Book Reviews | Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys

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Being the true to form introvert that I am, books have always been something I’ve taken solace in when times were tough. They’ve made me laugh harder than you’d ever expect, they’ve made me sob uncontrollably, they’ve made me rethink my entire world view, and everything in-between. There’s something really special about the fact that some words on a page can evoke such an intense response from a reader, on so many different levels. I read more than most of the people I know, but I don’t feel like you need to read a lot in order to enjoy books and be absorbed in the stories that are waiting to be read. And because of that, I always recommend that my friends read book reviews before picking a book up, to get a feel for what they are reading. I am always quick to offer my thoughts on a book when anyone asks. Its so discouraging for people to pick up a book, only to find that it doesn’t suit them or isn’t an enjoyable experience, particularly for people that may not read often. That is why I’ve decided to share my thoughts on some of the books I read on this blog. I’ve never properly reviewed a book before, at least not through the written word, but I can assure you that all of the thoughts and feelings expressed in these reviews will be my own, and that they will ALWAYS be spoiler free, unless otherwise noted in the title of the post. Without further ado, here are my thoughts on Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys.

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“In 1945, World War II is drawing to a close in East Prussia and thousands of refugees are on a desperate trek toward freedom, almost all of them with something to hide. Among them are Joana, Emilia, and Florian, whose paths converge en route to the ship that promises salvation, the Wilhelm Gustloff. Forced by circumstance to unite, the three find their strength, courage, and trust in each other tested with each step closer toward safety. Just when it seems freedom is within their grasp, tragedy strikes. Not country, nor culture, nor status matter as all ten thousand people aboard must fight for the same thing: survival.
A tribute to the people of Lithuania, Poland, and East Prussia, Ruta Sepetys unearths a shockingly little-known casualty of a gruesome war, and proves that humanity can prevail, even in the darkest of hours.” – Ruta Sepetys

Long story short, I loved this book. It was everything I wanted it to be and more. I rated it 4.5/5 stars. This book was thrilling, beautiful, gripping, and perfectly told. This was one of those books that stuck with me. I kept thinking about the story and the characters, well after the last page was finished. Ruta Sepetys has this way of embedding her words into your mind and almost compelling you to think about them, and that’s something I really appreciate in an author. Even more so in a historical fiction author. It’s quite easy for writers to get wrapped up in the research side of historical fiction, and some novels can start to get a bit fuzzy, bending itself into feeling more like a textbook than an enjoyable read, and I was thankful that this did not happen with Salt to the Sea. This book pulled you in, it told you the facts of the situation but it also made you feel them. I hadn’t learned much about the voyage of the Wilhelm Gustloff in school or otherwise, so this was something new for me. The real life events surrounding the Wilhelm Gustloff are incredibly tragic, and this book details them tastefully and beautifully, but it is not a depressing story. It doesn’t leave you feeling worn out and upset, even though the events are quite sad. Instead you feel a sense of love and are able to connect with the characters that Ruta has provided. The characters are incredible as well, not just on the character development side, which is fantastic, but just the range of characters is really special. There are a variety of characters of different ages and backgrounds, and you’re able to connect to all four of our main characters effortlessly, and view the story from so many different angles.

World War II is a topic that is discussed a lot in historical fiction novels, but this book sets itself apart. It touches on events that are less prominent in the genre, and it pulls you in deep, into the inner workings of the characters within the story, in a way that most other novels of its kind simply haven’t succeeded in. Once you’ve closed this book, you will cry. You will smile. You will feel like you’ve learned something. This book will impact you in a way you may not expect it to, and you will be eagerly awaiting Ruta Sepetys’ next book just as much as the rest of us are.

I Fell in Love with Austin, Texas on the Fourth of July

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Sometimes you visit a city, and you just know. You get that little voice in the back of your mind telling you “this is a place I could stay”, or “this is somewhere I belong”. Austin gave me those thoughts, and I just knew. But let me start from the beginning…

One day, in the middle of April, I was sitting at my desk trudging on through the work day, wishing I was somewhere else, when I had an epiphany; I should take a mini vacation. Then it came down to deciding where to go, simple enough, right? Wrong. Being in the center of the country means that my options are incredibly limited, and unlimited, all at the same time. I can take a plane heading anywhere in the country in a relatively small amount of time, and I can take plenty of road trips, but most of the “desirable” places to go in the scorching heat of the summer (i.e., the beach, for obvious reasons) are quite far away. Now I’m the queen of road trips, so per usual, I opted for that, then looked at the map and just chose. Just like that. Austin, Texas is it was. My family vacationed in Texas often when I was young, so the idea of venturing there on my own this year felt comfortable and inviting. So, I grabbed a friend, and off we went!

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Driving from Kansas City to Austin wasn’t the MOST pleasant of things, but I think making that whole drive down, through the construction, traffic, and holiday travelers made driving into the city that much sweeter. I was more excited than I ever would have expected to be when I realized we were about to *finally* make our way into town. I even pulled off the road, just to capture the moment for myself, and you as well, I suppose. For anyone familiar with the city, we stayed just off East Cesar Chavez, and it was a hipster’s paradise, let me tell you. I loved it.

We were only there for the weekend, so I didn’t get the chance to do many of the things I had hoped, but I still had an amazing time. Our first stop was visiting the Lyndon B. Johnson Presidential Library, and explored for quite a while. I genuinely enjoyed learning so much about his presidency, the good and not so good parts alike. I’m someone that loves learning as much as possible about history, and this was something new for me to dig into. The library itself was quite astounding, walking up the steps towards it was a special experience all on its own, without factoring in the beautifully put together LBJ Museum that accompanied it.

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After we were satisfied with our exploration there, we decided to visit the capitol building. For any of you that may not know, or may be from a different country, in the US, we have our Nation’s Capitol in Washington D.C., but each individual state has it’s own Capitol as well. Austin happens to be the state Capitol of Texas, so the (absolutely beautiful) Texas State Capitol Building is here as well. We took quite a long walk around the grounds, and had a bit of a wander through the interior of the building as well. My favorite part, however, was simply sitting on a bench, near the front of the building, all by my lonesome. Having a tea and taking it all in, that’s what I do best.

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From there, we simply explored. For the next two days, I ate more Tex-Mex than anyone should ever eat, I grew to feel like I was a part of a new place and a new city. I went grocery shopping, I laid by the river and read a book, I chatted with strangers in a bar; I completely immersed myself if the daily life of this city, and I think thats’s what made this trip so special for me. It felt like I was visiting a home away from home, and I was genuinely sad when it came to an end.

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I may have single handedly eaten all of the avocados in Austin, and I’m not even sure I’m exaggerating.

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One of my favorite moments was sitting by the river watching the sun go down around the city. I think this will be a memory I keep close for a long time.

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One of the things I admired most about Austin was the graffiti, which might sound strange to some people. But Austin is filled with beautiful, inspiring, and interesting graffiti. The city just seems like an even more special place after seeing how many people have made their mark here in such a positive way.

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I spent a surprising amount of time in this backyard whilst I was there. The house I rented had a beautiful backyard with a comfy seating area to relax in. I definitely made use of it, particularly the incredibly comfy lounge chairs, they were perfect for reading and relaxing. These popsicles were absolutely scrumptious by the way, check out GoodPop if you’re able to get your hands on them. They’re all natural, and are honestly the most delicious frozen fruit pops I’ve ever had. I’m feeling serious withdrawal symptoms at the moment.

The final day, before we had to wake up and make our way home, was the Fourth of July. Celebrating Independence Day in Texas is not something new for me, I’ve done it a few times in my life with my family, but this was a whole new experience for me. We went fairly early in the afternoon to secure a seat near the water to watch the fireworks over the city. I expected that there would be a lot of people, and Austin didn’t disappoint me there, but what I wasn’t expecting was how much I would love getting to know all the people that happened to be sitting around me. I arrived with one friend, and left with dozens, and it made me so much more in love with the city, and so much more pleased with the trip itself.

I had a few drinks, set off a few sparklers, and chatted with more people than I have in the past month, all in one night. The fireworks were stunning, the atmosphere was incredible, and it was the perfect ending to a much needed get away.

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I hope you’re doing well, where ever you are in the world, and I wish you all the best.

-Lexie Xx

Sleepy Sundays | Don’t call it a comeback

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So, we meet again, you cute little blog you. I’ve missed this, I really have. Sometimes you forget how good something simple like this can feel, just releasing all your thoughts onto a screen, letting anyone that’s willing read everything you’ve decided to share. Life gets in the way, I’m sure you know how it goes. But today, after so much time away, I’m back. Will I stick with it? Make time for something I enjoy in life for once? Who knows, but I appreciate each and every one of you that kept following me, even as I was away for months on end. You’re beautiful and I love you.

Now, with all of that out of the way, let’s chat. After all, that’s what I always wanted to do with this blog. I wanted to get my thoughts out of my head, and written down on paper, even if that was through a keyboard on a public forum. I wanted to talk to people, interact with them, learn from them, get to know them, and become friends with them. So let me just ask, how are you? How are things going? I’m doing well. Things are going okay I suppose, all things considered. Nothing too exciting has happened in my life since we last talked. It may have even grown just a little more monotonous since then, if that’s possible. I’ve fallen into a routine; get up, go to work, come home, go to sleep, and repeat. Monday through Friday, this is my life. I wish I were able to switch it up, to add a little spice to my life. How do you do it? How do you keep your life exciting? Please, share your secrets with me Senpai.

The most exciting thing that happened to me this weekend was when my Amazon order arrived yesterday, containing a new Electric Kettle and some cupboard organizers for all of my tea; who knew life could be filled with so much excitement?! I know I didn’t! All joking aside, I was sincerely thrilled to open up my new kettle, but I digress. Maybe I’m just in a rut? That’s possible I suppose. Or maybe it’s because my birthday is just a few short weeks away, and I’m beginning to feel the pressure that comes along with it. I’ll be 23, which may not sound old or important, but there is a lot of pressure coming along with this birthday. My parent’s think I should be settled down with that “perfect someone”, thinking about getting married and starting a family, my friends think I should already be finished with college and moved into my own place, partying it up. When in reality, I’m 22, living at home, single, fighting to finish this bachelors degree, and working a full-time job that brings no joy or excitement to my life, and chasing Pokemon in my spare time. Oh goodness, this is turning into a very “woe is me” sort of post. I need to change things up, turn it around.

Maybe I should share some things that make me happy, who knows, maybe that will pull me out of this little funk I seem to be in at the moment.

One seemingly unusual thing that always makes me happy is a strange one to describe. I suppose its essentially just the wind, but it’s much more than that to me. I love that feeling, when you’re sitting outside on a slightly cooler night, in-between the summer heat and the autumn chill, reading or just watching the world go by, when the wind sweeps across your face and you feel completely calm and safe, even if just for a moment. It makes me so happy to know that moments like that exist.

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My cat is also another point of sheer happiness for me. I mean, just look at her! Look at that face! She has this way of knowing when I need her. She’s always so quick to come and snuggle with me when I’m feeling down, or ill, or upset. Even when she’s being obnoxious, or irritating, she still has a way of making me feel so genuinely happy, all the way to my core, no matter what. For instance, she is currently laying on my chest, partially blocking my access to the keyboard on my laptop, and just being a general pain, and I still smile like a fool each time I look down at her sweet little face snuggled up against my arm.

As much as my family has a tendency to be a bit overbearing and hard to handle, I’m still filled with happiness each time I remember how lucky I am to have them. After the horrible events in France, TexasMinnesota, Louisiana, Turkey, and so many more these past few weeks, I’m feeling even luckier than usual to have my family, and to know that I have people out there to fall back on and lean on when things get tough. They are all absolutely insane, pushy, and ridiculous, but I couldn’t imagine my life without them.

Lastly, one of the things that makes me happiest; daydreaming. I’ve always loved the fact that we’ve all got this ability, this superpower, to transport ourselves to another time or place in our own minds. We’re all equipped with our own mental T.A.R.D.I.S, if you will. If I’m unhappy, or feeling stuck, or sad, or anything in between, I can simply imagine that my life will take a different turn in the future, or imagine that I’ve stumbled into a new place, or just lay back, and let my daydreams guide me. There’s no limit to the amount of things I can accomplish in a daydream. No one cares how I look in a daydream. There’s no body shaming, there’s no cruelty, and there’s no fear. It’s a completely pure space, untainted by the outside world, and it is one of my biggest sources of happiness.

And with that my friends, this Sleepy Sunday post has come to a close, and I’ll have to drag myself out of bed to start my day. My tea is gone and my cup is dry. I hope you enjoyed reading this ramble that I’ve decided to put out onto the internet, and that you found something to take with you from it. Whether that be something life changing, like learning your daydreams are a T.A.R.D.I.S, or simply just the memory of how adorable my cat is, I hope you’ve had a lovely few moments here with me.

Please feel free to leave me a comment and chat with me, or check out the “Contact Me” page to send me an email. I would love to hear from you and get to know you.

I hope you’re doing well, where ever you are in the world, and I wish you all the best.

-Lexie Xx

 

 

 

Banned Books Week | Celebrating the Freedom to Read

Banned Books Week

If I’m honest, the whole idea of censorship drives me crazy. But censoring books? That one, I’ll never understand.

I don’t know if I can even begin to explain to you how important books are, and always have been, in my life and in my heart. Books were my escape as a child. Books taught me all the things I didn’t learn at home or at school. Friendship. Hardship. Love. Fear. Excitement. Magic. Lust. Anger. Sadness. Companionship. Books taught me that I would never be alone, as long as I was able to pick one of them up and immerse myself in the world that the author had created for me. There is an endless list of things that books have introduced me to over the years, and there’s no way for me to explain how grateful I am for that.

It seems though, that there will always be people that feel the need to challenge that. People that think they know what the youth of the world should be reading and what words they should be consuming. How dare young people read about sexual situations? Or violence? Or racially charged moments? Or various religious viewpoints? Sexual orientation that isn’t heterosexual? Witchcraft or magic? How dare authors put those things into words? We must challenge and ban those books! Put a stop to them! At least that’s what the various parents, teachers, politicians, and board members seem to think.

In those regards, we must also ban the news, right? And most television shows. And political debates, we can’t have those things popping up and tainting the minds of our youth, can we? Most art should go, right? Quite a bit of nudity in those silly old paintings and statues. And all education should cease in regards to the civil rights movement and things of that nature, can’t have kids hearing of racism, can we?

I hope I’m making it clear how absurd I find this whole thing to be. Banning books on the grounds of things like racism, sexual situations, political viewpoints, the presence of witchcraft, encouragement of “damaging” lifestyles, or violence has never, and will never make sense to me. What will shielding children from these achieve? Are these things that children won’t see or hear on television, in their day to day lives, etc?

Banning books is disgraceful and insulting really, to the intelligence and consciousness of the youth that they are trying to “shield”.

Banned Books Week should be important to all of us. Even if you never experienced that censorship first hand, you should still push for future generations to have the freedom to read and explore. To learn and understand. To be introduced to things in a safe and enlightening way, rather than the harsh realities of the real world. Let them read about depression. Let them understand it. Give them the freedom to explore sexuality. Help them understand it. Make the classics available to them, so they can see the words that helped shape the world around them. Treat them as intelligent and comprehending beings, and maybe they’ll have a better chance of growing up as such.

Parents, teachers, religious organizations, and political organizations alike, have tried to take so many pieces of literature away from the youth of the world. Catcher in the Rye. The Harry Potter Series. The Hunger Games Series. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian. The Perks of Being a Wallflower. The Kite Runner. The Great Gatsby. To Kill a Mockingbird. The Lord of the Rings. I think it’s clear that some of these people mean well in their efforts, but I don’t believe that any good has or will ever come of it.

Authors like Maya Angelou, John Green, Kurt Vonnegut, Stephen King, Judy Blume, J.K. Rowling and infinitely more have had their books challenged or banned at one time or another, all in the name of censorship.

This is why Banned Books Week matters.

Please, take some time to read and understand what is happening, and why it’s happening, and decide if you would like to stand up for the future of literature.

I believe it is important for the younger generations to have a chance to learn, dream, and understand, while they’re still able, and I feel that Books are able to give them that chance.

To learn more about Banned Books Week, you can visit the American Library Association’s site dedicated to the Office of Intellectual Freedom of the ALA or any of these other wonderful sites.
Some blog posts I’ve read recently that helped inspire me to put my opinion out there and join the conversation;
The Rambler, Illinois College,“Banned Books Week”
Nathan Biberdorf, “We Must Indeed All Band Together, Or Most Assuredly, We Will All Be Banned Separately”
Lady Jane,“Banned Books Week Challenge”
Kateywrites,“#RaisingReaders Monday: fREADom”

I hope you’re doing well, where ever you are in the world, and I wish you all the best.

-Lexie Xx

New to my blog? Why not read a bit about me; Like how I love Doctor Who, or what I would say to my Future Husband if I knew who that person was, or take a look back at various points in my life in my post about my birthday last month? Or, you know, do what ever you’d like. 🙂

20 Summer Goals | Watercolor Wonders

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Okay, yes, summer has come and gone, and while I did fulfill many of those goals that I shared with all of you in my earlier post, I just didn’t seem to capture them all and share them with you. So for one last time this year, I wanted to share one more of my Summer Goals with you.

This one may have been my favorite. I’ve always loved art. Growing up all I wanted to do was color, paint, and create. Maybe that’s why I’ve fallen so in love with writing. It’s my way of creating something and sharing it with people. But I fell into that trap of thinking that “I’m just not good at art doing art”. I think a lot of people think of creating things or being artistic as some sort of competition. Like you have to be amazing at it to do it, and if you aren’t, then you shouldn’t even try to create things. Or thinking that because someone else is better than you are, that you shouldn’t even try to create things. But through this little water color journey of mine, I’ve realized (although, this is something I’ve understood for a while) that it doesn’t take skill or a special talent to create. All it takes is you. And your imagination. Being creative is a part of life that everyone should partake in. Its not a competition, its not just for the wildly talented. Creativity is a right that no one can take away. Creativity is about passion, and happiness. Creativity is about letting your mind and your thoughts do what they want to do, rather than always thinking it through to every last little detail. Creativity is an essential part of life.

Creativity is intelligence having fun.Albert Einstein 

When I first started in with watercolor painting, I tried to really learn it. Learn the techniques, the skills, the whole process. But I quickly learned that I didn’t fully enjoy it that way. I created many beautiful paintings, from lighthouses, to beaches, to flower arrangements, but through out those projects, it all felt like work. I had to pay attention to what I was doing, I had to focus, and I had to try incredibly hard. It was easy to see that it wasn’t my thing.

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Eventually, I put away the YouTube tutorials, sat down outside in my backyard, and just painted. I didn’t realize how much I could love just sitting down with my paint brushes just splattering paint around on paper. No thoughts about what I would be painting, or what techniques needed to be used to achieve it. I don’t enjoy making those things, as much as I enjoy these little pages full of messy patches of color.

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Now, after making dozens of these colorful, blob filled creations, I had to figure out if anything could be done with them. As much as I enjoy them, and enjoy the process of making them, they aren’t exactly “frame worthy”. But as I was walking through the card aisle of Target, I realized that I had a use for all of them, one that would add an extra personal touch to everything that I do. If this were a cartoon, the little light bulb would have lit up on top of my head. Cards. I could make cards out of these silly little paintings and add an extra personal touch to all the little things that I like to do.

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I love to give cards for all sorts of occasions. When someone is sick, when someone’s birthday rolls around, etc,. But one thing I always do, is send Thank You cards. So that’s what I made for this post. This little thank you card is for all of you reading this, and for all my internet friends that follow this blog and send me emails checking on how I’m doing and just generally chatting with me. It has been so fun starting this blog, just the enjoyment that I’ve gotten out of writing alone would have made it the best thing I’ve done all year, but the friendships I’ve made, and the support I’ve gotten, have all made this into something that I don’t want to give up. So thank you, you lovely people you.

I hope all of you can find some way to be creative, even if you’re not great at it, as long as you’re doing it, that’s all that matters. There is no wrong way to be creative.

I hope you’re doing well, where ever you are in the world, and I wish you all the best.

-Lexie Xx

Somehow I fell off the blogging bandwagon. I have many things to blame for my lapse in posts; full-time course load, full-time work load, quarter-life crisis, etc,. The list could go on and on, as it could for everyone I suppose. But I wanted to get back into things. This is almost therapeutic for me. Writing down my thoughts, sharing them with all of you. Its nice. So I’m going to do my best to regain that spark, if you don’t mind of course, and what better to start with than another Summer Goals post? Although this is the final Summer Goals post of the year, I can assure you, that I have some things in-store for this blog that I am truly excited about, so I hope you come along with me on the continuation of my little blogging journey. ❤

30 Day Writing Challenge | Day 3

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Day 3: What are your top three pet peeves?

1. When someone always finds something to complain about, no matter what the situation. (The irony of putting this in this post is not lost on me, I can assure you.)
2. When people see the film adaptation of a book without reading the book first, or even worse, don’t know it was a book in the first place.
3. When people make that scratchy sound with metal forks on their teeth.

Those three things are in no particular order really, and if I’m honest, there are other things that annoy me more than these from time to time, but I had to write down three, so here they are! I found it a bit funny how many things came to mind when I read this question. I never knew that there were so many little things that trigger angry responses from me, I should probably work on that, but for now, I’m just going to write a post where I complain about these insignificant things as if they were real problems, because I have been prompted to do so.

You know those people, the ones that have a tendency to chronically complain about everything in life, and seem to always blame the world when things go wrong in their lives and never themselves. There are so many things about this that bugs me, the biggest being the fact that most of the time, the things that happen in our lives happen because of the choices we make and the things that we do. Sure, there are most definitely things that happen in life that are completely uncontrollable, but those aren’t the things that these people usually complain about. I’ve not found the best response yet to deal with people that complain all the time, at this point, I just try to build them up and boost their confidence if I can, to maybe try and help them stop complaining a bit. But I can assure you, if you are someone that complains often about anything and everything anytime something doesn’t go your way, there is a huge likelihood that we won’t be very good friends.

I absolutely hate it when people see a film adaptation of a book without reading the book. It’s just one of those things that drives me crazy. I don’t know why, maybe its a conditioned response, or maybe its just the bookworm in me hoping to remind the world that the book is *almost* ALWAYS better than the film. I came across the unthinkable recently; my 11 year old niece’s friend didn’t know that Harry Potter was a book series and not just a series of films. My little heart almost shattered. The book series that shaped my whole childhood, my whole imagination and mind, was simply reduced to a series of films and not the words that flew off the pages creating vivid images in my mind. I do hope I never encounter this sort of nonsense again, but who knows, the world is full of people that are forgetting the importance of the written word.

Lastly, when people make that awful scratchy sound with forks on their teeth when they’re eating, the one that rivals nails on a chalkboard, yeah, you know the one. It makes the hairs on the back of my neck stand up. It makes my face go into this scrunched up mess of pain and annoyance. It is horrendous. Please, make it stop. PLEASE. If we’re sitting at a table eating together, don’t do what my brothers did all my life and purposefully make that horrible noise just to drive me mildly insane. That’s just cruel.

Goodness, after all that complaining and whining, I’m starting to annoy myself. Maybe writing about pet peeves is a new pet peeve of mine. Whatever the case, for better or for worse, I have disclosed the things that annoy me most to all of you, and I trust you will use them wisely. I also trust that you will find the humor in this little post, and wont take it too seriously. Speaking of seriously, the world would seriously be a less infuriating place if we could all just put these things to an end.

I hope you’re doing well, where ever you are in the world, and I wish you all the best.

-Lexie Xx

30 Day Writing Challenge | Day 2

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Day 2: Write something that someone told you about yourself that you never forgot.

I find it really unsettling that when I read this, I instantly thought of a dozen negative and horrible things that people have said about me over the years. It is a sad but true fact that the negative things people say often outshine the positive ones, and it would be all too easy for me to add to that with this post, but I just don’t want to. I could talk about how people made fun of my size, or when people said cruel things, but that’s not something that I want to remember. Those are the things that everyone wants to forget. Instead, I’m going to talk about something that makes me smile when I think of it. Something that means far more to me and shows who I am far more than any of the negative things people could say about me. I was told once that I have a beautiful soul, and that my daydreamer’s mind will take me to places that other’s aren’t even capable of dreaming about. I don’t know if I can even get across to you how meaningful this was to me. It made every inch of my body and mind happy. People can tell you every day that you look beautiful. They can compliment your hair or your clothes. They can point out how nice your body is. But there will always be that little voice inside you saying that they’re wrong or they’re lying. But when someone tells you that your soul is beautiful, or that who you are as a person is beautiful, it’s just one of those compliments that your brain doesn’t even know how to dispute. It’s a compliment that settles deep into your heart and stays there, waiting to remind you of it when someone hurts you or makes you feel less than what you are.

I am a daydreamer through and through. There’s no other way to describe me really. There isn’t a moment that goes by when I’m not daydreaming about things in the back of my mind. I used to get in trouble at school as a child for it. They didn’t want that quality inside me to survive. Teachers, parents, principals, everyone; they did their best to pull my head back under the clouds and to get me to focus on my work and only my work. And at the time, I almost wanted it to work. People made daydreaming and imagination seem like such a bad thing, as if it would make me less intelligent or it would make me a bad student, when really it does the opposite. I’m able to see now that daydreams, imagination, and creativity have shaped me into the person I am now. And I only realized that when someone said those words to me: my daydreamer’s mind will take me to places that other’s aren’t even capable of dreaming about. My mind makes me different, unique, and my mind makes me, me.

“You get ideas from daydreaming. You get ideas from being bored. You get ideas all the time. The only difference between writers and other people is we notice when we’re doing it.”Neil Gaiman

The moral of this post, I suppose, is that even though people have said and will continue to say bad things about you and things that hurt you, you don’t have to make those words be the ones that define you. You can just as easily hold onto something someone says about you that makes you happy. Something that means the world to you. I’ve let my mind be the thing that defines me, as a person, as an aspiring writer, as a human being. Not my thighs or my face or anything else that will change completely when I’m old and grey. Your appearance only lasts a short while, but your soul, well, some say that lives on forever.

I hope you’re doing well, where ever you are in the world, and I wish you all the best.

-Lexie Xx