Today again I think of you in trying times and today again you did not fail to make me smile. 💜
If I had to define love, I would give it your name and then call myself a hopeless romantic. 💜
Today again I think of you in trying times and today again you did not fail to make me smile. 💜
If I had to define love, I would give it your name and then call myself a hopeless romantic. 💜
A quick, powerful, and effective self-improvement workbook – aimed to help us build emotional strength by practicing a healthy lifestyle.
Emotional Strength Explained by author, Alicia Pozson, is a quick, powerful, and effective workbook that is aimed to help us build emotional strength. In life, we often have ups and downs and we face challenging circumstances that can affect us in many ways. This book teaches us to acknowledge those emotions and weaknesses, accept them, and work towards becoming emotionally strong.
Emotional Strength Explained is more than just a self-help or self-improvement guide, it is a workbook with a targeted approach. It asks you questions that we might often ignore, they are simple questions but important ones that we need to prioritize. It encourages you to self-analyze and write down your vulnerable emotions and deepest thoughts so you can face your fears. Healing always begins with self-awareness, self-talk, and self-love. It is a slow and step-by-step approach towards building emotional strength. The practice worksheets in this book will help you track your progress so you can emerge as a strong and confident person.
It is a wonderful book that shares the secrets of success and inner peace. It teaches you to find solutions, to face criticism or judgment, and self-reflect on your thoughts. The best part about this workbook is that you can always come back to it every year or whenever you find it necessary to continue making this journey stronger.
Once you have the strength and bravery to be open to see things you may not want to see, you are ready for the next thing.– Alicia Pozsony
Jane handed me a piece of paper and said, “These just came in! I printed them out for you, can you please fetch these from the shelves?”
“Sure!” I replied and went hunting for The Four Winds, The Last Thing He Told Me, and The Paper Palace from the new books section.
When you are working at the library, you need to be quick and always on your feet. Working at a library has been a childhood dream for me, a dream job! Imagine being surrounded by books all the time, can a job get better than this? I was overwhelmed with joy when they told me I was selected for the position of Circulation Assistant/Shelver. It’s been three weeks now and it’s also the last day of my training. Most importantly it’s payday and I am eagerly waiting to be paid. After all, money isn’t insignificant.
This isn’t my first job, it’s not even my second. If my memory serves me correctly I think it’s my seventh. I know what you’re thinking — how old is she anyway? Well, I turn thirty-four this year. In my thirty-four years, I’ve found that most people define themselves primarily by their jobs. I envy them because I’m not sure I can ever find the best role that can define me. You see, I have always been confused when it comes to making decisions in life. Is there such a thing as a single role?
As a kid, I was always asked, “What do you want to be when you grow up?”
I would say, “Um, I would still want to be myself?”
Children don’t really think about the far future, all they care about is playing and eating chocolates.
Yet, they would put me on the spot and ask, “No dear! What work will you do? Do you want to be a doctor or an engineer?”
Alright then, I have to make a choice. So, let’s get this over with. I would shout, “Doctor!”
The joy on their faces, I tell you! As a child, I always wondered why adults were so fascinated with work. Now, who likes to work? When my mother told me to do some work, I would run the other way.
Then, you grow up and realize that to survive in this world you need to work.
“It’s simple, just get a job and all the problems in your life will magically disappear.”, they said.
I can’t help but agree with them even though I dislike the whole idea of working.
After graduation, I got selected in a multinational company and got a job pretty easily. My parents were proud, friends were overjoyed, and classmates were envious. I worked there for two months and quit. Everybody was shocked. My friends were bewildered by my decision. They were fuming with rage. My dad was so disappointed in me that he did not speak to me for a week.
They said, “What’s wrong with you? Do you know how lucky you were? We are struggling to find a job and you just throw it away?”
I was scared and upset, I questioned my decision and wondered if I had made a dire mistake. I got influenced by the people around me and quickly started looking for other jobs. I needed money so I worked in a call center for a few months. I knew this was temporary so I posted my resume on many job portals. Soon, I got a call from another big company for the position of a data analyst. I took it up because the late-night shifts in the call center were affecting my health.
I did the data analyzing job for six months, but I just wasn’t happy. There was not much to complain about, the pay was good and I was treated with respect. My colleagues were friendly and helpful. But deep inside, I knew that this is not what I wanted to do in my life.
I started worrying, “How do I make this work? What was the point of all the education when I cannot work? Why does work have to feel so meaningless and even insulting?”
I couldn’t understand how people managed to work their entire life. Is this what work means, dreading every single day? I was in shambles, I had to find something that not only helped me survive but also kept me sane. I had saved some money so I took time off to understand what I really wanted to do with my life.
I researched and decided to study English Literature.
Why? I guess because I like reading books?
Well, I had to begin somewhere so I enrolled myself in a college and thankfully I liked studying. It made me feel alive again.
Immediately after my course, I got a job as a fashion writer. Guess what? It felt like I finally found a job that was fulfilling. I wasn’t getting paid enough but I liked every second of the job. I guess because it didn’t feel like I was working? At the end of the day, I would be happy looking at my articles posted on the company website. Six years flew by working as a content writer for different companies. I liked writing so much that I even started blogging. Writing to me was therapeutic and it helped to calm my noisy mind.
You know, it doesn’t end here. People still ask me, “You’ve been writing for six years? You should be a manager by now, what about career growth?”
So I had to tell myself repeatedly — no, no! I’m not falling into this trap all over again. It’s easy to get influenced by peers, but I knew if I participated in the rat race I would end up quitting again.
Once I found the career path that worked for me, I started exploring other opportunities of my interest. I stopped working as a full-time content writer and started doing multiple other jobs. Like I said earlier, I’m a confused person and I’m still confused. I still make wrong decisions, but I don’t mind trying new things until I find out what works for me. Now, I do three jobs in a day. I’m a volunteer who teaches underprivileged kids in the morning, I work at a library in the afternoon, and do freelance writing at night. I also work as a baker on the weekend but that’s just for myself.
I am not being boastful. Well, maybe a little but that’s not the point. It doesn’t matter what job you do as long as it makes you happy and adds meaning to your life. As I ponder on my entire life while shelving, which I often tend to do, I climb down the ladder holding the last book from the list called The Multi-Hyphen Life. Right, how apt!
As crazy as it may sound,
An old maid passed the streets,
At three in the morning,
Carrying a flask of tea,
& hot golden samosas,
For the tired, lonely, and invisible souls.
Somebody told me –
If you are going through a difficult phase in your life,
Remember that you’re not alone.
Nobody has it easy.
Some days can feel like a burden
Like there’s no way out.
Sadness, tears, anger, frustration.
Like life is unfair for no reason at all.
Then she told me to give it time.
It’s also about giving things time,
To run their course.
For them to pass.
So you can heal.
Everything eventually gets better.
It always does and you know that it’s true.
This isn’t the first time,
You were expected to face a challenging circumstance.
This isn’t the first time you had to brave.
You have done this before,
Then why the uncertainty now.
Like all the other times, this will pass too.
Wait for the morning
For the sun to shine with new rays of hope.
And just like that,
Your day will seem a whole lot better than yesterday.
She said with a smile.
Wanderer is a poetry book which discusses the author’s journey of falling in love, heartbreak, pain, hope, and finding forever love.
In this poetry book, the author Court Young shares the two most important phases of her life. The first part is about the Wolf and the second part is about the Eagle/Lion. The first part is about getting attracted to the Wolf and falling hard in love. It’s about love, lust, heartbreak, and the pain that follows.
The poems express the vulnerability, anger, confusion, and frustration that she feels towards the Wolf. Her anger is also towards herself because she had given him the power to hurt her. She goes through this emotional journey with questions of self-doubt and self-worth. Some of her poetry is also about the seasons which reflect her state of mind. This poetry book progresses slowly towards hope when she finds her Eagle/Lion. The haunting memories of her past are soon forgotten after she finds her soulmate. She realizes what she has been missing out on and understands love is all about respecting one another and making each other feel beautiful about themselves.
Most of the poems in the Wanderer are about love, desire, and pain. It’s about the turbulent times in the author’s life and how she learns to overcome these challenges. The poems are not super impressive; they felt more like the experiences of a teenager. It was also a little confusing because the author talks about the Wolf and the Eagle in the Author’s Note, but in the second part, she addresses her forever love as the Lion. The poems were not thought-provoking and lacked imagination and rhythm. However, her sweet short poems are easy to read and are great for young adults. Through her poems, she tries to inspire all those people experiencing heartbreak to get back up as there is always light at the end of the tunnel.
It’s eight o’clock in the morning and I get a notification that my order is ready for pick up. I’m already here, wearing a lavender-colored floral dress and an extra smile as I stand outside admiring my favorite place. I take a deep breath, push open the heavy oak doors, and re-enter The Willowvilla. The familiar aroma of freshly brewed tea and baked food makes me feel like I’m home once again.
I used to be a regular here but it has been almost a year since I visited this place, my place! I still remember the day on which I accidentally found Willowvilla eight years ago. I was feeling low and was walking around aimlessly without really thinking about where I was headed when I found a passage into a secret garden. I hadn’t noticed the hidden driveway before or the garden beside it. I was hesitant to enter at first but I decided to go in anyway.
I could hear busy murmurs at a distance, the pace of my steps increased. I curiously walked towards the noise and from behind the trees emerged this inconspicuous cafe. I don’t know what had gotten into me, I have never since been so brave — I walked straight in without thinking. Quite irregular for one as introverted as me.
I was immediately struck by its warmth and coziness; it felt almost magical. The enticing aroma of tea leaves, coffee beans, bread, and butter dragged me in. The wooden benches, wooden tables, and couches in the middle of the room encouraged open seating. Families shared benches with strangers in perfect harmony. Couples continued their love-smitten small talk without fear of eavesdroppers as another group of friends cackled loudly beside them.
I was so fascinated by this place that I ended up spending most of my free time at the cafe. For some, Willowvilla might be just another cafe, but to me, it felt like I had discovered a strangely unique place. The thing is I like blending in without attracting too much attention to myself and this homely place seemed perfect to me. I completed college assignments while munching on blueberry scones, read books late in the evening by the window, and worked on office presentations while drinking espresso shots to keep myself awake. I even made new friends here, it always started with a smile and the conversations just seemed to flow. It was easy to find like-minded people here.
Suddenly, my reverie breaks, and I find myself standing in front of a girl. Her eyes are smiling at me but this time everything feels different. She is wearing a mask and there’s a glass partition between us. I look around and my Willovilla looks rather dull and devoid of life. My heart drops and I feel as empty as the place. I quickly come back to my senses and say,
“I have an order for pick-up, my name’s Nina.”
“Sure, let me grab that for you. I will be right back!”, she replied.
Everything has changed, there are no benches, no couches, and no bar stools. This time, right at the front are sanitizers, brown paper bags, and take away orders which occupy most of the space. Posters on the walls read, “COVID-19 Safety measures: Please wear a mask for your safety and ours!”
There are only a handful of people in the cafe who are jumping between serving customers and preparing orders. The bakers are busily working in the kitchen wearing masks and gloves. I watch them work while waiting and a realization suddenly dawns upon me. They do not appear sad or overworked. In fact, they look like they are enjoying themselves, despite the added safety precautions. There are in-jokes between the bakers and the serving staff. My smile slowly returns. Yes, the place looks different but the hint of magic remains in the air.
We’re all trying to hold on to those good times even if things don’t feel the same anymore. So what, if I cannot spend time in the cafe I am grateful and relieved that it reopened after almost a year and did not shut down permanently. This time when I look around, I notice that the place is trying its best to still look inviting and beautiful. The space is filled with flower baskets and goodie bags. The bakers continue to dole out hand-crafted pastries and scrumptious cookies that look nothing less than pieces of art.
I walk out of Willowvilla with my parcel in hand feeling warm and fuzzy. In the end, it’s all about evoking emotions that help in building connections. This pandemic has taught me to support one another, to build a sense of community, to hold on, and to be patient. Things may or may not go back to how they were but together we can always make it better. I guess that’s how life is supposed to go.
The Midnight Library by Matt Haig is one of the most popular books published in the year 2020 so I decided to give this one a read. Also, because the title sounded pretty interesting to me. Now, who wouldn’t love spending the night in a library reading books? Even though this book is nothing of that sort, I wasn’t disappointed. The story is about a woman named Nora Seed who finds herself in a library lingering between life and death. There are innumerable books in the library that allow Nora to undo her regrets, explore parallel lives, and choose a life which she would love to be in. Will she give up her present life and choose one that she always dreamed of?
“Minds can’t see what they can’t handle.”Matt Haig
The Midnight Library is a book that opens up a passage for us to explore different lives, it answers the question which we often ask ourselves – What if? What if I had decided to become a sports player instead of becoming an engineer? What if I pursued my childhood dream then where would I be now? What if I listened to my parents and followed the path that they wanted me to be on, then what would I be doing now? Somehow this book feels personal, it’s more like a self-help book, where it answers those questions that we sometimes have about our unfulfilled dreams. Would life be better than it is now?
“Because a pawn is never just a pawn. A pawn is a queen-in-waiting.”Matt Haig
The year 2020 was a terrible year for all of us. I feel this book was released at the right time when most of us were lost and going through a difficult phase in life. Depression and grief were the two predominant emotions. This book was like a ray of hope for those who were leaning towards the red line where giving up on life seemed to be the easiest way out of problems. This book can pull you right back out of the darkness and show you that there’s more to life than you’ve already seen. When you are given the chance to change your life and make it better, would you take it or let it go?
The Midnight Library has received mixed reviews where many immensely loved it and many were super disappointed. If you picked this book up solely on the basis of its rave reviews, remember that expectation is the thief of joy. I guess it also depends on the state of mind in which you are while reading the book. If your life is perfect and you don’t need a helping hand then give it a pass. But if you are feeling low or if you know somebody who is out of sorts then this book can be a great distraction to keep yourself busy and it might lift your spirits by the end of it. Who knows, this book can be a reason to get back on your feet and experience something that you’ve been putting off for a long time. Coz, why not? After all, books can be a guiding light at times when we cannot find our path. I enjoyed reading the book and would definitely recommend it.
‘If one advances confidently’, Thoreau had written in Walden, ‘in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with unexpected success in common hours.’ He’d also observed that part of this success was the product of being alone. ‘I never found the companion that was so companionable as solitude.’Matt Haig
How many times are you going to enthrall me with your colors, dear nature?
Yes, I love the flowers that bloom on you but look at you..
Your leaves are changing colors too.
From sweet green to flaming orange and burning red
So bright, so bold.
How do I stop admiring your wonders?
How are you so strikingly beautiful?
Look at you stand under the bright blue skies amidst the green meadows,
Wearing your red and orange leaves.
Yes, the temperatures are dropping but you don’t seem to be afraid.
Grounding me to be fierce and hopeful
With you all over again..
Hello Autumn, let’s embrace the cold days ahead.