Quote of the Week

It is good to love many things, for therein lies the true strength, and whosoever loves much performs much, and can accomplish much, and what is done in love is well done.

~Vincent Van Gogh

Top 5 Tuesday – Drinks for Reading

Happy Tuesday, Homo sapiens! Welcome to this week’s Top 5 Tuesday!

Top 5 Tuesday was originally hosted by Shanah at Bionic Bookworm and now found its home with Meeghan at Meeghan Reads.

Drinks for Reading

Coffee serves its own purpose while reading so this definitely is my top choice while reading. And I want my coffee black, no sugar (with the exception of Vietnamese egg coffee). Hot chocolate with cream and marshmallows is my preferred drink while reading before going to sleep. A cold can or bottle beer is my choice of drink when I read the works of Milan Kundera, Jose Saramago or Sam Harris and the like. Thai iced tea is another choice whenever available. And lastly, human blood. Oh no, wait! I was just kidding. Ha! I mean, bubble tea.

Let’s compare notes, what are your favorite reading sips?

Quote of the Week

Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don’t resist them; that only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like.

~Lao Tzu

Top 5 Tuesday – Snacks for Reading

Happy Tuesday, Homo sapiens! Welcome to this week’s Top 5 Tuesday!

Top 5 Tuesday was originally hosted by Shanah at Bionic Bookworm and now found its home with Meeghan at Meeghan Reads.

Snacks for Reading

I usually don’t eat while reading because it gets messy, whether I’m using my Kindle or reading paperbacks, I know you know what I mean. Haha! Plus I really get easily distracted with food regardless of what I’m doing. So, yeah! However, I usually snack while reading when I travel. Why? No particular reason, I just do. So today, let me share with you five of my favorite snacks while reading.

I love pumpkin pie and the best I’ve tasted was from a small, cozy cafe in Tbilisi. I also enjoy salty popcorn sometimes and cookies whenever available. When I’m really hungry but I want to read, I opt for pizza, the lesser toppings, the better. And lastly, french fries!

What are your favorite reading snacks?

Quote of the Week

The best index to a person’s character is how he treats people who can’t do him any good, and how he treats people who can’t fight back.

~Abigail Van Buren

Quote of the Week

It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.

~Aristotle

Quote of the Week

When you get to the end of all the light you know and it’s time to step into the darkness of the unknown, faith is knowing that one of two things shall happen: either you will be given something solid to stand on, or you will be taught how to fly.

~Edward Teller

Quote of the Week

Most times, even if giving your heart away ends in heartbreak, the risk was still worth it. Sometimes, that risk gives you little miracles. and sometimes, that risk gives you life lessons that allow you to grow and learn more about yourself.

~Max Monroe

Quote of the Week

There are two ways to be fooled. One is to believe what isn’t true. The other is to refuse to believe what is true.

~Søren Kierkegaard

Quote of the Week

You’re nobody’s doorway but your own and the only one who gets to tell you how your story ends is you.

~Seanan McGuire

Quote of the Week

Above all, don’t lie to yourself. The man who lies to himself and listens to his own lie comes to a point that he cannot distinguish the truth within him, or around him, and so loses all respect for himself and for others. And having no respect he ceases to love.

~Fyodor Dostoevsky

Quote of the Week

There are three things you can do with your life: You can waste it, you can spend it, or you can invest it. The best use of your life is to invest it in something that will last longer than your time on Earth.

~Rick Warren

Quote of the Week

When people don’t express themselves, they die one piece at a time.

~Laurie Halse Anderson

Quote of the Week

Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage.

~Lao Tzu

Happy Valentine’s Day! (Revised)

Love, perhaps, is the most wonderful thing in the world. Love is what makes us smile, it’s what makes us sing or dance. Love is what makes us human. And love makes life worth living.

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Valentine’s Day is that time of the year where the world is split into two: first, those with partners or are in a relationship and second, the singles. (Which group are you in this year?) We were in either group at certain points in our lives, and in which group were we happier, each of us has our answers.

Well, whether you’re single or in a relationship, Valentine’s Day tends to get the better or worse of people. That secret yearning in us to be loved. And what best way to celebrate such concept but to create a holiday that is best represented by worldwide commercialism.

So the best girl gets the flowers, the sweetest chocolates, the most memorable candle-lit dinner dates, and if she’s lucky, the ring! We are all suckers for romance and for the very few men who really look forward to this day to be able to express their love, oh, you rock! But then again, love is much deeper than that. We can always express our love at any given day, at any given moment. Why limit ourselves expressing our love for just one day out of 365?  Why not make everyday Valentine’s day?

Moreover, this commercialism has gone way too far that it makes us feel incomplete to be on our own on Hearts Day. When we don’t have to feel that way, we shouldn’t feel that way. Singles don’t have to be miserable on V-Day. There are a lot of things to enjoy and that includes being single.

Anyhow, I’m not sure exactly why I’m writing this today so I better stop. Love is such a crazy thing, I guess. It’s a beautiful, crazy thing. It’s magical. It’s complex. It’s different for everyone. But whether you’re single or in a relationship, I hope you feel loved.

Happy Hearts Day, homo sapiens! ❤️

Quote of the Week

Love is an untamed force. When we try to control it, it destroys us. When we try to imprison it, it enslaves us. When we try to understand it, it leaves us feeling lost and confused.

~Paulo Coelho

Quote of the Week

Not everything is supposed to become something beautiful and long-lasting. Sometimes people come into your life to show you what is right and what is wrong, to show you who you can be, to teach you to love yourself, to make you feel better for a little while, or to just be someone to walk with at night and spill your life to. Not everyone is going to stay forever, and we still have to keep on going and thank them for what they’ve given us.

~Emery Allen

Quote of the Week

Learn to light a candle in the darkest moments of someone’s life. Be the light that helps others see; it is what gives life its deepest significance.

Roy. T. Bennett

On Friends & Friendships (Revised)

imagesSocial media has made it possible for people to become friends to anyone around the globe merely through the click of a button. I think it’s generally a good thing. My need for friendship isn’t too much but once I decide to build one, I intend to make it genuine as much as I can. Somehow, maintaining friendships can be hard work but so worth it at the same time because our friendships are one of the most influential and essential parts of our life. Recently, I’ve been pondering quite often about my friends and friendships. The friends worth keeping and friendships worth saving. The fact of the matter is that, my social circle is quite noticeably shrinking. I don’t see that as a bad thing. I actually think I quite understand now what they mean with “less is more” and “quality over quantity.”

images (1)I first arrived in Kuwait on the 1st of March, 2009. I have a variety of friends back home but very few real ones. They’re some of the best people I’ve met. The kind of friends for keeps. A few weeks since, my friendships have changed a lot. I’ve met different people of different nationalities. Most of the friendships/connections built were situational. Most needed context to make sense. Some stayed longer while some had a shorter shelf life. I still do wish them well now but I don’t intend to reconnect. Luckily, I also get to meet a few that didn’t need any context but exist in any given situation, people who are always there during my ups and downs, stayed during my best and my worst days, the type that lasts.

Several times, I let go of a few friends while a few others let go of me as well. I didn’t think I was being selfish to let go of them just like that but mind you, it wasn’t always easy to put an end to it. However, given the world we live in and the values instilled in us, I knew it was necessary.download

A couple of years afterwards, two of my closest friends abruptly ended our friendship. I first received a message from one of them telling me never to call her again and a few days later, I received pretty much the same message from the other. Sure I’ve made mistakes and dealt with things the wrong way. We had misunderstandings at times which is pretty normal in any relationships but why they suddenly wanted to end the friendship, until now, I still don’t fully understand.

Your peace is more important than driving yourself crazy trying to understand why something happened the way it did.

My heart ached. It really did. Breaking up with friends is just as painful as any other relationship break-ups there is. So after months of failing to know how I’ve wronged them, I stopped. I thought maybe knowing the answer may not satisfy me just the same and I don’t want to drive myself crazy thinking why. I just finally allowed the hurt to help me grow. It was sure a painful way to end an almost decade of friendship but I’ve decided to just let go and move on. I still sometimes think of them though and wonder, did they give up easily on me? Or did I give up easily on them?

downloadI love my friends, really, I do. Friends are one of the most beautiful gifts of being alive. They help shape our lives one way or the other. They cheer, support, help and see the best in each other. Friendships that have depth and true understanding is one among the essential elements of a blessed life. And I feel blessed to have a handful of them. Interestingly enough, some of us drifted apart at some point for some reasons, both inevitable and necessary, but later found each other again and our bonds became stronger. Sadly though, not all our friends give us that good effect. Some lie. Some betray. Then it’s difficult to rebuild trust and loyalty once again. So sometimes it’s better that they end. And a lot of my friendships are meeting its end nowadays.

Whichever and however way we choose our friends/friendships, I think it’s vital that we offer a meaning in each other’s lives. It’s nice to think that we fulfill them and they fulfill us. My friends mean something to me in different ways and play different roles in my life. I do appreciate, value and respect each one of them. Be that as it may, I personally don’t find any reason to work on a friendship that leaves me unfulfilled. More so, friendships out of habit or obligation. That’s just not fair and friendships are voluntary so I think there’s nothing wrong in ending friendships that doesn’t suit you in a positive way anymore.

5e833fe87a8c01614aff165d433a3c29Sometimes, too, we just outgrow our friends. At some point we realize that they’re not good for us because they bring us down or whittle at our confidence every so often. Some friendships evolve with us, but some do not. I will not apologize for evolving closer to my true self and evolving past their comfort zones. We change as we age and grow. So I think it’s just right to let go of such friendships and accept that it’s over.

Other times, too, we have this friend who always swings the conversation back towards him/herself and has no interest in what we have to say. I’ve met a number of them kind and I just avoid them as much as I could and luckily, they themselves stop talking to me, too.

b9cf3e4b311dd4d5e5f3366375bf2c20Moreover, there’s betrayal. As it is with all kinds of relationships, nothing could murder friendships faster than betrayal. It hurts a lot to be betrayed. It hurts all the more to end a friendship because of betrayal. I no longer see any point of saving a friendship when one betrays the other.

From time to time, psychological or emotional issues also become reasons why friends drift apart. It’s important that we maintain everything balanced in our friendships. Support for each other. Will to help in making each other better. Give and take. Trust. Unfortunately, there are times when these factors shift its balance and no longer serve one or the other in a worthwhile, beneficial, balanced or positive way. One typical example is a change in fortune among friends. The manner how we deal with situations like this isn’t always the same, thus, causing friends to drift apart. Where envy or jealousy didn’t exist before starts to gradually emerge. It’s nice to have friends who are always there when we are at our worst but I just don’t get them when they leave us in times when our fate changes for the better. (More of this on another entry.) So I suppose, it all boils down to who we pick as friends in the first place.

I’ve also met a lot of people who just befriend you because they need you. We don’t usually see this right away at the beginning of friendships but eventually, it shows. They take, take, take. And you give, give, give. Then they leave you. They build it when they need it, and break it when they don’t.

Here’s the thing, it is important to always try our best to see things from different perspectives before we make rush judgments whether to still keep these friends or completely cut our ties with them. After all, we all make mistakes. Some of us (myself included) don’t like to rely on anyone for anything to get us through life’s hardships but perhaps there’s nothing wrong in giving the friendship a second chance, be a bit forgiving and understanding maybe, because throwing away a friendship can’t be that easy. Every kind of friendship adds something to our lives, good or bad, it’s just up to us how we are going to let it affect us.

Quote of the Week

You can get away from envy by enjoying the pleasures that come your way, by doing the work that you have to do, and by avoiding comparisons with those whom you imagine, perhaps quite falsely, to be more fortunate than yourself.

~Bertrand Russell

Quote of the Week

There are wounds that never show on the body that are deeper and more hurtful than anything that bleeds.

Laurell K. Hamilton

Quote of the Week

No matter what, nobody can take away the dances you’ve already had.

~Gabriel Garcia Marquez

Quote of the Week

How satisfying it is to leave a mark on a blank surface. To make a map of my movement – no matter how temporary.

~Craig Thompson

Quote of the Week

Never let your sense of morals prevent you from doing what is right.

~Isaac Asimov

Quote of the Week

Perhaps home is not a place but simply an irrevocable condition.

~James Baldwin

Quote of the Week

The most wasted of all days is one without laughter.

~Nicolas Chamfort

Quote of the Week

The beginning of love is the will to let those we love be perfectly themselves, the resolution not to twist them to fit our own image. If in loving them we do not love what they are, but only their potential likeness to ourselves, then we do not love them: we only love the reflection of ourselves we find in them.

~Thomas Merton

Quote of the Week

But who can say what’s best? That’s why you need to grab whatever chance you have of happiness where you find it, and not worry about other people too much. My experience tells me that we get no more than two or three such chances in a life time, and if we let them go, we regret it for the rest of our lives.

~Haruki Murakami

Quote of the Week

To lose balance sometimes for love is part of living a balanced life.

~Elizabeth Gilbert

Quote of the Week

You know how they say you only hurt the ones you love? Well, it works both ways.

~Chuck Palahniuk

Quote of the Week

Make sure, as often as possible, you are doing something you’d be happy to die doing.

~Matt Haig

Quote of the Week

“It’s true: lives do drift apart for no obvious reason. We’re all busy people,we can’t spend our time simply trying to stay in touch. The test of a friendship is if it can weather these inevitable gaps.”

~William Boyd

Quote of the Week

Life consists of two days, one for you one against you. So when it’s for you don’t be proud or reckless, and when it’s against you be patient, for both days are test for you.

~Hazrat Ali Ibn Abu-Talib A.S

Quote of the Week

Better never means better for everyone… It always means worse, for some.

~Margaret Atwood

Quote of the Week

I keep telling you the future isn’t set in stone. It’s not all decided yet. The future is just what’s down the road we decided to walk on today. You can change roads anytime. And that changes where you end up.

~Catherine Ryan Hyde

Quote of the Week

Keep your mind open. The meaning of things lies in how people perceive them. The same thing could mean different meanings to the same people at different times.

~Roy T. Bennett

Quote of the Week

Success is getting what you want, happiness is wanting what you get.

~W.P. Kinsella

Quote of the Week

Better a cruel truth than a comfortable delusion.

~Edward Abbey

Quote of the Week

Love and loss,” he said, “are like a ship and the sea. They rise together. The more we love, the more we have to lose. But the only way to avoid loss is to avoid love. And what a sad world that would be.

~V.E. Schwab

Quote of the Week

Time is a gift, given to you, given to give you the time you need, the time you need to have the time of your life.

~Norton Juster

A Six-Word Story

Love yourself for everything you are.

Quote of the Week

Scars have the strange power to remind us that our past is real.

~Cormac McCarthy

Quote of the Week

Death’s greatest power is not that it can make people die, but that it can make people want to stop living.

~Fredrik Backman

Quote of the Week

The soul becomes dyed with the color of its thoughts.

~Marcus Aurelius

Quote of the Week

You do not write your life with words…You write it with actions. What you think is not important. It is only important what you do.

~Patrick Ness

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