Anxiety · Life

Putting Things into Perspective

So life has a way of giving you a rude wake up call .. doesn’t it?

I’m sitting here pouting over unrealized dreams and focusing on our have nots instead of our haves, when my two closest friends spent their day in the hospital: one in the operating room with a child waiting anxiously outside, and one out of the operating room waiting anxiously for her son to come out.

What a wake up call .. which forces me to stop and thank God for what I have. Because at the end of the day, my family is healthy and well and that’s all that matters.

Please keep my friends and their families in your prayers.

And focus on what really matters.

God bless.

Adulting · Life · poetry

Not Good Enough

You’re twenty one

Young, beautiful, and fun

Ready to take on the world.

With your grad hat in hand

Oh how life is grand

Future so bright, their eyes are burned.

But there’s a small whisper

Ever so faint

“You’re not quite good enough”

Which might be a restraint

Who? Me?

Oh no not me!

No! Never and you will see!

You’re twenty five

You still have that drive

Even though not there yet.

It doesn’t matter that

Dream job rejected you flat

I will persevere, you bet!

Then comes that voice

Making a louder noise

“You’re not quite good enough”

And adds to the voids

Who? Me?

You think so? Me?

No never! Can it be?

You’re thirty

Husband stops being flirty

But thats just how life is.

With a toddler in your bed

And a baby to be fed

Hard to keep a relationship as is.

Here we go again

Seems to be written with a sharpie pen

“You’re not quite good enough”

And it started to seep in just then.

Who? Me?

Yes .. it just might be

But no .. I don’t think .. yeah just maybe

You’re thirty six

And don’t know how to fix

Or how to find your lost self

Feel so lonely

Surrounded by sounds but the one I hear only:

“The sole person to blame is yourself.

See I kept telling you all along

It’s so cute how you thought you were strong

You should’ve listened!

Now deal with the dissapointment

The hurt, the failure, the abandonment

You should’ve listened!

You’re just not good enough!”

Who? Me?

Yes, you are right

That’s me

Now i will turn off the light

That i thought was ever so bright

And just be

The me

Who is just not good enough

And just be…

Book Reviews · Reading

Book Review: The Stranger by Albert Camus

Book: The Stranger by Albert Camus

#82 on the Telegraph’s 100 novels everyone should read.

Grade: C

What is the story about?

The story is about a French Algerian, Meursault, who finds himself committing a crime, shooting an Arab 5 times.

Verdict?

I didn’t love it and I didn’t hate it. After finishing the book, I don’t hold any strong feelings for the character or the story to be honest.

The book was a very short and quick read (123 pages). At first it was awkward a bit. Thought it might be from the translation but I think it’s deliberate to build up the characters awkward personality.

I don’t know why people are so bothered by his nonchalant character and lack of empathy. Honestly, maybe I just feel this way because I read much worse books on this list lol. But his attitude is real, it’s not overdone or made up. It’s real. It’s just the way the world is now (and I guess back when the book was written too).

What annoyed me the most is that there was no definite closure to the book. Was he executed or did he get his pardon? Most likely I think he got his pardon because that’s the way life is .. isn’t it? People are almost always pardoned when it’s a crime against a minority .. sad but very true.

I think the major debate and uproar about this book is Meursault’s lack of empathy or concern for his crime. Coming from a person who is over emotional about everything, I almost envy his thick skin. Of course not to the point of shooting a guy 5 times just because you’re bothered by the sun. But the thick skin that will make you resilient and can adapt to any situation thrown at you.

All in all, a short read that to me was just mediocre.


Next read:

The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco. The novel is set in a 14th century Italian monastery .. should be interesting.

Till next time ❤

Book Reviews · Reading

Germinal Book Review

Book: Germinal by Emile Zola

#83 on the Telegraph’s 100 novels everyone should read.

Grade: D

What is the story about?

The story follows Etienne, a newcomer to a mining village who quickly got frustrated by the poverty and degrading standard of living that he started a strike, in the hopes of triggering, germinating, a revolution.

Verdict?

I get it. I get why this book is considered an important piece of work but to be honest, I didn’t enjoy reading this book at all.

First of all, I don’t like politics. To me there is no right or wrong sides as it is all dirty business. Everyone is in it for themselves and their personal gains. It’s all about the money and power and what you can achieve for yourself at the expense of other people. So I think its a bunch of crap when a politician comes out and says he is fighting for the people. And my point is even proven in this book.

Etienne, who was supposed to fight for the people, felt above them because he was “educated” and they weren’t. He dreamed of glory and furthering his popularity for his personal gains. Then when what he wanted didn’t happen, he felt disgusted by his followers.

As he puts it, he calls them “wretched people” who makes him feel “repugnance and unease.” He even calls them “dumb animals” who are “primitive and lack intelligence.”  His selfishness is so annoying that when he goes down and checks the abandoned mines, every time he rejoices at a rock-fall I wished that a rock fall will crush him in.

The politics is all summed up by a ruthless but honest man in the book: “It’s all nonsense .. They’ll never get anywhere with that nonsense.”

So as you can see, I don’t really like politics.

And not just that. I love to read so I can have an hour or so after I put my four kids to sleep, in peace and quiet, and be transported into an imaginary world in literature.

I did not want to spend this quiet hour reading about a hopeless horse facing despair in his final second gasping for death before he died .. or about the starving death of a child .. or about the mutilation of a dead body.

If you want to read a political manifesto, a failed attempt of a revolution from comrades against bourgeoise, exploitation of all kind, a realistic depiction of the horrible life of miners .. then this book is for you.

If you are like me .. then I would skip it.


Next book: The Stranger by Albert Camus

Another book I know nothing about except that one of my Instagram followers said she did not enjoy it much, We’ll see how it goes.

Happy reading ❤

Book Reviews · Reading

The Three Musketeers Book Review

Book: The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas

#84 on the Telegraph’s 100 novels everyone should read.

Grade: A

What is it about?

The novel follows the adventures of D’Artagnan, a brave handsome young man, in his quest to be a musketeer. Although he couldn’t join the elite group at first, he quickly became best friends with the best musketeers out there: Amos, Porthos & Aramis (the 3 musketeers). D’Artagnan and the three musketeers then go on an unforgettable adventure.

Verdict?

This is by far the best and my most favorite book I read on this list, maybe even one of the best I read in years.

True, the book doesn’t hold profound insights or offer amazing discoveries .. but it does tell one heck of a story.

The novel is 600+ pages (my version was around 350 only because the book was big in size, as in textbook size) but you don’t even feel it. You don’t feel like it was slow at some parts or feel like there are fillers in the middle. It was like watching a movie unfold in your head while reading.

Also, I did not meet one character in this novel that I did not like. D’Artagnan is so relatable and lovable (unlike M. Julien Sorrel in the previous book I read.) You’re just rooting for him throughout the entire novel. And the three musketeers are simply amazing! Each one has a distinct character and are so well crafted by Dumas, almost felt like they were my best friends too.

I also like the villains in this story. The unwavering ambition of the Cardinal who will reach his goal at ay cost is so very real. As for Milady, savage as my son would say. I also loved that the strongest most intimidating villain in this novel was a lady. Ladies are usually drawn as petty, feeble, weak, and most times stupid. This woman on the other hand .. savage!

The only blah character in this novel was the King, which I believe was a subtle political statement of how kings are. Also making the reason of war between England and France a love affair is another strong political statement. What is war and thousands of deaths to the importance of a Duke’s love affair and a king’s pride?

15 books into this list and by far my favorite are French authors (and a Russian I have to add). Loved, loved this book! Can’t wait to get a hold of the movie and watch it with my husband, who by the way has a mustache and every time the musketeers twist theirs reminds me of him .. my own real life musketeer. ❤


Next book: Germinal by Emile Zola. Another French author. Yay can’t wait!

Adulting · Anxiety

A Mom’s Anxiety

Have you guys seen Ariana Grande’s brain scan? The one showing the PTSD she has after the Manchester Bombing? Yeah I think I should scan my brain too. No joke, seriously.

It all started 4 or 5 years ago. See I just have one cousin my age growing up. She and I were born 1 month apart. We grew up together, went to playdates and birthdays together, and went to elementary school together. Later on we did grow apart a bit as she went to a different high school and university and we both had different groups of friends.

But then we got closer again as we got older. She actually set me up with my husband as he went to the same high school as hers. We got married months apart then life and kids happened .. and we weren’t as close as before though we tried to keep in contact as much as we can.

Fast forward a couple of years later .. got the shocking news: my cousin, who just had twin babies, has leukemia.

I think I blocked those days from my brain but now that I am writing this, I’m starting to remember the day. I was living at my moms with the kids as my husband was doing his 9 months masters course abroad. I remember it was before 8 am, I just came back from school drop off when I saw my uncle walking around in circles in front of my mom’s gate. When he saw me he hurried off. I didn’t know why but now I know he didn’t want to face people. Now I know .. he was devastated.

After that I don’t remember exactly what happened, as I said I blocked a lot of things from my brain. But I do remember clearly my uncle telling my mom: after our mom (my grandmother) passed away, you’re the only person I have left in this world that can give me strength so please help me .. I don’t know what to do. From that day us three girls knew we had to be strong for our mom, just like she had to be strong for her brother.

Looking back now, there’s a lot of things I don’t remember. I don’t remember who told me she passed away. I don’t remember that date she did. I don’t remember if I was pregnant with my 3rd or not (why cant I remember?)

But I do remember her birthday, Nov 4. And I do remember her first crush and the code name she gave him. And I do remember us trying to fake injury and go to the school nurse together to get out of class.

I also remember that I did not cry in her funeral when everyone else was crying. I remember thinking: what’s wrong with me? Why am I not crying?! It took me an entire month to break down, alone in my room.

And to be honest, I still don’t think I dealt with all my emotions. Being a wife and trying to be the person your significant other needs, having a household and trying to juggle all the responsibilities, raising 4 kids to the best of your abilities .. you just cant breakdown and deal with your emotions.

This is why we moms have perfected the “I’m fine” syndrome. Just sweep everything under the rug and deal with it later because no worries .. of course I’m fine.

But then .. anxiety started to creep in.

Ten year ago, they found a polyp in my colon that was just the type that could’ve turned into cancer. I was very lucky and I did the needed follow up after it. I’m due to have a check up soon. Oh my God .. what if it came back? And already grew into cancer? It’s called the silent killer for a reason! My God .. what will happen to my kids?

I felt a bump in my breast. I’m breastfeeding but still went to have it checked. The ultrasound showed that it doesn’t look cancerous and the doctor said she would rather wait till I finish breastfeeding because it was close to a milk gland and they’d rather not prick it .. especially when it’s looking so reassuring.

But what if the Dr. is wrong? What if the ultrasound technician missed something and was wrong too? What if I had breast cancer?! Would my husband remarry and go off with his new wife forgetting our kids (just like her husband did?) My God .. what will happen to my kids?

My arm hurt the other day and I had a tingly feeling in my hand. It must be that the breast cancer spread to my lymph nodes and cause this tingling. Forget that I slept on the rocking chair holding my 10 kg baby .. no it must be cancer.

Then my shoulder hurt for a while. OMG how didn’t I see it. It’s a symptom of lung cancer, along with a recurring cough, which I did have throughout the year.  My kids .. my four beautiful kids .. what will happen to them if I die??

Think it would be best for me to go to a doctor. But if I do go to one and ask for a colonoscopy because I believe I have colon cancer, a mammograph because I just know its breast cancer, and a chest x-ray because yes I do, I think I have lung cancer too. You know what, just throw in a brain scan in there too because it wont take me much time to diagnose myself with brain cancer.

I think most probably, this doctor will refer me to a psychologist .. which yes by now I know I really should go see someone professional about this.

The first time I had a full on anxiety attack, it was 9 pm .. sitting on a rocking chair with my baby. My older 3 sleeping soundly in their beds. I was going through my phone and saw a video of a little girl who was being abducted by a predator.

My heart started beating very fast, I started sweating, I couldn’t breathe properly and felt dizzy. I put my baby down and started breathing long deep breaths. I had to talk to myself and reassure myself over and over again: it’s ok .. my kids are safe .. it’s ok .. my kids are at home with me .. sleeping in their beds.

After I calmed down, I went to each of my kids and kissed them on their foreheads. Then I saw how crazy this all was. The incident in the video was in another country, in a place that we never visited. But deep down, I’ll always have the “what if”” .. “you never know” .. “it just takes a sec” .. “it can happen to anyone”.. that I just cant seem to shake off.

So yes .. I believe I suffer from anxiety. And yes .. It is getting worse by the day. And yes .. I am very worried I might transfer my anxiety to my kids (which is making me even more anxious). And yes .. I know I know .. I really need to go see a professional and get the help I desperately need.

But for now .. I’ll take my antibiotics for my throat infection while giving my son his dose of Ventolin on the nebulizer and while I just remembered that my 3 year old needs to wear clothes from a different country tomorrow to preschool and did my daughter remember to put her homework in her school bag?

I promise one day I will get the help I need but for now .. I’ll just sweep my anxiety under the rug and smile .. and always reply I’m fine .. absolutely 100% fine.

Book Reviews · Reading

The Red and the Black Book Review (#85)

Book: The Red and the Black by Stendhal

#85 on the Telegraph’s 100 novels everyone should read.

Grade: C

What is the story about?

The story follows Monsieur Julien Sorrel and his rise from obscurity, the son of a carpenter in the countryside, to fame in the posh Paris salons.

Verdict?

I really wanted to like this book .. but to be honest .. it’s just meh.

I left the book with an impression of reading a wana-be Romeo and Juliet but not quiet getting there.

In the end I felt like everyone was in love with Julien except for me. He actually annoys me for most of the book. He was too full of himself and thought the world revolves around him.

I also didn’t like the ladies in the book. Mme de Renal was a good wife and mother until Julien came along. Then it’s like she loses her mind and forgets everything she ever believes in when she gazes in his dreamy eyes.

As for Mlle Mathilda .. Oh my. She is a spoilt girl who enjoys getting things she can’t have .. but then loses interest as soon as she actually gets them.

The only character I liked was M. de la Mole, who was wronged by almost every character in the book.

If I have read this book back in my teens when I was a hopeless romantic .. maybe I would’ve liked the story more.

But for now .. it’s just meh.


Next book: The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas.

I used to call my sisters and I the three musketeers. will be nice to know their real story..

Till next time ❤