Daring Greatly by Brené Brown

daring greatly

So I’ve recently finished reading Daring Greatly by Brené Brown and it was very eye opening. I could relate to many of the topics discussed in the book, but they were feelings that I could finally put a name too and identify.

For anyone interested in reading this book, I highly recommend it. It’s not really for kids, due to some mature matters in my opinion. But anyone that is a young adult or older could greatly benefit from reading this book. It’s also one of those books that you can read at different stages of your life and take something different out of it every time. If you read this book, and you think the concept is stupid or doesn’t relate to you, you may need to read this book more than anyone else. Seriously, it can do no harm.

For instance, this book discusses shame, and how we need to practice shame resilient strategies in order to overcome it’s sometimes crippling effects. I struggle a lot with shame, and I’ve been able to identify many issues that I’m dealing with in a not so perfect way. Now, I hope to start correcting my habits that go against my values. Shame can affect you at home, at work, in public, with friends, etc. It’s easy to be sucked into a shame driven mindset, but there are ways to get out of it.

What I took away from this book is that I need to really assess the way I take day to day situations and how I react to them. Why do I feel discomfort towards certain situations and how can build the courage I need to stand up and say or do something? I also took away that I am enough, and that I am worthy of many things.

Another main aspect of the book was vulnerability. Daring to be vulnerable, by exposing your ideas or practicing what you value, can be challenging but in the end is always rewarding. You might not always get the results or the reactions you were hoping for, but you put yourself out there and that’s half the battle.

This book made me realize that I use to embrace vulnerability and I used to take chances on whims. I swear, I used to look for excuses to be vulnerable. I had such a fierce confidence that nothing could stop me. As I grow older, it seems that this open-armed embrace has significantly been reduced to a unwillingness to be vulnerable. Where did the daring Natalie go? The one that would get up on stage and play a few of her original songs in front of an entire audience? The one that would write a story and be willing to share it with friends in order to get some good feedback?

That’s not the way I want to live. I don’t want to shy away from exposing my ideas. I don’t want to snuff out the flame that used to burn brightly. Reading this book made me find those dying embers deep down inside and hopefully, with practice, I’ll be able to give it enough strength to ignite once again.

It doesn’t come naturally, daring greatly takes time and patience. I need to stop beating myself up, and I have to give myself permission to make mistakes. I am not able to accomplish anything if I don’t try. Making mistakes means you’re trying which is what I want to do. I’m the same person I was 10 years ago, sometimes I just need to remind myself of that, this book also helped.

I’m also really glad I read this book before I become a parent, because it gives really great perspective on parenting. What is the wrong or right way to parent? Many decisions I’ll have to make will contradict with what other people do, so I have to prepare myself for scrutinizing, but I need to stand my ground and practice what I believe in.

I can’t wait to read this book again in a few years.

I give it a solid 10 out of 10.


The reading game

I’m excited to share that I’ve taken up reading again. I may have mentioned it in the past, but lately (aka last few years) it’s been hard to get back into the habit of reading.

Firstly, I was working at Chapters, which you may or may not know is a bookstore. How do you feel interested in wanting to read a book when you’re constantly being drilled information about books and what they’re about. I didn’t even bother reading the books I was recommending because I felt as if I already knew what they were about and how they ended. Obviously, I had no idea what these books were about but I kept buying them and recommending them.

Secondly, I started university. I’m in a modern languages program so you can guess correctly that I do a lot of scholarly reading for school. Who wants to pick up a book for leisure when you’re having to finish an old-ass book from the 17-18th century. They call it modern languages, but you only really read old books. I shouldn’t say that though. Some of the readings were more modern and I’m currently enrolled in a couple classes that seem like they’ll be more modern than what I’m used to. But the excuse still stands. Ain’t no way I’m reading during my free time when I can barely keep up with the readings for class.

Lastly, I had lost my passion for many things during a past relationship and it’s been both a struggle and a journey to rediscover these passions that I had convinced myself were worthless and pointless. I am proud of the progress I’ve made, and trust me there’s been plenty. However, I know that there is still a lot more healing and struggling to do. Reading is one of those.

Last year, right around the time we got our dog, Winston, I was re-reading a series from my childhood called Pendragon by D.J. Machale. It’s a 10 book series that is super amazing and I’ve read them over and over again, but it’s been about a decade now and I’m so glad I’m re-reading them. Last year though, my dog ate the third book, which evidently was the one that I was currently enjoying. This is how it went down.

Luc and I walked into our apartment to see what kind of damage our new doggo was causing this time. He had only been left alone for about an hour while we did groceries. I look around and immediately see paper everywhere. I peer down and realize that these papers are from a book, my favorite series’ book number 3. One deep breath and I put the dog on his leash and announced that I couldn’t clean this mess and took the dog for a walk. At this point, Luc has no idea which book got destroyed (it’s that unrecognizable). I let him clean the mess, because I’m sure that if I do, I’ll break down. Sure enough, when I come back inside Luc has that sad ‘I’m sorry for your loss’ face. He knew I loved those books and that I was reading that exact one. I still love my dog and I didn’t scold him, but boys oh boys was I mad. And as always, this was one of those situations where they don’t make that style of book cover anymore so if I replace it, it’ll stick out like a sore thumb on my bookshelf. So I put off buying another one and was turned off from reading for a bit.

The good news is that I found a copy of the exact book that was destroyed at a thrift shop! They only had the one book from the entire series so to quote the series: “It was the way it was meant to be.” I have finished that particular book a while back and have just started book 5 yesterday. I’ll make the review in two batches. One for books 1-5, and the other for books 5-10.

I’ve also taken the time to put a different kind of book by my bedside table. Currently it’s Brené Brown’s Daring Greatly. I’m almost done of it and it’s surprised me in more ways than I thought it would. For a book that I’ve been recommending for years, I had no idea what it was actually about and I’m so glad that I’m finally taking the time to read it. I’ll post a review on that one as soon as I finish it.

On a side note, this blog has been kind of like an outlet for me lately, I’ve poured my heart out into this thing, not really wanting anyone to read it, but more to be able to take it off my shoulders. I’ve been feeling better and stronger, but I’m kind of getting bored of my endless dissertations. Personally, I wouldn’t want to follow along with a blog that all they did was rant and talk about boring personal stuff in these long posts that seem to have no end. Thank you for letting me use this platform in my healing process. My goal is not to have someone read all of this, it’s more to let myself write freely without the fear of holding back. So expect this type of writing in the future as well as other types of posts as well.

This is a big deal.

It took a lot of guts, but I decided to start streaming again.

You may or may not know, but I have another blog @ www.simcerelylucie.wordpress.com which showcases a project I’m doing on the Sims 4 by filling every single household and build with my own personal creations. Basically scrapping any pre-exting ones provided by the base game.

I thought to myself, why don’t I stream while I build and create? I’m already playing the game for the project so what’s stopping me?

If I can be real, it was a big challenge to start streaming video games again. My last experience started well and the channel was gaining popularity like I couldn’t believe, but I was in a bad place, and it was in a past life that is still taking me a long time to move forward from. I feel like this will be one of the first steps to getting over my past issues. I had this fear of streaming because of my past relationship and how it had affected so many aspects of my life. Streaming video games was one of those things that I still associated with the dark times, so that’s why it’s been slightly difficult to feel confident about my decision to start a new channel. I don’t want to go into details because it’s in the past, but I just associated streaming to really bad times. It’s hard to get over feelings like that, you know? You can’t just wake up one morning and think “Finally, I am no longer affected by my past.” HA. Yeah right, as if it were that simple. ANYWAYS, let’s get out of that dark circle and back into the light.

It’s been almost 3 years since I’ve streamed now, and I finally feel ready because this time, I am in control of the content and I can decide what I want to do. I can control the mood of the stream and play whatever games I want. No more pressures set by others, no more restrictions and regulations. I am in control. Which is why I feel like this is going to be good for me. Part of the healing process you know? My past can affect me, but I don’t want it to confine me. I want to do the things I love and move forward.

Besides, I built myself a brand new rockin’ PC that can finally handle streaming. I don’t have a webcam yet, but I probably will by the end of the month.

Feel free to check out the channel here : https://www.twitch.tv/nattyjoinedtheclub

Disclosure: There is no set schedule as of yet. I’ll just stream when I have the time, since I’m starting my fourth year of university and I kind of have to give that priority. Since you know, it is costing me tens of thousands of dollars. Once school is done, I’ll be able to create a steady schedule that people can rely on. I swear, I’m reliable, just give me until May 2019. heh.



The Final Year

This morning was such a rush. I spent about an hour on hold with various institutes for unnecessary reasons, all because I was stressed about the fast approaching month of September.

This September marks my final “first” day of school! I’ll be entering my fourth and final year of University and I couldn’t be more excited/nervous/worried. I’m always like this during the few months leading to September. There’s just so much to do and think about.

Firstly, you need to choose your classes for the entire year. The date on which you can choose your classes is dependent on how many credits you have. Naturally, since I am a transfer student, not all of my credits for first year went through as smoothly as I would have liked so I’m always a .5 credit behind everyone else from my year. That means I need to wait 4 extra days to choose my classes whilst everyone else in my year gets first dibs on whatever class they want. Is that not a stressful situation?!? Regardless, once I did get a chance to choose, none of my required classes were full. Which is a good thing. To top it all off, I even managed to squeeze in my required Geography classes to apply for a minor in Geography, as well as an Introduction to Spanish class which will act as an elective credit. The French classes that I’ll be taking look quite hefty and intensive, but I’m sure I’ll be fine.

Secondly, you need to secure your funding. I apply for student loans each year, and since I am a low-income, independent student, I usually qualify for some good grants as well as a not so scary loan. In all, my total loan amount should be below 25,000$. So, as I always do around this time of year, I went to apply for student loans this morning. For the life of me, I just couldn’t figure out how to add a study period for 2018-2019. This resulted in my first waiting period on the phone. As I was waiting though, I figured out my problem and continued. Then, just as last year’s application, I was asked to provide information about my 2017 tax return. I should have been more prepared, but obviously I’m not a full fledged adult yet, so clearly I did not have that information handy. After about a dozen password and username resets on various accounts, including the CRA, I was out of luck and couldn’t find the information that is absolutely necessary to fill in the application. Devastated, I wondered why I hadn’t remembered that they needed this info. Cue the second unnecessary waiting period on the phone. How could I have forgotten about that info, they asked for it last time too. Little old me then remembered that I actually saved an e-copy of my tax return file on my laptop! GO ME! Definitely gained some Adulting Exp. for that one. I hung up the phone which was still on hold after 30 minutes, found my info and filled and submitted my application! I was so relieved when it said that everything went through successfully.

It’s just so frustrating, because the whole time I can’t stop thinking that I’m making a mistake, or that maybe I’m on the wrong website, or maybe I’ve missed a due date! It’s just a worry storm that rages on for a couple hours until everything is finalized. That funding is so important to me, because it allows me to actually live without being too dependent on work. My job is great and they give me all the hours I need, it’s just that  I can’t overwork myself. I need to focus on my studies.

Just last year, during my first semester, I was a full-time student working 30 hours a week. I managed to maintain my A average, but holy Hannah that was hard. The next semester I made the executive decision to work a little less at 25 hours a week. I’m hoping to continue that type of schedule for this year too, because I’m always the type of person who bites off way more than they can chew. If I start my semester at a good strong pace, I should be able to finish at the same pace as well.

I’m excited for September to start, since I find that the school year makes time fly by! I’m just so busy with work and school that weeks turn to months and suddenly I’m in the next semester with just weeks to go! This one will be especially special though, since I’m graduating! My mom’s already been on my butt asking about when the graduation is. Meanwhile I’m here and I haven’t even chosen my classes yet.

But here we are with a finished student loan application and enrolled in all required classes. As Shakespeare once wrote : All’s well that ends well.

A Life Lesson

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The Sims 4 is not just a video game. I believe it can teach us all very valuable life skills. So listen closely kids. Tyler here, was doing laundry and though he did notice the “Clean Lint Tray” option, he ignored it. That’s where things went wrong. Suddenly, Tyler found himself on fire and almost died. This is why you should always clean your lint trays. Though you may not spontaneously catch fire, a fire could very likely happen! Be safe and clean your lint trays. Thank you, The Sims 4, for a very valuable life lesson.

I’m homesick.

It’s a feeling you have during different times of your life.

The first times would have probably been during your childhood, going to a sleepover for the first time. A strange bed in a strange house, eating some strange food, it can be a little overwhelming. But usually, you get the hang of it, and the more and more you go on sleepovers, the more and more you love them.

Then you get a little older, teenage years, and your school plans a trip. Some kind of school trip that takes a few hours to get there and you’ll be away from home for a few days. Maybe it’s some kind of camp, or leadership group, doesn’t matter. The fact is, this is a long sleepover, but eventually you’ll just start seeing it as a vacation.

Then you graduate. Maybe you move out, and maybe that new place is near. Or maybe that new place is really far. In my case, my new place was really really far. Like I’m talking ’24 hour drive away’ far. It was great at first, minus the few setbacks that didn’t make it so great. But now I’m feeling homesick.

I think it was the freedom that made it great. The life lessons, the adulting, the mistakes, the memories. And you know, it’s okay to love being away from home. It’s okay to sit there and think ‘I wouldn’t move back home in a million years’. That is definitely NOT the case for me. Don’t get me wrong, if I hadn’t moved here, there are a lot of amazing things in my life that I wouldn’t have.

The truth is, I’m about to start my 4th summer away from home, and I miss home so much. I miss my family, my friends, the beach, the views, the weather, the everything. I never ever thought that I’d be the one who’d be so impatient to move back home.

I’ve always been family oriented, and I thought this distance wouldn’t really bother me, but it does. I miss my mom and my dad. And I miss having family suppers with my aunts, uncles, and grandparents. I miss my sister, and my cousin. I miss all of them. This is just another summer away from home and this homesickness grows stronger with it.

It’s not like I’m able to just take the summer off and go join all of them, eating lobster at the cottage. I need to pay my bills, which means I need to work, which means I don’t really get time off. But that’s okay. I start my 4th year of university this September, which means the end is near. I might not move back right away, I might stay a little while and work, to get some money in the bank. But from now until two years from now I’ll probably move back home, or be in the process.

And who can blame me? I’m from Prince Edward Island, CA. Look it up, it’s gorgeous.

I’m a tough cookie though, so I’ll be okay. Besides, I’m a happy human living a happy life. I just sometimes wish I was a little closer to my family.