book review: you are a badass

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You Are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life by Jen Sincero
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This book is a quick little read (or listen) that can give you the push you need to start being a bad-ass. Jen Sincero’s writing is familiar and humorous (not laugh out loud funny but pleasant). There are a lot of good reminders in this book to encourage you to make changes in your perception, your mind, your heart, and your life. Sincero argues that if you want something, you need to believe you can have it. In essence, believing you are worthy of a great life and that you can have whatever life you imagine, is the only way that life will ever truly come to be. Sincero also reminds you that if you aren’t following through, you don’t want it enough.

Here’s what I was reminded:
1. Imagining the life I want to live is something I don’t do enough. For me, just having a clear picture of my life can be difficult because I can imagine multiple lives for myself.
2. I am really guilty of telling myself something is a priority and then not doing it (like exercise).
3. Trusting myself is both more difficult and more important to me than I thought.

I agree with Sincero in that if we believe we can and we follow through, we will achieve our vision, but there’s a lot of work to be done. It’s great to be all good vibes and light, but to go after dreams is work, plain and simple. To make money, is work. Sincero’s “real life” examples of how the universe listened to her intentions were weak. Rather than claiming the sky opened up and answered her prayers, I’d much rather have heard the tangible reasons she was able to do the things that she did. She obviously did groundwork to build her career and connections. There’s very little mention of those though.

As much as I gained from this book, I got caught up by the foundation of her perspective: the idea that the universe and our desires want to be in accordance with each other. Maybe it’s because I’m Catholic, but God – the Universe, the spirit energy, whatever you call it – doesn’t owe us a beautiful, fantastic, amazing life. Worthiness and self-love are crucial to being confident to go new places and seek new achievements, but trusting that everything you imagine will be handed to you is a slippery slope. What if what you want and what God has planned are different? What if in the midst of striving to build your business, you lose a leg? What if you want a family, but you haven’t met the right person?

I have been struggling with the idea of purpose for the past few years so maybe it’s just me being cynical, but life happens and circumstances change constantly. Being able to identify the beautiful, amazing, fantastic things in the life you have can be even more beneficial than imagining a life you wish you were living. Gratitude and love can transform an average life into a light filled life without money and without travelling to Bali or Spain or Tokyo to write a book.

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may tbr

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march 2016 tbr

Pictured here are my March TBR novels. The only one I finished in March was Ellen Foster. I spent all of April on The English Patient, and I just finished it this morning. I also finished two audiobooks in the past week. So it’s not like I’m completely slacking on my goals. I just had to splurge and buy some I could listen to at work.

So what I really need to finish in May is Season of Migration to the North. I will also throw in Summer People by Brian Groh because I’m sort of itching for a summer book to get me through the rest of this spring. It’s been cloudy and rainy for the past few weeks. I just hope I can get through Season of  Migration because it seems like it might be pretty heavy. I’m not sure though.

I’m eight books behind schedule according to Goodreads. My goal is to read 50 books this year!

book review: maybe in another life

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Maybe in Another Life

Maybe in Another Life by Taylor Jenkins Reid

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Okay Taylor Jenkins Reid, I hear you. Did you have to drive it in so forefully? Here I am, a lost and confused millennial with student loans to pay and life decisions to make, and you waltz in and tell me that it’s all going to be alright. How dare you?

This book was crafted perfectly for someone like me. The side by side comparison of two parallel lives both freaked me out and inspired me. I think that every decision I make alters my life forever and that worries me because I get stuck trying to make the right decision. Then I end up 29, like Hannah Martin, hopping from place to place thinking I have made all the wrong decisions.

I don’t have all the answers from reading this novel, but that is kind of the point. No one knows whether their choices are the right choices. The idea is to make a choice and stick to it and surround yourself with people that love you.

It seems so damn easy! Hannah’s story shows us that it isn’t.

The thing about these two universes is that the characters learn similar lessons but in different ways. I found the character development fascinating. Both Hannah and Gabbi discovered things about themselves and their lives through different means and at different paces. It was wild.

I listened to the audible version of this book. I have to say the narrator did quite well but I thought her male characters came across as weak. I had to reimagine their voices to give them more personality.

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