Toxic Relationships

Toxic Relationships.jpg

Dear person who is reading this,

Ever found yourself in a relationship that hurts more than it comforts? I have. You may have this relationship with a friend, family member or someone you’re romantically involved with – it could be anyone. I’ve had my fair share of toxic relationships, and they made me feel horrible about myself. They made me feel insignificant, self-conscious and humiliated. It took me some time to identify that I was in a toxic relationship to begin with. But once I realized that, every little thing they said that used to bring me down, mattered less. And then lesser. And lesser. It took some time, but the damaged & ugly image of myself that they had crafted so precisely, that portrait of myself that I once believed to be true started to blur. And it blurred some more. And more. Until it disappeared.

You see, toxic relationship are venomous – for your soul, mental health. They poison your thoughts with self-doubt, rust your confidence and disrupt inner peace. Imagine being yelled in your face that you’re worthless. How much value would you really give to their opinion of you if the person yelling at you is a stranger. Not much. It would be disturbing, maybe you’ll think about it for a short while. But, you’ll get over it. After all, they don’t know the real you, it’s not like you guys are friends. Now, imagine the person yelling at you is someone you love dearly, you hold their opinion close to your heart and hang on to every word they say. It would sting & hurt your feelings for sure. That is what these relationships do, except they’re thinly veiled in sweet promises of love, security & empathy. But if you look close enough, you’ll see it. You just need the strength to do so.

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But how do you know it? Here’s some tell-tale signs:

  • They don’t take you seriously…they don’t value your interests, likes or dislikes, hobbies, aspirations etc. Say, you dream to be a famous musician, for instance, and this person laughs at the notion because they think it’s ridiculous, impractical or impossible. That’s toxic. What are the chances that you’ll be world-famous? 50-50. Maybe you will or maybe you won’t but if someone’s making fun of you because you believe in yourself – you need to remove them from your life. You don’t deserve to be told that your dream’s too big! Hearing this enough times will shatter your hopes. The brooding cloud of uncertainty will loom over your head and it will stomp and strangle and destroy your spirit like the monster it is. Being patronized is NOT healthy, there is no reason for your opinion to be any less important than someone else’s. Stand up for yourself and don’t let the words of an ignorant person bring you down.
  • They pass snide remarks on your looks…it could be about how you look, dress or about how ‘ugly’ your shoes are. (Yep, that one is from a personal experience.) This is not healthy. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion and they have the right to express it BUT that is never ever the same as bullying. If you have a friend that picks on how bad your outfit is or how you need to lose the ‘extra pounds,’ they are toxic. Especially if these comments are being made in front of a large group, being friends with that person is not only toxic, but they are also showing the signs of being passive aggressive.
  • Ulterior motives…they need a shoulder to cry on as soon as something bad happens but had completely disregarded your relationship prior to that. I have had friends that would literally only contact me when they needed some kind of help, & I wouldn’t hear from them otherwise and it used to hurt me so much. Learn to say no. What’s the worst that’ll happen, they won’t contact you the next time they’re in trouble and ultimately stop being ‘friends’ with you? I say good riddance! You’re better off having no or one good friend than 2 that are toxic.
  • They make you feel like you’re a bad person…toxic people like to compensate for their nasty behavior by making us feel like we’re the bad guy (unless you’re a serial killer and someone tells you that you’re a bad person, you most likely are, sorry). If your friend was in trouble & you couldn’t get to them in time because of important reasons, don’t beat yourself up. It’s okay. You’re not the spawn of Satan. It’s natural to get caught up in your own thing every once in a while.

I believe no one’s toxic because they want to be. I mean, I don’t think a person wakes up one day and thinks to them self, ‘Oh, I’m just gonna be grade A bitch to Samantha today from 3-5pm because I’m just sooo evil! Better mark it on my agenda before I forget like last time.’ I feel that it could be because they’re bitter over something…maybe they’re insecure about themselves and being insensitive is their coping mechanism. It’s not a conscious action on their part & they don’t realize the reality of it all. Maybe I was once toxic for someone & I never realized it? I’m not some high & mighty angel fallen from the heavens above. Im flawed. This is one of the many reasons why we should be mindful of what we say. Words are important. They can make or break someone. Don’t let your words break someone.

How do you deal with a toxic person? Don’t take their crap! It may seem useless or pointless but it isn’t. You don’t necessarily need to get into a fight with them! They think you’re stupid for liking Star Trek? Tell them you liking it shouldn’t have to do anything with them. Be harsh if you have to. Tell them off in the beginning so they’re not encouraged to belittle you in the future. It’s better to nip it at the bud. If you’re in too deep, end that relationship. And if it’s someone you can’t possibly break ties with, a family member for instance, confront them. I know, I hate confrontation too. But it will make you feel so much better afterwards. If you feel like you can’t speak up, that’s okay…text them. You don’t have to do it in person. Just let them know that you don’t appreciate being made fun of.

I hope this helped.

Best,

A flawed person

Art Source #1: No Life Doodler on Facebook

Art Source #2: Deviant Art, Hito76

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Pride & Prejudice

Art Source: Deviant Art, Nanorph

It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.

-Jane Austen, Pride Prejudice

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How The City of Philadelphia Saved My Life

Dreaming.jpg

Dear person who is reading this,

There are some things in life that are bigger than you & I. These things are not limited to our resources, our imagination. They are not bound by the arbitrary societal constraints that suffocate us. No, these things have a mind of their own, a childlike innocence that recognizes no rules, no laws. It doesn’t stop them from being, well, them. I like to think that my dreams are one of those things…they are ridiculous, exhilarating, fascinating, colorful and impossible. And big. Oh, how big they are! So big that If I were to try to accomplish all of them, I’d turn to dust and wither and decay and die…but that’s exactly what makes them so fucking incredible. What good are they, if they’re easy and boring and attainable and simple?

But isn’t it human nature, to dream? To think of the impossible & to have the hope that it will come true? No matter how stupid or impractical? By that logic, I wasn’t human. Not until I visited Philly, that is. Because I had never dreamt…and that made me miserable. Because if I lack the purpose to achieve something unthinkable, or maybe even remotely exciting, then what am I even doing? What is my purpose? To live? But how do you even ‘live’ and who decides if you’re ‘living’ or not…some questions are too big in life. Bigger than you & I.

My life was going on and on…but I wasn’t ‘living.’ I have always identified myself as a realist. I didn’t allow myself to hope to achieve something that was out of my reach. The impossibility of it all made me skeptical and I think, it was a defense mechanism. I thought of it as self-preservation. But in doing so, I was losing the will to live. I wasn’t suicidal, but I was worryingly welcoming of death. I mean, we were all gonna die anyways, so what’s the point, right? But that’s wrong, so wrong! Because we all have a purpose. We don’t know what it is, because in figuring it out, we get to know ourselves. Now, that may sound odd. Of course, we know who we are. But we don’t. Self discovery is one of the best experiences of our lives. And this journey never ends…it’s constant and it’s bigger than you & I.

The first time I visited Downtown Philly, I felt myself breathing, what was perhaps the first, breath of fresh air. It smelled like freedom and it tasted scary and it made me dream with my eyes wide open with wonder and awe. I wanted to live in that Condo, I want to go to that school, I wanted to work at that firm and I wanted to dream…but I already was. I had seen everything with such clarity, life was so much more vibrant and wonderful and awful, but I was living! And I haven’t stopped since and I’m as happy as I am scared. But its a good scary. Those buildings that touched the sky had never looked so magnificent. I had thought to myself, ‘I would be the biggest idiot in the world to give up all of this, just because I couldn’t get my shit together.’ This euphoric feeling of finally allowing myself to think that I could somehow do big things in life was so much bigger than you & I.

You see, my dear reader, if we stop dreaming, we start harboring the rotting carcass of ‘what could’ve been’, and the stink of it will strangle our very being…

Best,

A dreamer

Art Source: No Life Doodler on Facebook

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A Monster Calls

Fan Art Source: Deviant Art, Nick-Ian

       The monster showed up just after midnight. As they do.

                      -Patrick Ness, A Monster Calls

A Monster Calls Fan Art

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Mini Book Haul, Featuring Barnes & Noble Collectible Editions Series

Hey guys!

So, I was at Barnes & Noble, just browsing, doing my own thing, y’know? And I came across these beautiful collectible editions, and I just had to have them! I got:

  • A hardcover Shakespeare book, titled ‘The Complete Works of William Shakespeare’, Price: $18.00
  •  & a small, leather-bound ‘Irish Fairy & Folk Tales’ book, Price: $9.00
  • Yeah, that’s it, I’m broke…

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^You may compare the sizes as seen in the picture above.

Now, I have been wanting to read some Shakespeare from quite some while now, and this edition sounded like a good idea. Here’s some pros & cons:

Mini Book Haul

PROS:

  • It has literally all of his works & makes it more accessible for me as I can read all of it in one place.
  • It’s also budget-friendly, you really get all your money’s worth with this purchase, If you buy separate books for a specific play, you would end up paying a lot more than $18
  • The book is hard-cover, comes with a gold-ribbon bookmark, the details are so pretty! When closed, the pages of the book have a gold sheen
  • This would make a wonderful addition to your personal library

Mini book haul 2

CONS:

  • Not travel-friendly, the size of this is huge and it’s heavy, something I wish I had realized before I bought this
  • The font is small – I personally don’t mind reading a smaller font, but if that’s something that bothers you – I would recommend you not buy it

You may buy this here: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-complete-works-of-william-shakespeare-shakespeare-william/1122732067?ean=9781435154476

The second book I got is a ‘Irish Fairy & Folk Tales’ hardcover, leather-bound book. I just saw this and was immediately intrigued! If you like reading about myths, legends and fairy tales in general, I think this would be a good pick. It features thirteen different tales by varying writers. It’s not something I’d read in one sitting, I read, like, one tale every now & then when I’m eating breakfast on a lazy Sunday, for instance.

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PROS:

  • Travel-friendly, this is the perfect size to carry around with you! You can read this on the bus/train, in-between classes, lunch break etc
  • Price is okay too, this is currently on sale on Barnes & Noble website, so you can get this for $7.18, but this is $8.00 on full price, which isn’t that bad either
  • Gorgeous cover! This also has the same gold sheen with the pages. I think it’s the same case for all the Collectible Editions
  • Stories are quirky, short and pack a good punch!

 

Mini Book Haul 4

CONS:

  • Won’t fit perfectly in your bookshelf because of the small size
  • That’s pretty much it

You can buy this here: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/irish-fairy-and-folk-tales-various-authors/1119222723?ean=9781435155930

Side note: There’s also an edition available that is similar to ‘The Complete Works of William Shakespeare’ which features a lot more stories. I haven’t had a chance to buy it myself, but if you end up loving this short-book, you can always buy the other one too.

So that’s it folks (see what I did there? Hehe), It’s not a lot of books, but I hope you guys found this helpful!

Happy reading!

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Book Quote Of The Day!

The Book Thief is one of my all time favorite books, it has made me cry, laugh -sometimes at the same time. It’s one of those books that leave such a distinct mark & stay with you forever. There’s a ton of quotes from this book that I adore & love, but Rudy is my absolute favorite character & this quote is what I feel towards him in a nutshell, basically.

FanArt Source: Deviant Art, Artist: Auzzeh

He does something to me, that boy. Every time. It’s his only detriment. He steps on my heart. He makes me cry.

-Markus Zusak, The Book Thief

Rudy, Book Thief

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I’m back!!

Hey guys!

I know…I disappeared and then proceeded to post shady stuff that was completely irrelevant to books. And I’m sorry, I really am. I have been trying to make a ‘comeback’ from quite some time now, and there was always something that would hold me back. I feared that I had lost my ability to blog but at the same time, I would be coming up with new content ideas.

Anyways, I think I’m mentally in a space where I feel comfortable again to write, and not as thought its another chore. So what happened? Well, a couple of things:

  • College and the crippling anxiety that accompanied it
  • Homesickness (I feel like this is an occuring theme in my posts, and I’m sorry if the receptiveness is getting annoying!)
  • Reading slump

But what changed? I’m not freaking out about my career, and pressuring myself to graduate earlier, for starters. This has helped me immensely because I can actually focus on my present than worry about my future. Also, my sister’s moving here in a couple weeks time, and she’s my best friend so this is going to greatly help cease my perpetual state of homesickness. Lastly, I GOT OVER MY READING SLUMP!!! Praise the Lord!

I have a lot of fun ideas that I can’t wait to share with you all!

Best,

Amna xx

 

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Angsty immigrant

Im torn. Torn between wanting to do nothing with this country that isn’t my mine and one that is my own.

There should be no reason for me to continue to live in a country that is so unwelcoming of me, where almost half of its population thinks I dont deserve to belong on their land and that im unworthy of their respect. But also where I get to go to school and get the best education there is. Why should I work hard and pay taxes to a state that would rather I packed my bags, left and never came back.

Its this constant battle between maybe wanting to go back home, with the privileged life and sexist people. A place that has no place for women but buried underneath it’s deeply patriarchal roots, suffocating their dreams and crushing their spirit. Where i would be but another pretty little face with no outlet to work, no way to make a living of my own -have an identity of my own.

This tug of war between choosing the lesser of two evils isn’t letting me embrace this foreign land i want to call home. I’m not giving it my all, im holding back as I continue to live as ghost, my mind wandering all the way back home. Home where there is no one. I want to go back to a life that doesn’t even exist anymore. And now im stuck in a limbo.

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funeral

How do you grieve when you mourn for the life you never had?

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I often think to myself if my death will be reason things finally change in my house? 

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Blogger Aesthetics Award/Tag

Hey guys!

I was nominated/tagged by Bella at Bella Blogs Because Books for this tag! Thank you so much, Bella! Be sure to give her blog a follow, she posts great reviews! This is the most unique and interesting blog tag that I’ve come across so far:

The Rules:

  • Collect any number of images that you feel represent you as a person—your personality, aspirations, favorite things, anything at all that makes you you.
  • Put your chosen images together into a collage of whatever size and shape you find pleasing.
  • Share your masterpiece with everyone, in all the places.
  • Maybe nominate other bloggers as a way to tell them, “Hey, you, I think you’re awesome, and we should celebrate that awesomeness.”
  • Share these rules (and maybe the below tips, if you’re feeling helpful).

Tips:

  • I honestly had such a hard time finding a website to design the collage on and ended up using this one. Bella mentioned this in her tips, too!
  • Use Pinterest to find artsy pictures! Aimlessly browsing Pinterest is actually one of my guilty pleasures and I may or may not have an entire house that I’ve built pinned on my private board. Maybe.
  • Keep a theme in mind. Like if it’s dark then select pictures that are black & white or dull. If it’s bright then add colorful pictures etc etc.
  • That’s it, best of luck!

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Tags:

As always, feel free to tag yourself if you’re interested!

-Amna xx

PS: I don’t own any of the pictures! I found them online (Pinterest)

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Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

Hey guys!

Here are my thoughts on Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone:

Harry Potter Book Cover    Author-JK-Rowling-Pages.jpg

Goodreads Synopsis: 

Harry Potter’s life is miserable. His parents are dead and he’s stuck with his heartless relatives, who force him to live in a tiny closet under the stairs. But his fortune changes when he receives a letter that tells him the truth about himself: he’s a wizard. A mysterious visitor rescues him from his relatives and takes him to his new home, Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.

After a lifetime of bottling up his magical powers, Harry finally feels like a normal kid. But even within the Wizarding community, he is special. He is the boy who lived: the only person to have ever survived a killing curse inflicted by the evil Lord Voldemort, who launched a brutal takeover of the Wizarding world, only to vanish after failing to kill Harry.

Though Harry’s first year at Hogwarts is the best of his life, not everything is perfect. There is a dangerous secret object hidden within the castle walls, and Harry believes it’s his responsibility to prevent it from falling into evil hands. But doing so will bring him into contact with forces more terrifying than he ever could have imagined.

Full of sympathetic characters, wildly imaginative situations, and countless exciting details, the first installment in the series assembles an unforgettable magical world and sets the stage for many high-stakes adventures to come.

Nonspoilery-Review

This is my first time reading a Harry Potter book and I loved it so much!! I didn’t expect to like it as much as I did. One of my biggest concerns was that the series won’t live up to the hype and I’d end up being disappointed. I also don’t read a lot of middle-grade and felt that a good number of people who have read HP were really young themselves when they read it so I wouldn’t have the same experience. However, I’m happy to say that my opinions have changed. I’ve only read the first book yet but I do believe that HP has that evergreen and timeless quality to it, which works amazingly for every age-group.

I read the entire book in 2 sittings and absolutely ate it up. J.K Rowling does such a fantastic job at easing our way into the world, which is stunning, by the way. Not once did I feel overwhelmed or confused by the inner-workings and complexities of the magical system.

I loved, loved the trio of Harry, Ron and Hermione together. They made my stomach all fuzzy and my heart would swell for them. The friendship that they developed was so pure and innocent. Also, Neville was such a cutie-patootie. The Weasley twins always made me laugh and the part where Lee Jordan was doing the commentary on the Quidditch match literally cracked me up!

The pace of the story was perfect and it flowed seamlessly.

AHH I CANT WAIT TO READ THE NEXT BOOK!

Anyways, what’s your favorite HP book? Also, do you guys think I should watch the movies as I read the books or should I wait until I  finish the entire series first?

Happy reading!

-Amna xx

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Baffled

Inconsiderate people never fail to perplex you. How? Just how can one be so apathetic & detached from a basic human emotion such as compassion? And kindness. How is it that someone’s vision is only limited to their wants and needs. 

Its especially disheartening if said emotions (or lack thereof) are characteristic of someone you love and care about. 

And with every little act of selfishness that they commit, your faith in humanity dims just a little bit more. And more. Untill one day you decide you’ve had enough and stop feeling too. 

But you know in your heart that you’re better than this. Resist. Feel. Live. 

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August TBR ’17

 

Hey guys!

Hopefully, I don’t get into a reading slump like last time! Here’s the books that I plan to read in the month of August:

harry-potter-1.jpgHarry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K Rowling

  —> Genre: Middle-grade, Fantasy

—> Okay, so I have a confession to make: I’ve never read any of the Harry Potter books…I know, I know, I should’ve by now but I never really got into middle-grade until recently. I also thought that I would never have the same experience as almost everyone else who grew up reading the books. BUTTT I’m currently reading it and I’m more than halfway through and WOW. I’m loving it so much!! I can’t believe I put off these books for so long! I only have a hundred pages left so I’m gonna finish the first book tonight.

The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater  

  —> Genre: YA Fantasy

 —> I’m so excited to read the first book in the Raven Cycle! I’ve heard only amazing things about this series, too. It follows Blue who can see the soon-to-be dead? Or something like that. And she teams up with a group of boys from an elite private school for something. Oh my God, this has got to be the worst description of this book. Ever.

Feel Me Fall by James Morris

  —> Genre: YA Action/Adventure, Mystery/Thriller, Survival

—> This story follows Emily and her friends in an aftermath of a plane crash as they navigate the jungles of Amazon. Okay, so I remember reading Hatchet by Gary Paulsen in sixth grade and I had loved it so much that I read it way ahead of everyone else in my class. The plane-crash setting gives me the same vibes. From what I can make of the story from the synopsis, it also feels reminiscent of Lord of the Flies by William Golding. This just sounds like a book that would keep be hooked from the beginning, right till the end.

Hidden Bodies by Caroline Kepnes

  —> Genre: Psychological Thriller

—> This is the second book in the You series by Caroline Kepnes. It follows Joe as he’s moved to LA for a fresh start and has a new girlfriend who he doesn’t want to hurt. (LOL, YEAH OKAY, BUDDY). I’m so interested to see how Joe’s story will further unfold and I’m curious as to whether or not he’ll get caught.

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July Wrap-up ’17

Hey guys!

So a little bit of a bad news: I only read 3 books in July and it seriously sucks because I got into a reading slump as soon as I started reading my fourth book — My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry by Fredrick Backman. It’s not that I didn’t like what I read but as much as I wanted to continue reading the book, I had no will to do so.

It usually is hard for me to get into literary fiction but I’ve never gotten into a reading slump because of it. I think its because I’m also struggling with anxiety and some days are exponentially worst than the others.

BUTTTT I do, however, am in a reading mood because I picked up the copy of Strange The Dreamer by Laini Taylor. I’ve been wanting to read this book for quite some time and can’t wait to get into it. Enough with my incessant rambling, here’s what I read:

–> Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur

  • Rating: 3.35/5 stars
  • What I thought about it: I mostly had mixed feelings about this poetry collection but I found myself thinking about it & liking this more and more as timed passed after I had finished reading it. For my in-depth thoughts read the review here.

–> Gemina by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff

  • Rating: 4/5 stars
  • What I thought about it: I thoroughly enjoyed reading Illuminae’s sequel, just not as much as the first book, I thought some things were repetitive but it was still a solid read. I can’t wait to read the next book, Obsidio and see what’s in store for some of my favorite characters. For me in-depth thoughts read the review here.

–> Nimona by Noelle Stevenson 

  • Rating: 4.25/5 stars
  • What I thought about it: This graphic novel was such a breath-of-fresh air! This was funny, witty and emotional. I’m hoping there’s a sequel to this! For me in-depth thoughts read the review here.

Yeah, so that’s pretty much it. It could be worst though, right? I’ll also be posting my August TBR tomorrow!

Happy reading!

-Amna xx

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Unfavorite Feelings

Hey guys!

I posted a Favorite Feelings post where I wrote down some of my favorite feelings in the world. Similar to that, I wanted to post some of my most disliked feelings as well. I’m not having the best day ever so it’s also fitting to my current mood. Hopefully, writing this down will help make my day better!

  1. The constant nagging you feel in the back of your mind when you’re procrastinating & worrying about not getting work done so you just avoid it all together
  2. When you disappoint someone who believed in you
  3. When you accidentally hit your pet
  4. When you lie awake at night, not being able to do anything about something you feel strongly about so you’re stuck in the prison of your mind, thinking about it over & over again
  5. When you feel like things will never change
  6. When you realize one your headphones has stopped working
  7. The complete & utter betrayal that entails a best-friend break-up
  8. When you’re physically too far away to hug someone you miss
  9. The feeling of all your responsibilities, commitments and obligations weighing you down
  10. When your eyes are cracked & sore because you didn’t get enough sleep
  11. When you try on a dress that you really liked but it’s very unflattering on you

What are some of your most hated feelings?

-Amna xx

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