Books You Need To Read

Books You Need To Read

I have loved reading for many years, but I must admit as a kid I hated reading. But now, it seems that I have to make up for lost time, which means I am constantly reading a book. Here are a few of my recent favourites that I would highly recommend you all take a look at.


1) The Midnight Library by Matt Haig
The book follows the story of Nora Seed who decides that she does not want to live anymore. After attempting to take her own life, she ends up in a unique place known as the Midnight Library – or the in-between of life and death. Here, along with the help of an old friend, she will get the chance to see what her life could have been if she had made different choices.
I was a bit hesitant to start this book, but I honestly have no idea why I waited so long, it was a fantastic book. Haig writes so beautifully and explains philosophical concepts of the universe in a simple, yet intriguing way. I would recommend this book to anyone who is a lover of philosophy, abstract thinking, a good story, or who needs a dose of inspiration.


2) Next Year in Havana by Chanel Cleeton
Next Year in Havana is the story of Marisol Ferrera who returns to Cuba in 2017, at the request of her now-deceased grandmother to spread her ashes in Cuba. Elisa Perez, Marisol’s grandmother, fled Cuba in 1958 at the age of 19 years old during the Cuban revolution. Both women’s stories give us a glimpse into understanding a time in history that we might have never learned about. This book has it all – the romance, history, excellent plot and just how tumultuous our family lives can be. If you are a history junkie, or just want to learn a little bit about the Cuban Revolution, then this might be a good place to start.
I did not know I would love this book so much, but the story and writing are crafted so well that you will not be able to put it down once you start.


3) The Flatshare by Beth O’Leary.
The book follows the story of Tiffy and Leon who become sort of roommates. Leon needs money to pay for his brother’s legal fees after he was wrongly accused of a crime and sent to prison, and Tiffy needs to get away from her ex-boyfriend as fast as possible. They go on to become roommates – but not your typical roommates. Leon works nights so he only uses the apartment during the day, while Tiffy works during the day and only uses the apartment at night. One would assume they would have no contact, but through a string of intricate post-it notes, their lives become intertwined with one another and they can’t seem to stay away from one another.
One of my favourite things about this book is how it addresses unhealthy, toxic and abusive relationships and the people that unfortunately are in them. As you will read, Tiffy was in an abusive relationship with her ex-boyfriend, but Beth O’Leary focused on empowering Tiffy and having her find the strength within to break away from it. Of course, she had her support system, but it was refreshing to read the main character find the strength within herself instead of finding that in others.

I truly love to read, and I love how easily we can be transported to a world none of us have ever known. If you too are a reader or want to become one, check out my other post for some more book ideas.
Happy Reading!

Your Dreams Are Allowed To Change

Your Dreams Are Allowed To Change

Yes, you are allowed to change your dreams.

Nowadays, the concept of bettering yourself, growing or changing is the norm in society. There are countless books, tv shows, apps and journals designed to help you just that. But what they often forget to include is that as you are changing and growing as a person, your dreams and goals will inevitably also change.

Whenever someone asks me what my life plan is, or where do I see myself in five years? I have a hard time responding, mainly because it is terrifying to think that far ahead. But mostly because of who I am, my interests and my aspirations have changed so much throughout the years. No one ever really talks about just how much one person can change in a short amount of time or when faced with a series of obstacles and challenges in their life.

I just wish that someone could tell 18-year-old me that things are allowed to change. Not only am I allowed to change, but what I want from life and what I want to contribute to the world can also change.

In my life, there have been two specific times where I essentially realized that I didn’t want something I had wanted for a very long time. From the ages of about 13 to 17, I wanted nothing more than to be a lawyer. But then one night as I was studying, it dawned on me that that was not what I wanted to do or who I wanted to be anymore. It was crushing, to say the least. It was as if I was crushing my own dreams, instead of someone else doing it for me. Eventually, I came to terms with that realization and embarked on what I would refer to as a 5-year journey of confusion.

This brings me to the second instance of realization. A few weeks ago, I was just journaling as I normally do, and without even realizing it I was writing about how I didn’t know what my next step would be. I was so intent on doing this one thing with my career for so long that I lost sight of how much I didn’t like it. I forgot how sad, depressed, and miserable that work environment made me, so why was I clinging on to it?

You see, we might change and grow every day, but we often forget to update our dreams and goals along the way. It is perfectly normal to not want to same things you used to hope and pray would happen to you. I was holding on to this dream that no longer fit who I was now – it was very much a leftover mark of who I used to be.

Your dreams and goals are allowed to change.

What often happens is that we don’t give ourselves permission to change them. Suddenly our minds wonder what everyone will think. Will I leave my comfort zone? Will I fail? Which are all normal questions, but I have come to understand that when you don’t check in with yourself, or when you keep outdated dreams and goals in the back of your brain, you are essentially holding on to your comfort zone and stopping yourself from truly growing.

That’s what I was doing. I had built up this fantasy in my mind for so long about how my dreams and goals would look, but how they were playing out was so different. I was holding on to these dreams out of fear of failure and out of fear of the unknown.

It was only when I came to a breaking point that I realized how miserable my dreams and goals made me, and started thinking, well what can I do? Did I realize how much I was stopping myself from actually living my life the way I wanted to?

To sum it up, yes, you are allowed to change your dreams. If anything, I encourage you to check in with yourself and see if what you wanted for so long is still what you want from life right now, as the person you are today. If not, don’t worry. Give yourself some time to explore, think, feel out the edges of your comfort zone and remember that you can quite literally do anything with your life.

The Changing Meaning of Life

The initial idea behind The Life We Dream Of was to encourage people to accomplish their life goals and live the life they have always dreamed of living. It sounded simple, easy and was a bit niche in my opinion. But it never took off, mostly because I didn’t want it to. I would stop myself from posting or creating any new content because I wanted it to be perfect, and I wanted to have all the answers for those who would come to visit my blog seeking those very same answers. But over time, what I have come to learn is that the reason I wasn’t willing to return to posting on my blog is that too much had changed. More specifically, I had experienced a shift in mindset so drastic that the life we dream of lost its very essence for a while.

The other day I was watching Soul on Disney Plus and it was a truly phenomenal movie. It somehow brought me back to a time a year and a half ago where I was in a dark place and my mental health was not great. During that time, I was working at a job I found mundane, unfulfilling, and altogether made me feel useless. But why was I feeling this way? I was finally working an ‘adult job’, I was getting paid a decent salary and I loved my colleagues. Somehow, that wasn’t enough. A year and a half ago, I thought that the dream life that I wanted was one where I would climb the career ladder, live in a beautiful condo or apartment and be able to buy anything I want without hesitation. Although that is a rather simplistic view of life, I had envisioned for myself it is truly what I wanted. There is nothing wrong with that – if anything it’s a very normal life that many people want. But once I was one step closer to that life, I felt more and more unfulfilled and sad.

It wasn’t until I was unemployed during the pandemic and able to take a step back from being overly busy that I realized why I was so unhappy and unfulfilled. Yes, I was working in the job I worked so hard to get, and I was making money, but I had turned this unhappy and unfulfilling job into the center of my life. I poured all my attention into it, and the unhappiness surrounding it all consumed my life.

Why did I do that? Because that is all I ever knew how to do. All society had taught me up until that point is that I need to get a job, but not just any job, a job that I was passionate about and would want to dedicate my entire life to. I genuinely thought that I was going to live my dream life by taking this job. Even though it wasn’t what I wanted and did not in any way make me happy.

 Life is so much more than how productive I am compared to those around me. Life is about the small moments of joy, happiness, and peace. It is not all supposed to be about finding the dream career and climbing the ladder. Is it an important part of our lives? Absolutely – but how productive I am in society is not the be all end all of who I am.

Watching this movie reminded me that if I had just taken a few moments each day to find those small moments of joy or happiness, maybe I would have been a lot happier. Maybe I would enjoy what I was doing more if I had put less focus on it and stopped it from consuming my entire life. The life we dream of should be one where we seek joy and happiness, where we create it within ourselves and with others. The life we dream of is simple and not very demanding at its root core.  All I want from life is to be healthy, happy, financially comfortable and be surrounded by friends and family. At the end of the day that is all I want, and if a career can help me achieve some of those things then that is fantastic, but it will not be the only thing I focus on.

2021 & The New Normal

Things don’t have to go back to what it was before the pandemic if you don’t want it to. It doesn’t have to go back to what it was before 2020. Too much has happened that I think falling back into old patterns won’t do anyone good.


We can’t go back to what used to be, I think this pandemic revealed so many flaws in our systems that why would we want to go back to it? If we are at a point where we can start again why not choose that? Why not rethink things? Why not see what the new normal can be?
Because here’s the thing, we can make it better. We can care about one another, help each other succeed, believe in ourselves and just be better than we were before or during this shit show of 2020. We don’t have to go back to what was, because it’s not who we are anymore.
I know that everything that has happened to everyone has been a lot to process. Some would even say it was too much to bear – regardless of where you live, you probably know someone who got the virus, lost their job, faced financial difficulties, had trouble with their mental health, missed loved ones, or couldn’t do what makes them happy. This year has been too much for most of us, but I hope you all take away this one thing.

We don’t need to go back to what was, it quite literally will never be possible since too much has changed, and we have experienced far too many profound things in our lives. So, take that with you and look at the year ahead and decide your new normal. Not what the world thinks should be normal, but the normal you want to live. Think about the normal you crave, the actual normal. Not the habits we want to fall back on but explore what could be. This year has shown that for better or for worse anything can happen. As much as the bad has happened this year, the good can also come. You just need to be open to the idea that our version of normal needs to adapt to the changing times.

My wish and hope for you are that you have an easy transition into the new year, that you take a few deep breaths and remember that the life you want to live is up to you and that if you choose to, you can live it. But perhaps it all starts with accepting the fact that there is no going back and that we all need to collectively go forward and embrace what’s to come.

Follow Your Heart

If you are anything like me, you will find yourself in a position of feeling lost, confused, and just generally stuck. But recently, I have been having to make a lot of decisions about what is coming next, and I have spoken about it already here on the blog, but I think it is worth bringing up again.

Earlier today, I was watching a Disney Christmas commercial, and while sobbing my way through it (it gets you in the feels), a quote was said that resonated with me on a deep level. The quote was “if you don’t know where you are heading, follow your heart”. Maybe it was the emotions, or perhaps it was just what I needed to hear, regardless, it made me cry even more.

When I heard that, I felt something in me change – something unlocked inside of me that I had spent so much time trying to ignore and push away. For so long, my heart has been trying to tell me what I wanted to do, what my next step would on this journey that is my life, but I shoved it aside. I shoved it aside because it did not seem like something I could do — after all, I had never seen it done before.

I am not one to listen to my heart, but there is something about this pandemic that has been forcing me to reconsider that line of thinking. In the past nine months, I have not stopped having this internal argument in my mind about what I should or should not do. For nine months, I have been actively avoiding my heart, caving in and just listening to it, realizing that indeed it was telling me what I wanted and then listening to it. So why have I suddenly forgotten that process in the last few weeks? It’s because I got scared. I got scared of what could be, of who I could become and of what would happen if I failed. But this required me once again (I do this weekly) to reconsider my relationship with failure. And the conclusion I have reached is that if you follow your heart, and live an authentic life, true to yourself, then you can never fail. We only start to fail when we ignore what we want because the goal seems too challenging, scary or unachievable.

I think this has to be said along with this is that following your heart is not easy; it has never been easy; it never will be easy. You will have to consistently choose to challenge yourself over sticking in your comfort zone, courage over fear and be vulnerable.

So why is it even worth it? Why should I follow my heart? Because at the end of it all, the only way you can live an authentic, loving and joy-filled life is if you start following your heart and going after what you want. It is the only way to live a life that will make you truly happy at the end of it – follow your heart and enjoy the ride.

Coping with a New Reality

Coping with a new reality is hard. There are days when I wake up and I do not want to do anything; I just want to give up on the world and life. But then there are days when I wake up and I have energy, but I do not know where to put it so instead I do nothing all day. I want to remind you all that either or any way you are passing your days during this time, is perfectly okay.

There are some days where I think I have accepted this new normal, but there are other days where I cannot believe we are living through this.
I miss certain aspects of my “normal” life that I do not have anymore. I miss going to school and sitting in a classroom. I miss going for coffee with my friends, going to work and taking the metro. I miss things that I never thought I would miss. I feel as if so much has been taken away from me and from the world and it truly hurts to think about it for too long.

I have found there are a few things we can do to try and cope or get used to this new reality. It’s hard for everyone. Suddenly we can’t do what we used to, we can’t go places and some of us are not even allowed to leave the house. But life is all about adapting to situations that are out of our control, which is what I am trying to do and what I wanted to share with you all.

One of the ways I am trying to adapt to the new reality I am living in is by keeping a structure or routine in my days. It is not as rigid or structured as it used to be, but it still gives me something to do at a specific time. For example, I have kept my morning routine, but I have adapted it a bit because I have a lot of extra time now that I didn’t have before. My morning routine now allows me to read in the morning, to take my time doing my makeup if I even feel like it that day. I took my morning routine from before the pandemic and adapted it to my current situation. Keeping a routine and structure gives me the stuff to do in the morning and encourages me to get the day going but also at a more relaxed pace that I couldn’t enjoy before all of this.

Another way I am trying to adapt to my new reality is by trying new hobbies or finally getting around to things I always said I did not have time to do. This is not a call for you to be the most productive person ever and start a business if you want to go ahead, but this is just to add a little distraction and fun into my day. At the beginning of the year, I said I wanted to learn how to do calligraphy. I bought the books and then pens, but of course, as of mid-January they just sat there collecting dust. When this all began, I dusted it off and just started doing a little bit every day for pure fun. Allow yourself to engage with something you consider fun.

Lastly, I have been adapting to this reality by not looking at what I can’t do anymore. I know at the beginning of this post I listed all the things I can’t do anymore but to cope with this new reality, I have been looking at what I can do now that I could not before. Do keep in mind, if you have the opportunity to focus like this, it is a privilege. I can now talk to my friends so much more then I did before because we all have the time. I can hang out with my family and watch movies. I can read more and write more. I can watch Netflix without stressing, all things I could not do before. If you are lucky enough to be in this situation, then embrace it. Embrace the now and what you can do today and do not focus on what will happen in the future, just focus on what your reality is like today.

Coping with the new reality is hard and honestly, it takes a lot of time. If you can do so, try keeping some sort of routine form before the pandemic and adapt it to the time you have now. Second, try something new and try to have moments of fun throughout your week. Lastly, focus on what you can do now that you did not have time to do before or just didn’t allow yourself to do.

This new reality will take time but keep going and try everything under the sun to make the days better for you.