We’ve all heard the stories of people who go through terrible self-esteem issues in middle- and high school. I can add my story to the pile. Not only did I cover my mirrors because I was disgusted how I looked, I was also constantly obsessing over how others perceived me and how to look better.
weight loss and weight gain
I have lost and gained a bunch of weight in my life. For a long time I suffered from disordered eating. In a way, I still do. There are days where I feel like I can’t trust the hunger cues my body gives off and I feel guilty after eating something ‘bad’. I don’t want to get into the morality of labeling some foods as good or bad, but the fact that this language around food is normalized at all says something about the state our society is in. Continue reading
I made this blog somewhere in January 2016, after not loving the blog I was writing before. I have since learned that this is just something that I go through, loving and not loving my blog. It’s part of my creative process and just something I have to deal with.
I’d say my blog definitely grew a lot over the years . I started out writing little anecdotes about my life, about life lessons I learned or funny conversations I’ve had. I then started to write more about personal development as I was entering adulthood. Reading is something I’ve always loved, so I started to enjoy writing more about that. These days my blog is about books, but definitely also about my personal life. A healthy balance. Continue reading
After updating you on how I did on my 2018 reading goals, I thought it would be only fitting to let you know what I’m planning on working on during 2019. I loved holding myself accountable through the blog posts I have written about my goals. Here’s to 2019. 🙂
Goal 1: read all the books I still have on my physical TBR
Right now, I have about ~23 books on my shelves that I haven’t read yet. In 2019, I finally want to read most, if not all of them. Of course, I will probably also buy a bunch of books this year. I’m not counting these as part of the physical TBR, however, I do want to end up with less books on my physical TBR at the end of the year than I started with.
Goal 2: diversify my reading even more
In 2018, I think I did a pretty good job diversifying my reading. But at the same time, I think I started to see some holes into the diversity I did read. So, in 2019, I want to focus specifically on the following:
- Read more books by black authors and with black main characters
- Read more books with disabled characters
- Read more books set in Australia and Africa.
Goal 3: read more classic fantasy
Here’s a confession for ya: I have never read a Brandon Sanderson book in my life. I want to get more into fantasy in 2019. I always see those ”top 100 best fantasy books” lists online with the same books on them. So yeah, I think it’s time to read some of those. Continue reading
At the beginning of this year, I made a post with some of my (unconventional) reading goals for this year. And then, in the middle of the year, I wrote a mid year goal update. Since the end of the year is upon us, I thought it was time to wrap-up my goals and see how I’ve done.
Goal 1: stop worrying about how much I’ve read, or haven’t read
In 2018, I wanted to get rid of the feeling of competitive reading. As I said in my original post, I sometimes feel pressured to read ”x amount of books” and it can stress me out. In my mid-year check-up I said that I found it SO hard to let go of the pressure I put on myself to read a ton of books. But since I went back to school in September, it’s been easier because I’ve had less time to think about it. I ended up reading 42 books this year. I was silently hoping to get 52, but I’m okay with not reaching that number.
For 2019, I’m putting my Goodreads challenge at 1 book. This way, my Goodreads will still track all the books and pages I read, but I won’t pressure myself in reading a certain amount of books. I really want to focus on the quality of the books I read instead of the quantity.
Goal 2: read more classic novels
Let’s make a list of all the classic novels I read this year:
- 1984 by George Orwell
- Animal Farm by George Orwell
- The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
- Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
Although I’m quite happy with this list, I do realize this list is just as long as it was during my mid-year reading update. I haven’t read any more classics since making that post! I think part of that has to do with starting law school and wanting to only read ‘easy’ fiction. I do have a few more classics on my shelf, which I will list on in my upcoming 2019 goals post. Continue reading
I think most of us want to be a better person – but if we think about it, being better sounds like this huge thing that we need to spend a lot of time on. Like, I might need to go on a ten day yoga retreat or something (that sounds terribly expensive to be honest). But that’s not the case. Recently I’ve made it a point to be mindful about the little ways that I’ve behaved, going just a little further. Here are a few things I’ve implemented in my life that truly – or at least I think so – have made me a better person.
Be punctual and prepared
This one is huge. If you’re the type of person who is always running late, you forget your stuff – haven’t read a file yet that you need for a meeting, aren’t prepared for class, etc – this is probably one of the first things you’ll want to work on. It’s a mentality difference really. Always being punctual and prepared will make you look so much more professional and put together. Not to mention it’s a great way to reduce stress.
Saying please and thank you go a long way. If you’re the type of person that dismisses others if they give you a compliment, think twice. Or may be your parents or partner always does something for you, and it’s kind of become a habit, make it a point to thank them for what they do for you. Making people feel appreciated is so important!
Choose to be kind
It’s a bit cliché, but you don’t know someone’s story. This is one I need to be very mindful of and to be honest, I still struggle with it sometimes. It’s not that I’m not kind to people, but sometimes I think not-so kind thoughts in my head or I get annoyed about very little things. I am now actively trying to be aware of this and instead, have more positive thoughts.
Don’t give advice if people don’t ask you for it
You know those people that give you unwanted advice when you tell them something? I know I’m not alone when I say those people get on my nerves. For me, it happens a lot with my back problems. People will tell me not to walk, or not to sit. Or to go for massages or hot yoga, not knowing what actually works for me. At the same time, I realize that they do this with the best intentions. People give advice because they want to help you. If you’re one of those people that gives out unwarranted advice, next time, try to think twice. Not everyone wants your advice, and you’re not always to most qualified person to give it. Continue reading
2018 is the year I started giving my local library more love. And it’s been amazing. One of the greatest things about the library is that they allow me to revisit my old favorites more easily: books that I once read but (no longer) have in my possession. I don’t always want to spend money on these books because I know the story so well, but I would like to reread them. The library is the perfect solution.
Matilda by Roald Dahl is such a book. Just like so many other children, I loved this book when I was younger. I think Matilda might be one of the first characters I related to. I was also a child that loved reading, did incredibly well in school compared to my peers and thus stood out. Although my classmates weren’t as nice to me as they were too Matilda, it was comforting to know that characters like hers existed and I wasn’t the odd one out. (It’s funny how back then being ‘different’ meant something negative, but now I love it).
There is another reason why I love Matilda so much. It is one of the very few children’s books I’ve read that deals with abuse well. I’ve read some negative reviews from people saying that kids shouldn’t read about this, and that this book makes it sound like almost all adults are terrible. I disagree. I think Matilda is a great introduction into the tough and often unfair world of adulthood. Although the adults in this book – like Matilda’s parents and Ms. Trunchbull – are completely unrealistic and over the top, the problems that Matilda has to deal with are very real. Emotional neglect and adults that enjoy bullying very much exist, and this book shows us that Matilda is much stronger than them.
Above all, this book values kindness more than anything. Matilda and Miss Honey end up together in the end, which is heartwarming. It’s just one of those books that always puts a smile on my face. And even now, about fifteen years after I first read it, I still love Matilda.
Fun fact: I took this picture earlier this year in Barcelona, as part of a project where I photographed every bed I slept in. 🙂
You are probably not a morning person. I’ll tell you a secret: I am not a morning person either. Yet here I am writing this, on a Monday morning before 8am, after a morning yoga practice and a shower. I do not have class until 2:00pm today, yet I still chose to wake up at 6:30. Today I’m here to share with you why, and what I do exactly with all that time in the morning.
Why I do it..
Mornings are quiet and peaceful
I don’t like dealing with people most of the time. That sounds harsh, but I’m an introvert and I enjoy quiet time to recharge. Now, I live in a large city, and quiet moments are rare. But when you get up when most of the world is still sleeping, it brings a certain kind of peacefulness to your day. The key here (for me) is to not get my phone out first thing in the morning. I repurposed an old iPhone 5 which is my alarm now, and I let my actual phone charge. As I’m writing this at my desk, it’s 8, I’ve been awake for an hour and a half and I have not checked my phone yet. I have not checked social media, my e-mail, the news, anything. I have noticed how important it is to check in with myself and have a human moment before I let the content of my phone tell me how to feel. It has certainly happened in the past that I woke up and read something completely disheartening, and it does throw off my mood.
Getting up early makes me feel like the day has more to offer
The 24 hours we get each day are equal for everyone. But I’m one of those people that gets less productive as the day goes on, and by the time 5:00pm hits it’s incredibly hard to concentrate on work or projects, my brain just feels fried. Now, if I have to, I will do it. But it doesn’t make me happier. By getting up early I basically extend the time I’m productive, and because I’m in such a nice routine, falling asleep and getting enough rest isn’t hard either. Continue reading
Does anyone else LOVE reading about other people’s reading goals? It’s just so fascinating to me.
At the beginning of the year, I wrote a post about my (somewhat unconventional) reading goals for 2018. Since we’re halfway through the year, I thought I’d update you on every single goal to see how I’m doing. I thought I was doing pretty well, but I’m not so sure now..
Goal 1: Stop worrying about how much I’ve read, or haven’t read
In 2018, I wanted to get rid of the feeling of competitive reading. As I said in my original post, I sometimes feel pressured to read ”x amount of books” and it can stress me out. I’m really trying to let this go, but it’s hard. I set my GoodReads goal for 52 books at the beginning of the year, with the idea that this was a ”loose” goal. But now if I look at it and I see I’m ‘only’ two or three books ahead of schedule, I want to read more because I don’t want to fall behind! This is stupid, because I should be proud I already read 29 books this year. In short, this is something I’m still working on.
Goal 2: Read more classic novels
This goal is going pretty well! So far, this year I read the following books that could be considered classics:
– 1984 by George Orwell
– Animal Farm by George Orwell
– The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
– Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
I’m quite happy with this list, and for the second half of 2018 I want to try to expand this to at least 10 books. I’ve found it very valuable to (re)read these classics now that I’m a bit older, as I feel like I can grasp the symbolism and meaning of the story much better. Continue reading
If you are among the people that read this blog semi-regularly, you’ll have noticed that the amount of posts have plummeted in the past two or three months. This dip in posts usually happens to me at least once a year, and I have come to the realization that it’s just how my cycle of inspiration and creativity works: rather than one continuous stretch, it comes in BURSTS. Churning out content in between isn’t impossible for me, but it comes less natural and I enjoy the writing process a lot less.
With less blog inspiration usually also comes a reading slump. And BOY was I in a reading slump the past few months. In June, I read ONE book. Kind of a big one, but still. The previous months I had read six to eight books. It’s fine, I don’t pressure myself to read because it is a hobby and it should be enjoyable. Instead, I picked up a drawing hobby! If you follow my Instagram, you’ve probably seen some of my artsy projects!
Luckily I’m getting out of my reading slump now. And that has everything to do with the fact that I have finished school for the year! I managed to get 60 credits this year, the maximum obtainable, which means I’m getting something called a propaedeutic diploma – and this is making it possible for me to fulfill a big dream of mine: I’m going to law school in September!
Something else that helped me get out of my reading slump is the fact that I have finally moved to the city of Rotterdam. I grew up in a small town south of the city, and had a two hour commute every day just to make it to my college. But hey, that’s finally over now! This also means I’ve moved out of my parent’s place, and I’m on my own for the first time ever. It feels weird, but I also know in my heart that it was time to get my own place. I needed the independence. I’m currently writing this on my balcony, and if I look to my left I see my new, beautiful bookcase you can also see at the top of this blog post. If that doesn’t make you excited to pick up a book, I don’t know what will. 🙂
Since so much has been changed in my life the past few months, I really felt the need to update you. It just doesn’t feel right to resume my usual blog post scheduling without letting you know what has been going on and why it has been a little more quiet on here. But now, I am reading again! Which also means I’m writing again.