work, someone who actually wants to be with you and appreciates your company – and I must say, it’s such a huge impact on Charlie’s confidence and mental health.

It’s not an easy read because it was so raw and honest. The author clearly depicts how the mind of a cutter runs. It’s so sad and I felt so lonely in some parts of the book. It tackles about hope, loneliness, self-harm and belonging – which everyone can relate to. This book opens you to a whole new world of understanding.

It’s such a help. Reading this book tells you that you are not alone and it’s so good to know that other people are experiencing this too, and maybe, just sometimes – that is enough, to know that someone else is feeling those too.

  • I’m so lonely in the world I want to peel all of my flesh off and walk, just bone and gristle.
  • I cut because I cut. It’s as simple as that. I need release. I need to hurt myself more than the world can hurt me, and then I can comfort myself. Hurting yourself makes you feel better. That somehow you can rid yourself of pain by causing yourself pain.
  • You don’t know what it feels like to every day, every fucking day, be so lonely that this black hole inside is going to swallow you down.
  • The moral of the story Charlie is this, don’t let the cereal eat you. It’s only a fucking box of cereal, but it will eat you alive if you let it.
  • You own all of yourself, Charlie. Every last bit.
  • Everything and everybody that’s busted can be fixed.
  • The world hurts enough. Why fucking chase it down?
  • Sometimes you have to let stuff go if you want to move forward, you know?
  • How can you live in fear of your very self?
  • Stuff happens. You just gotta keep on truckin.
  • Everybody you meet is like a little mirror of you.
  • Cutting is a fence you build upon your own body to keep people out but then you cry to be touched. But the fence is barbed. What then?
  • You be you, Charlie. You be you.
  • We have to choose who we want to be, not let the situation choose us.

BOOK REVIEW : Normal People by Sally Rooney


GOODREADS: At school Connell and Marianne pretend not to know each other. He’s popular and well-adjusted, star of the school soccer team while she is lonely, proud, and intensely private. But when Connell comes to pick his mother up from her housekeeping job at Marianne’s house, a strange and indelible connection grows between the two teenagers—one they are determined to conceal. A year later, they’re both studying at Trinity College in Dublin. Marianne has found her feet in a new social world while Connell hangs at the sidelines, shy and uncertain. Throughout their years in college, Marianne and Connell circle one another, straying toward other people and possibilities but always magnetically, irresistibly drawn back together. 

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Reading the book was quite exhausting. The love story of Marianne and Connell was tiring but the book carefully dissects the character of both. Communication in a world full of judgement and people acting cool and the contest between who can care less and invests no feelings in the relationship is lonely. Both of them obviously have feelings toward another but not being able to tell it directly makes them go in continuous circle.

Both characters have complex personalities but the way they think is so raw and real and exactly what happens every single day. But as you continue to read the book, you’ll watch how the characters develop and learn more about themselves, embrace them and finally be comfortable in their own skin (without having to think about what other people would think)

  • Don’t delude yourself. I have nothing to learn from you.
  • Everyone has to pretend not to notice that their social lives are arranged hierarchically, with certain people at the top, some jostling at mid-level, and others lower down.
  • ‘People in school don’t lie her, do they? So I suppose you were afraid of what they would say about you, if they found out.’
  • It’s easy for them to have opinions, and to express them with confidence. They don’t worry about appearing ignorant or conceited.
  • He knew then that the secret for which he had sacrificed his own happiness and the happiness f another person had been trivial all along, and worthless. He and Marianne could have walked down the school corridors hand in hand, and with what consequence? Nothing really. No one cared.
  • I suppose I didn’t want you to think I was damaged or something.
  • There’s no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothes.
  • Is the world such an evil place, that love should be indistinguishable?
  • Life is the thing you bring with you inside your own head.
  • She feels pleasurably crushed under the weight of his power over her, the vast ecstatic depth of her will to please him.
  • She is an abyss that he can reach into, an empty space for him to fill.
  • I can’t imagine what my life would be like if I cared what people thought of me.

What they have now, they can never have back again.. But for her the pain of  loneliness will be nothing to the pain that she used to feel, of being unworthy. He brought her goodness like a gift and now it belongs to her. Meanwhile his life opens out before him in all directions at once. They’ve done a lot of good for each other. Really, she thinks really. People can really change one another.

‘You should go’. she says. I’ll always be here. You know that.

BOOK REVIEW : Regretting you by Colleen Hoover


Goodreads: Morgan Grant and her sixteen-year-old daughter, Clara, would like nothing more than to be nothing alike.Morgan is determined to prevent her daughter from making the same mistakes she did. By getting pregnant and married way too young, Morgan put her own dreams on hold. Clara doesn’t want to follow in her mother’s footsteps. Her predictable mother doesn’t have a spontaneous bone in her body.
The only person who can bring peace to the household is Chris—Morgan’s husband, Clara’s father, and the family anchor. But that peace is shattered when Chris is involved in a tragic and questionable accident. Morgan finds comfort in the last person she expects to, and Clara turns to the one boy she’s been forbidden to see.

I don’t think I’ll ever get tired of reading Coho books. ❤ ever since I saw her post about working on this book, I’ve been reeling to get my hands on this!

The story of Morgan and Clara blends together so well. Two different individuals with two different personalities going through the same loss paired with confusion and lots of heartache. It’s like Coho gave us all three books in one. You’ll see a grieving wife and a sister who’s experiencing the worst betrayal but continues to fall in love and learns to put down her walls. You’ll see a teenage girl who’s grieving for her hero yet finds out one of the most painful secrets. You’ll see how the relationship of a mother and her daughter grows through life experiences.

”Everyone around me seems to have a purpose, yet I feel like I’ve reached the age of thirty four and have absolutely no life outside of Clara and Chris”. From this book, I think I appreciated my mother better. Morgan’s pent up feelings and issues of self doubt felt so painfully real. You’ll see how much mothers sacrifice for their children, putting their dreams and life to a pause or to a complete stop. I wonder if all mothers go through that? feeling like you have no life other than being a mother to your children and a wife to your husband. I’m not saying there’s anything wrong. But like Morgan, that’s one of my fears too. Coho illustrated it so well. I wish every mother knows how important they are and how respected, appreciated and loved they are.

It makes me wonder how a seemingly good husband seems to be perfect one time and hurts you so much without knowing it? How can anyone be perfectly good liars in front of your face? I hate that I liked Chris at first. ‘What if your future wife doesn’t like it?’ ‘ You won’t’.

I love the adoring banter between Miller and his gramps. Gramps is pretty witty himself. ❤ And the way Jonah freakin saves all the watermelon jolly ranchers ever since they were kids? GAH. And the way Miller has been stalking Clara for three years!! I want a promposal, just like that. ❤ ‘One of these days, that girl is gonna notice me. You just wait’. 😀 Plus miller named his truck Nora!!! The character Clara played in the theater. ❤

  • I wonder if humans are the only living creatures who feel hollow inside.
  • Sometimes when we’re alone, he looks at me in a way that makes me feel empty when he looks away.
  • His words jar me.
  • I love it when he smiles, even after all these years of marriage.
  • Sometimes you have to walk away from the fight in order to win it.
  • I guess that happends when you become a mother, though. Your focus is no longer on yourself.
  • Heartbreak builds character.
  • For some reason, sadness in music eases music eases the sadness in my soul. It’s like the worse the heartache in a song is, the better I feel.
  • I’ve believed in you the moment I met you. I believe in myself now that I’ve finally left you.
  • I think it’s time I figure out who I was meant to become before I started living my life for everyone else.
  • Everything you do is epic, Clara.
  • Grown ups might not have their shit figured out nay more than we do. They just wear more convincing masks.
  • I just love you because I can’t help it, and it feels good to love you.
  • Attraction isn’t something that only happens once, with one person. It’s part of what drives humans. Our attraction to each other, to art, to food, to entertainment. Attraction is fun. So when you decide to commit to someone, you aren’t saying, ‘I promise I’ll never be attracted to anyone else’. You’re saying, ‘I promise to commit to you, despite my potential future attraction to other people’.
  • Relationships are hard for that very reason. Your body and your heart don’t stop finding the beauty and the attraction in other people simply because you’ve made a commitment to one person. If you ever find yourself in a situation where you’re drawn to someone else, it’s up to you to remove yourself from that situation before it becomes too hard to fight.

I ache, I smiled, I teared up, I hurt. One morning when I was with my colleague buying breakfast, she looked at me worried asking if I’m okay because I was tearing up, and I only said, I’m reading. ❤ This is what Colleen does to me.

THOUGHTS: Things I learned from my Ex


It’s 15 days before Heart’s Day and what better time to reflect on this. Don’t get me wrong. I’m still working on several of the points below but every person that you meet, every bond you’ve created, every memory that you treasure speaks volume and if you look at it hard enough, you’ll see that these experiences are bound to teach you something.

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  • There’s a life outside the relationship.

My friends used to tell me that when I first had a relationship, I forgot about them and that I was completely imprisoned by the relationship. It’s important to spend time with your partner but it’s also as important to spend time outside of your relationship, whether it is to set aside time for your hobby, spend a quiet time with your family, see your friends or whatever it is you like to do. Do it. Your partner is not your entire world. 

  • Learn to trust.

It may be difficult for someone who had an experience before, but your past is not your partner’s fault. If you love the person, trust that he will never hurt you intentionally just as you would not with him.

  • If you are truly important, he’ll wait.

Okay, this one. . . It’s a given. I was in High School. I was known for having the strictest parents alive. I had a school bus service in the morning and in the afternoon. Unlike the other students, I don’t get to socialize and go home whenever I want to. I can only socialize until a given time but I still had to ride with my bus. This certain suitor told me bluntly that the reason he stopped courting me was because I couldn’t get out of the house whenever he pleases. If he cares, if you’re important to him, he’ll spend time wherever you are, even if it’s just inside your house. 

  • Endings can mean a start something great.

It has to be. And that’s the only feasible explanation. God takes away a person because he has someone better for us. ❤ My marriage proves it. ❤ I am in a way, WAY better relationship now.

  • Appreciate the small things

You know how before it was taught to us that God appreciates the Php 10 from a beggar than a Php 1,000,000 from a Billionaire? It’s because the beggar gave everything he has. I was in a relationship before where my someone had to literally skip lunch and drink water from the cafeteria instead for a month to save Php 400 pesos to buy me a dozen Krispy Kreme donuts because she couldn’t save enough money to buy me cake? And honestly, it melted my heart. It’s really the small things that matter, the effort the other person gives. 

  • When you love someone, tell it to them. 

Life is short! If you feel it, tell it to them. If they don’t feel the same way, it’s okay. If they do, then great! Never miss a chance just because you fear rejection. 

From one of my most loved series and characters, ”If you love someone, you tell them. Even if you’re scared that it’s not the right thing. Even if you’re scared that it’ll cause problems. Even if you’re scared that it will burn your life to the ground, you say it, and you say it loud and you go from there”. – Mark Sloan

  • Never tolerate infidelity

Infidelity is breaking that sacred bond you have with your partner. A commitment is a commitment for a reason. I used to be in a semi-relationship with a guy that started when he had a girlfriend. He broke it off with her to be with me. But I realized, how will I be able to trust him to be completely faithful when I know for a fact what he’s capable of? Second Chances for infidelity is still a no for me. But it depends on your values in life.

  • Never pretend someone you’re not

This is pretty simple. If I pretend to obsess over football just because the guy I like loves football — Can I imagine myself pretending to watch football for the years to come? No. just be yourself. If you eat a LOT, eat a mouthful on your first date! Don’t starve yourself. Guys likes girls who are not as skinny as a skeleton! The relationship will lasts longer if you both feel comfortable with each other. 

  • Communication is key

I used to be one of those girls who would throw a tantrum out of nowhere. (I AM, rather) I have not been able to remedy this yet. HAHA. but most often than not, your significant others are not a mind reader. Sometimes, they have absolutely no idea what they did wrong so they will continue to do exactly that. For example, If I was scrolling my feed and I saw my husband liked his ex’s or his crush’s picture — I will  not mind him and I will intentionally be difficult. I won’t say anything. But, for him not to do that again, I will have to tell him how it made me feel so that he understands. (but this is me, still a work in progress though). Tell your someone how you feel. It’s better to express it than to hide it in the long run. 

  • Not one of my past is a mistake. 

People will come and go, whether it may be your partner or your friend. If a relationship failed, it may be that someone better will come along or that person or the relationship is meant to teach you something. Maybe your ex brought you back to your passion, maybe your ex helped you bloom, maybe your ex taught you to dance, maybe your ex opened you to a new world, etc. Maybe your past made you realize that everything has its reason and should be seen as an experience to learn from. 

THOUGHTS: Run at your own pace


We are not required to explain everything that’s happening in our lives to other people.

failed marriage, not passing the board exam, leaving a toxic relationship, finishing school at age 25, not having savings at 30.

We live this life differently. Run at your own speed

Charity Delmo

Such a helpful reminder. ❤

 

 

BOOK REVIEW : Skylarks by Karen Gregory


Goodreads: Keep your head down and don’t borrow trouble is the motto Joni lives by, and so far it’s seen her family through some tough times. It’s not as if she has the power to change anything important anyway. Like Dad’s bad back, or the threat of losing their house. So when Annabel breezes into her life, Joni’s sure they’re destined to clash. Pretty, poised, privileged – the daughter of the richest family in town must have it easy. But sometimes you find a matching spirit where you least expect it. Sometimes love can defy difference. And sometimes life asks you to be bigger and braver 

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It’s refreshing to read something like this. First, this is my first book where the heroine are 2 lesbians. I’ve read a couple of colorful books but it usually features both males. The story also brings me back to a certain point in my life where I was Annabel. The book was really an eye opener.

I appreciate KG’s effort to talk about relevant issues such as poverty, different social classes, political activism and inequality in general. The conversation was not heavy yet you learn something from the daily life and financial struggles and issues that were raised through the character of Joni.

I loved how KG built the relationship of Joni and Annie where it was not rushed. As you go through the chapters, you witness how their relationship grows from acquaintance to colleagues to friends to something mutual to becoming special and until their I-love-yous. Unlike some YAs where they meet and they instantly fell in love. like, what? How did you even? Not . like . that. at. all. The build up was perfect.

Some daily life struggles of Joni:

  • Not wanting to enroll or take another class or attend a seminar because she worries she doesn’t have any smart clothes & it would also mean she needs a decent haircut which would also cost her.
  • Her everyday clothes are old compared to the other students.
  • She has to go to the library really early to do an assignment because her laptop is busted.
  • Worrying about whether her brother can attend the school trip — it would cost them money
  • She checks the price of every single thing and knows them by heart
  • Not being able to shop for your groceries without looking at the price tag
  • It’s a luxury to be able to eat and leave the dishes on the sink because someone is there to clean it up.

Some of the highlights from the book:

  • We all have less because they always have to keep grabbing at more.
  • What’s the point in always looking at what everyone else wants and wishing you had it? That never stops, does it? Someone’s always going to have a bigger house or a better car or whatever. It’s best not to ‘make waves’.
  • Sometimes I wish the most important part of the day was still those playtime, running and shouting, the playground hot under our feet and our futures not even thought of yet.
  • There’s all these expectations that you will do something incredible but it doesn’t actually matter if you do, because someone else is always more extraordinary than you.
  • Having money doesn’t mean life is easy.
  • Even when everything is about crap as it’s going to get, you still have to roll over and get your feet on the floor.
  • When you love someone, it’s an act of courage. You have to let yourself take chances.
  • Courage will find you in the choices you make, to keep fighting, especially when there’s no guarantees.

Overall, it’s a 3/5 for me. It’s an okay read but it’s not something I will reread willingly. Although I’m thinking if I should pick up her other book, Countless. Should I?

BOOK REVIEW : A Wish for Us by Tillie Cole


GOODREADS: Nineteen-year-old Cromwell Dean is the rising star of electronic dance music. Thousands of people adore him. But no one knows him. No one sees the color of his heart. Bonnie Farraday lives for music. She lets every note into her heart, and she doesn’t understand how someone as talented as Cromwell can avoid doing the same. He’s hiding from his past, and she knows it. She tries to stay away from him, but something keeps calling her back.

The story, it’s beautiful. I just read Thousand Boy Kisses and thought that Ticole is somehow Coho. I loved it so I decided to test my new adoration and boy was I right! Now I just want to read more Ticole because I know it’ll be worth my time.

I love stories that teaches us something new. And in this book, I learned more about synesthesia. I learned about music and tempo and rhythm and classic music.

  • The idea of time, moving, us being useless to stop it.
  • Even if something makes you hate music, whatever it is can often be the catalyst for your next great work.
  • Manners cost nothing, son. Always be gracious with those who want to help.
  • EASTON to BONNIE: She’s good people. She’s my sister. But she’s more than that. She’s my best friend. Damn, she’s my compass. What the hell is the world without Bonnie? Because I will see you again. Look up, and I will always be there with you. And when it’s your time, I’ll be the one to come and get you.
  • I had made many wishes in my life, but Cromwell had been the wish that I never made.
  • Cromwell Dean was an enigma.
  • And like a forever raging sea, my heart never calmed.
  • Her laughter illuminated the room.
  • She was my silver.
  • Obstacles in life sometimes make you look at the world in ways you never did before.
  • Maybe you’re the guardian angel that has arrived to get her through all this.
  • She walked into my life like a tornado and knocked me on my ass. And I fell in love with her. Not just a little bit either. She became my whole world.
  • Cromwell Dean was my sun.
  • The girl, that with one single smile, still completely illuminated my world.

Let’s give Cromwell’s Father the credit he deserves. Yeah? First, he knew from the start that crom was not his son. But he gave him his unconditional love and unwavering support. He swallowed his pride and asked for the help of the person who got his wife pregnant. It must have been hard for him but for his son, he would do anything to achieve his full potential. Hands down.

And Cromwell? to hate his dad so much and blame him for robbing him off his childhood, lashing out and eventually finding out that your father has been killed? To think about the last things you said? That his father died not knowing that he appreciated all his efforts and that he also loved him back. That must have been difficult, the guilt eating you every single day and later finding out that he was not even your father? Whew.

I have to say that I admire how much Easton and Bonnie loved each other. The sibling love for each other is incomparable. The way they hold on to each other, the way they both get strength from each other and how they look out for each other. Wow. And this is ONE BIG SPOILER: Easton taking his own life and eventually saving the life of his twin sister for having a heart failure is BEYOND HEARTBREAKING. My mind is blown and heart is inconsolable.

The creativity, talent and passion in the whole book is truly felt. The lyrics of the song pierces the heart and stays there. The talent and their love for music is all consuming.

I have to say, now I am more freaking intrigued to read Ticole’s other books. ❤ ❤

BOOK REVIEW : It ends with us by Colleen Hoover


GOODREADS: Sometimes it is the one who loves you who hurts you the most.

Lily hasn’t always had it easy, but that’s never stopped her from working hard for the life she wants. So when she feels a spark with a gorgeous neurosurgeon named Ryle Kincaid, everything in Lily’s life suddenly seems almost too good to be true. As questions about her new relationship overwhelm her, so do thoughts of Atlas Corrigan — her first love and a link to the past she left behind. He was her kindred spirit, her protector. When Atlas suddenly reappears, everything Lily has built with Ryle is threatened.

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When you love a person, you believe them. You believe their promises, their lies and just about anything. You believe in the goodness of their hearts. You believe in their intentions and you believe and hope that they will change.

As the story progressed, I am in awe of lily’s character. As vulnerable as she is, it took a lot of strength to take control of her life, even if there was a child on the way.

  • I feel like everyone fakes who they really are, when deep down we’re all equal amounts of screwed up. Some of us are just better at hiding it than others.
  • NAKED TRUTHS
  • There is no such thing as bad people. We’re all just people who sometimes do bad things.
  • You’re already my favorite person but now you’re making it really unfair to all the other humans because no one will ever be able to catch up to you.
  •  I like you. Everything about you. Being inside you, being outside of you, being near you. I like it all.
  • All humans make mistakes. What determines a person’s character aren’t mistakes we make, it’s how we take those mistakes and turn them into lessons rather than excuses.
  • Life is a funny thing. We only get so many years to live it, so we have to do everything we can to make sure those years are full as they can be. We shouldn’t waster time on things that might happen someday or maybe even never.
  • Maybe love isn’t something that comes full circle. It just ebbs and flows, in and out, just like the people in our lives.
  • Just because we didn’t end up on the same wave, doesn’t mean we aren’t still a part of the same ocean.
  • In the future, if by some miracle you ever find yourself in the position to fall in love again, fall in love with me.
  • Just because someone hurts you doesn’t mean you can simply stop loving them. It’s not the person’s actions that hurt the most. It’s the love. If there was no love attached to the action, the pain would be a little easier to bear.
  • She left someone she loved so that her daughters would never think that kind of relationship is okay.

My heart simply breaks for both Lily and Ryle. :/  How can you ever willingly give up someone you love and choose yourself? I think Domestic Violence happens to a lot of relationships, not just to women. But only a few brave souls can have the courage and strength to do what lily chose.

I think it makes it even harder if you love the person. It is never easy to just leave and end things. Coho taught me that right choice will always be the hardest ones. I hope I never get the chance to ever be in the same position.

BOOK REVIEW : Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur


GOODREADS: Milk and honey’ is a collection of poetry and prose about survival. About the experience of violence, abuse, love, loss, and femininity. It is split into four chapters, and each chapter serves a different purpose. Deals with a different pain. Heals a different heartache. ‘milk and honey’ takes readers through a journey of the most bitter moments in life and finds sweetness in them because there is sweetness everywhere if you are just willing to look.

  • He placed his hands on my mind before reaching for my waist, my hips or my lips. He didn’t call me beautiful first, he called me exquisite.
  • You might not have been my first love but you were the love that made all the other loves irrelevant.
  • You’d rather have the darkest parts of him than have nothing.
  • It must hurt to know I am your most beautiful regret.
  • You must not have to make them want you. They must want you themselves.
  • The thing worth holding on to would not have let go.
  • When you are broken and he has left you, do not question whether you were enough. The problem was, you were so enough he was not able to carry it.
  • I will not have you build me into your life when what I want is to build a life with you.
  • I don’t want to be friends with you. I want all of you.
  • Accept yourself as you were designed.
  • Losing you was the becoming of myself.
  • The world gives you so much pain and here you are, making gold of it.
  • You must never trade honest for relatability.

To be quite honest, I was a bit disappointed. I guess, maybe because I was in complete awe of the other book, the sun and her flowers that I expected so much more from this. There are some I was able to relate with, but overall, the bookmarks can be counted. (if you know what I mean. But then again, I would still read her books. ❤