Why things you are scared of can help you the most in life… If you let them

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Once upon a time, in a seemingly small world, there was a lass, who was afraid of everything. Everything around her seemed so much bigger than herself, and she came to think she could never be brave. She dreamed of a glorious future, but never really believed it was within her reach, so she never tried to grasp it with her hands. She waited for somebody to come and save her from herself, but nobody ever did.

Drunk on the idea that life would happen to her only if somebody else taught her how to live, she signed off the papers to have no responsibility for her life. She blamed fate, genetics and stars for who she wasn’t. She read a lot, and once she stumbled upon a certain quote.

“The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars,
But in ourselves, that we are underlings.”

 

She thought it was nicely written and moved on with her life. The fault was still in her stars, or so she claimed. She didn’t know where she was heading to, but everything was lined to be rather… unsurprising. As it is often with plans and expectations, nothing went out like planned. Worse, it turned out to be completely opposite to whatever she had planned for herself before. She was kicked out of her fairytale and failed herself like never before, so she didn’t really know what kind of story would she fit in. She started doubting if she was supposed to be in any story at all. Now she was a lass, who was afraid of everything and knew nothing, not even herself. At first, she only mourned who she was. What she had. What she lost. Days were passing by very quickly, and she felt stuck. She wasn’t the old herself, but neither the new one. She was nothing, and she longed to finally become something.

Desperate, she took a step and went into the unknown because the alternative would be drowning in the emptiness, and she was never  a good swimmer. After one step, there was another one, and another one and another one… Suddenly she discovered than thinking of the next step is scarier than actually taking it. She was fully entering the unknown and it left her breathless. Breathless of awe and new found joy, not fear and panic.

The first stop of the unknown was France, and she found there way more than she had expected. Sure, they had a great cuisine, beautiful architecture, and a lovely language, but what she had found there was far more valuable to her – she found her peace. She was living with a family she had never met before, taught English to their children, and walked by the beach every day. The North Sea was cold, gloomy and whimsical, but it brought her peace, and joy. The family she lived with was full of love and trust, and it was a remedy to all of the world’s wrongings. She wasn’t terribly scared anymore. She still felt fear, but it didn’t paralyse her like it used to. The sea took away the fears and sadness, which weighed her down, and she came back home slightly changed. She met the most wonderful people and saw the loveliest places, so it made her rethink if the fault was really just in her stars.

Sometimes The North Sea decides to be less gloomy :)
Sometimes The North Sea decides to be less gloomy 🙂

The home was sweet and safe, but the concept of fear and stars kept crossing her mind all the time. She knew that growth was outside of her comfort zone, and her comfort zone was terribly small. Travel was a way to go. She decided to become an au pair again. Being with children was like relearning everything you knew about the world, and she sought to learn  it anew. 2 planes and countless of thoughts later she was in Catalonia.

Catalonia was vibrant, lively and full of opportunities. She tried food she swore she would never try before, met people from all walks of life, saw places so different to what she was used to and realised… she was doing it. She was living the life she actually enjoyed. It wasn’t perfect, but that wasn’t the point. It was the life she loved, and somehow it was enough. The people she had met, the family she had lived with, they made her rethink everything she knew. She stopped looking for fixed answers. Sometimes they were none, and that was perfectly fine.

A year before she said she would never learn to cook, since she was hopeless at it. In Catalonia, she cooked a meal she’d never done, and it turned out fine. Nobody died from food poisoning, the taste didn’t cause the outburst of desperate cry, and people were quite happy with it. The craziest thought came across her mind: maybe she actually could. She could learn how to cook. If she could cook, maybe she could do other things, too. Suddenly the knowledge that maybe, maybe she could do it all opened her eyes, and she finally let the light in. Poor stars got a deserved break since the fault wasn’t in them. Not anymore.

into-the-unknown
Catalonia has so much to offer than just Barcelona

 

Once upon a time, in an incredibly big world, there was a lass, who discovered that fear is not an obstacle, but a step in her way. She understood it was okay to be scared as long as you don’t let it keep you out of the game. She took a breath and divided into the unknown, and it wasn’t so scary anymore. Steinback’s words echoed in her head, as she took a plane back to home, sweet, home.

‘And now that you don’t have to be perfect, you can be good.’

 

Never had any sentence hit home as much as that one back then. Without everything always planned, without a desire to be always perfect, she could be good. She could try new things even if she failed at them in the beginning, she could be silly and human, and she could be simply… happy.  In the end, nothing had ever helped her more than her fears did. All she had to do was to listen to them instead of running away, and she did listen. Finally. Then, she lived happily ever after… Wait, shh, the wrong ending! In fact… the story’s to be continued.

                                                                          ***

Hi, guys! As you probably have already guessed the story is about me. I haven’t blogged for so long because I needed some time to rediscover myself. I am back now, and I am full of new ideas, so if you still want to stay with me, I would love you to visit Paper Coffee Store and enjoy some paper coffee with me. Some changes are definitely coming, but I am still thinking about their taste, shape and meaning. Stay tuned, and May Force be with you!

 

Have a lovely day,

Jessie

 

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The Mind Zone: Why gratitude is magic

There are days when everything becomes bleak and hopeless. The rain feels like hailing, people are overly rude in the store and you’ve just destroyed your favorite pair of shoes.  You start to think “wait, my life sucks” and suddenly the chances of having a good day are gone. Sounds familiar? It used to happen to me quite often, and I couldn’t do anything, but agree to give all my joy away. At least I thought I couldn’t. Turns out I was wrong. We can train our minds just like we can our bodies, and it makes  us a force to be reckoned with in The Game of Good Days.

I can say from my own experience that gratitude is one of the easiest ways to feel instantly better about everything in our lives.  If you want to discover magic, let yourself discover gratitude! More about gratitude, how to befriend it and why it’s worth it, below! 🙂

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First of all, it’s very easy to overlook good things happening in our lives. Why? We get used to them, and negativity draws more attention. Maybe that is human nature. Seldom do they report good news on TV –  they report accidents, tragedies, and drama: they all sell more. This is why it’s not difficult to fall victim to negativity, become a serial complainer and forget  about good things in our lives. Here are 3 reasons why I think gratitude is magic…

  • It gives you a new perspective on things

Let’s say Jane Doe thought  “Oh well, I am a failure because I didn’t pass one exam and I don’t really have much money in my wallet”. She brings herself down and comes to one conclusion: “my life is terrible”. She may be – must be! – in a bad mood after all these thoughts. If Jane only reminded herself “Well, I can retake my exam, and there’s a yummy cupcake in my refrigerator. Oh and my sister’s coming soon, we’ll have so much fun!” she would be probably having a pretty good day. Why? Well,  despite some unpleasant things happening there was still something nice to look forward to, to be grateful for. See –  gratitude’s a game changer because it shifts your focus from negativity to positivity.

  • The idea behind it is not complicated

You don’t need to know any specific techniques to make it work. You just need to think about things you are grateful for. You can make a list out of them in your notebook or phone, but you could also leave them just inside your head if it works better for you. Personally, I would recommend you to do lists, though. Somehow the written word seems to hold more power to it. Plus, you won’t forget it.

  • It’s a game changer but  doesn’t cost a penny

The gratitude treatment won’t leave you broke because it doesn’t cost a penny. It just takes a little bit effort to change your thoughts and your attitude. Also, there are many free apps for daily guidance, if you need one. Wouldn’t it be good to change your thoughts by changing your perspective? My answer would be YES!

 

Now, let me mention the app I use for gratitude exercises. Yes, I called them exercises, because your mind’s also a muscle, perhaps even more demanding than your regular muscles, too.   The app is called “Bliss” and you can download it for free. It is handy for more than gratitude, though. Some of its sections are called: “Best possible future”, “Gratitude Exercises”, “Could be worse”, “Honoring people”, “Three Good things” and “Transforming Problems”. If I were to rate it, it easily gets 5 from me! 🙂 

What about you? What are your favorite ways to make your day better? Do you practice gratitude? Let me know in comments, I would be happy to hear more about you! 

See you next week in The Language Zone! Have a lovely week, guys. 🙂

Yours truly, 

Jessie

Me before you – Jojo Moyes

Hello, my dear readers! How are you doing? Today, I have read one of the loveliest books I’ve happened to come across for ages. I shouldn’t give my opinion away at the beginning of the post since it’s obviously a review, but rules were made to be broken and bent… at least sometimes. For whom have I just broken rules? Few words:  “Me before you” by  Jojo Moyes. Let the bookish journey start! I would be happy if you joined me in this one…

SHOW ME  A BIT OF YOUR WORLD

Louisa Clark is a 26-year-old English girl, whose life has been perfectly steady for years. She lives with her family in a small house, has a long-term boyfriend, and a job in a cafe, which she really likes. Aside from that, she’s an ordinary girl. She doesn’t challenge herself and asked what her dreams are she has no idea. She lives from day to day: goes to work, comes back, does home chores, watches TV, meets with her boyfriend sometimes, repeats the cycle. Everything changes, when she loses her job in the cafe and has to look for something else to pay the bills of herself and her financially struggling family. She becomes a caretaker of Will Traynor. Will is everything Lou is not. Before a terrible accident, he lived his life as fully as possible, challenging himself in  every possible occasion. Their outlooks on life are drastically different, and as their lives come into fusion, the world changes in thousand of shades…

 

QUEENS AND KINGS OF THE STORY

Main characters of the book are realistically created. Lou is an honest portrayal of a small-town girl. She doesn’t know anything aside from her hometown, and as she feels safe there, she doesn’t want to change anything. She’s relatable in her struggles and fears, and she’s by no means perfect. She has her flaws, but she is funny, quite cheerful and her loyalty to those, who she loves is truly charming. Will makes an interesting example of somebody, who lost his identity, and everything he was and was proud of. As a disabled man, he can be ironic and simply mean to those around him, but this is his way to deal with the pain of loss. After all, he is still an intelligent, witty young man, who used to be a top entrepreneur and did everything from bungee jumping to climbing Kilimanjaro. Rest of the characters are also well portrayed.  Lou’s family is a good representation of a small-town family with all their hopes and problems. Will’s parents and his nurse – Nathan – also make a nice addition to the story and give it some more depth. Summing up: I believe all characters are relatable and  not even single of them made me think “Oh no, get out of this story”.

VERDICT TIME

Taking everything into consideration, I would give this book A+. It is not 100% predictable though it’s definitely not the other way round, too. As a small-town girl, I could relate to many of Lou’s struggles, which may make me more biased than usual, but the book is truly remarkable. The writing is  pretty plain, but not in a bad way. It’s just easy to read it and get hooked. The characters are funny and very human, and the story itself is gripping. I loved it from very first page to the very last. I would definitely recommend you to read it.  The picture below is Will’s advice, and I thought it was a quite smart thing to share with all of my female readers. Will knows what he’s saying!

For all of you who love movies more… there’s a movie coming in June! I absolutely adore Emilia Clarke and Sam Claflin so I can’t wait! Actually… I decided to read a book after watching a trailer. Nevertheless, it gives away quite a lot of what’s going to happen, so if you want to read a book without spoilers… don’t watch it! If it doesn’t matter to you… watch it as soon as you can! Yes, I am writing this as I’ve seen this for 8 times just today. Obsessed? Oh, maybe. Definitely. YES! 

Thanks for reading guys! You are the best. 🙂 

Yours truly,

Jessie

Power of education

Hello guys! Today I would love to talk about power of education. You might be a bit disappointed now, because why didn’t I choose a cooler subject? Well, for me this is one of the coolest subjects out there, and I felt a need to share my thoughts. Having always been a top student, nobody would say I could hate school, but up from some point I did. Kids are just kids, and they were the reason behind it, so I was still a passionate learner. Even the most boring teachers couldn’t ruin it. Then high school happened. What a strange time it was! Never had I been more happy and miserable, everything in turns. One teacher made me hate the school very much, and as I was very afraid of her, and I would rather stay home or skip classes to go to library than show up at her classes, especially considering her subject was always my Achilles’ heel. It wasn’t a smart idea to skip so many classes, but I didn’t care at that time. To be honest, it was all my fault not hers, but everyone who was ever taught by her will admit she wasn’t a gifted teacher. Like… at all. Anyway, as I started hating school, learning was also becoming less appealing to me. I still did it, but the thrill was partly gone. The thrill of learning something new, which I loved so much. Just after I graduated, I discovered a passionate learner inside me again, and God, it feels good. It’s incredible to learn and redefine who we are, and what we know. Biology, economics, and astronomy became fascinating to me, and I didn’t really pay much attention to them in high school. It’s like exploring a whole new world now. It gives us so many opportunities, and yet we can detest it. Too often educational systems suck, that’s true. They’re incredibly dull, and designed for robots, not kids, but don’t let your inner learner die. Keep it alive, because it’s a great blessing to have access to education.

Source: Pinterest

Millions of people, especially girls, are denied a right to study, and consequently they can’t break from a  vicious circle of poverty and hopelessness. Education is powerful, so let’s not make ourselves powerless, when in fact we have the world in our hands. What’s taken for granted in my or your mind, can be only a dream somewhere else, remember.

Source: http://www.brainyquote

What about you? Do you like learning? Did you like school? Let me know!

Have a lovely day,

Jessie