ON MY TBR (TO-BE-READ) LIST RIGHT NOW

For some time now I’ve been kind of half-hearted into the reading game and I’ve read mostly mediocre books. You know, the easy, boring and badly done crime/thrillers? I haven’t had the mind capacity, or the zeal, to read anything else, due to depression.

There are four books that I can recall having enjoyed reading in the past two years, and that’s quite a sad statistic. This year my head is clearer, *does happy dance*, and I already have a few books on my TBR list that I thought I’d share with you. (If you have any recommendations, let me know in the comments!)

📖 Life After Life by Kate Atkinson. This book has been standing on my shelf forever, (next to The Goldfinch that I’ve just started reading!!), and it’s about time it gets read. I’ve seen reviews saying it’s overhyped, but I want to see for myself.

📖 The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafón. Actually the whole The Cemetery of Forgotten Books series, (which just came in the mail the other day). I’ve read such good reviews of these and I can’t wait.

📖 Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys. I am very much intrigued by the synopsis of this. I love historical fiction and I know this will be a good one.

📖 The Rabbit Hunter by Lars Kepler. I’m on the fence about this one. I might read it or I might start and not finish it. I’ve read the previous books, so I feel like I should finish the series, but they’ve become a bit predictable and I’m tired of them describing every female character with having “perky, well-shaped breasts”… You feel me?

📖 All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr. Also historical fiction! I saw this was the Goodreads Choice Winner of 2014 and supposedly it has beautiful prose.

📖 The Killer Across the Table by John E. Douglas and Mark Olshaker. Yes, I am interested in the psychology of serial killers.

📖 The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath. I’m ashamed to say I haven’t read too much of Sylvia Plath’s work, but I’m very intrigued to get to read her journals. (Sorry for the intrusion, Sylvia).

I also thought I would try something new and maybe do some short reviews of these books when read, if that would be interesting?

Do you have any more suggestions for my TBR list? I’m short on 7 books after these to reach my goal for this year (20 books), so I’d love to know!

x Almond

VALENTINE’S DAY: 9 COMPLIMENTS FOR MYSELF

Good day to you, precious souls! What are you up to today? I just woke up from a nap in my lazy chair. I haven’t been sleeping too well these past few days, so I’ve had to a nap a bit. But who doesn’t enjoy a good nap?

It’s Valentine’s Day today, and in that occasion I thought I’d make a self-love kind of post where I write myself 9 compliments. I’m not big on self-love unfortunately, so whew, this was a tough one, but let’s see!

☁️ You are so strong for making it this far! Start giving yourself some credit.

☁️ You actually do take some good photos now and then. (This post isn’t much to show for it though, haha). Keep practising, keep shooting. Don’t be afraid to keep on trying in fear of failing, it’s by failing and making mistakes that you learn and evolve. Take some risks!

☁️ You are curious in nature, you love learning and you are open to new perspectives, (to an extent).

☁️ You have a good fashion sense, in my honest opinion.

☁️ You are respectful to everyone you meet, and for those who you let get close to you, you are very caring and empathetic. You would do a lot to see them happy and content, even though you might have enough with yourself at times.

☁️ You know what you care for and what you don’t, you don’t waste time.

☁️ Even though you are very self-conscious, you’re still yourself, and I think that’s a real accomplishment.

☁️ You get very passionate about things, (on the border of obsessive, but that’s a story for another day).

☁️ You are reflected and you think a lot. You don’t settle for the first and the best, you take your time to make things make sense to you.

Well, that was my 9 for the day. When I started listing them I honestly didn’t think I was even going to make it to 5, but 9(!). Whew. I have to admit, though, that most of these compliments are things others have said about me and that I’m not sure I believe in, hmm.

Nonetheless, this was a really good challenge for my self-esteem, I needed this. I highly recommend doing this exercise, no matter how hard it seems, you might find some gems hidden inside you.

What is one compliment you would give yourself today?

x Almond

SLEEP TIGHT, LITTLE ONE

Yesterday I had to say goodbye to one of my fur babies. Kaspar was not looking well at all when I woke up in the morning. He lay curled up in a corner and was breathing heavily. I picked him up and his stomach was really bloated. He tried walking, but fell over and let out a tiny scream. I screamed as well. He was clearly in a lot of pain.

I got an appointment at the vet and drove down there. The vet examined him and found a tumour in his abdomen. He had to be put down, my precious baby. I felt so helpless. He had shown no signs of being in pain before that morning. He was my little one and there was nothing I could do to help him. He fell asleep on my chest, my fingers stroking over his tiny body. Isn’t it funny how you can come to love a mere 125 grams of pure fluff so much?

I have my other fur babies, luckily. They know something has been up and have been trying to distract me with more playtime than usual and comforting snuggles. They’re good like that.

x Almond

RAMBLING, IDENTITY CRISIS, WORDS OF WISDOM

Hello guys! I’m sorry for the week-long absence, I guess I just needed a few days to myself. I’m kind of having an identity crisis, because I’m in a rut when it comes to bujoing/journaling. It makes me feel like such a failure that the one of the things I consider to be the biggest parts of my personality doesn’t spark the same joy at the moment. I thought it was part of “the real deal”, but now I’m lost. Have I been faking it? Is there any part of me that is truly “me”? Am I even real? I’m spiralling down in those thoughts. But over to something that is a bit more fun…

I bought a Switch! Impulse? Comfort-buy? Reward? Search for a new piece of identity? Ooo, shiny? I don’t know, maybe all of the above? What I do know is that I don’t regret it. I’ve always wanted to be a “gamer” in a small sense of the word, (or wanted? I mean I loved playing Narnia on my friends Playstation when we were kids), but I never dared.

Thoughts like “you’re not good enough”, “people will laugh at you”, “others have been doing this longer than you, who do you think you are” have been central in my mind. Not only when it comes to this, but with other activities – like drawing.

But just because someone may be better at you at something doesn’t mean that you can’t do it, it doesn’t mean you should compromise on your own search of joy and happiness!

Well, that was it for todays rambling :’) I’m going to take out my Switch now and play for a couple of hours. I bought Zelda – Breath of the Wild and it’s such a beautiful game. I’m trying to enjoy it as much as possible. Have you tried it? Do you have a Switch? Are there any games you recommend?

x Almond

WHAT IS MY IDENTITY?

I seldom feel like a whole person, just bits and pieces of whatever pass through my life that I pick up on. I try to fill a hole, where my identity should have been, by copying traits of others that I find appealing. I think most people copy others to some extent, but as an extra addition to their identity, whereas I copy to even have a base.

I have been blogging before, but I switched platforms to WordPress, trying to be something else, to maybe find myself here. Like, I saw this other blog that had the same design as I’m using now and that was really a big part of the reason why I switched.

Her blog was so neat and she seemed so content and stable in her own being, so I chose the same design in hope of becoming that as well. That I would immediately have the same cute manners, be this precious human being, as my idea of her was. Sad isn’t it, to be so uncertain in yourself? Well, hmm. I have more examples, but this would be a very long post if I was to name them all.

I do this to try and fill my identity in hope to find the mix of traits, manners and thoughts that will make people love me, want to keep me, need me. I mold into others, I lose the little sense of self that I have, and when people I get close to leave I’m left with nothing. I have to start all over again.

Being like this makes me feel like a lesser human being, but I’ve managed to figure out one trait that definitely is part of the real me: my care for animals. That has always been with me. At least that’s a good base.

x Almond

THOUGHTS ON A WEDNESDAY

💭 Will I ever get better from my personality disorders or do I just have to accept that things will be like this? How can I maximise my quality of life and get the most out of it while living reduced with these symptoms?

💭 It feels like Spring. It’s a fresher air outside, it feels newer – like air revived. Maybe it’ll revive me in a sense.

💭 I’ve decided to stop using snus! No more nicotine for me. (Well, after the 10 boxes I just got in the mail yesterday, if I don’t manage to sell them to someone..) I’m way too addicted to it, and I’m tired of it. Good bye.

💭 I am beyond grateful for my four-legged babies. They always manage to brighten up my day no matter what. I’m so glad that Kalypso has settled in so nicely.

💭 “I will not say: do not weep; for not all tears are an evil” – J. R. R Tolkien.

Do you see Khaleesi mid-attack next to Koda, haha?

💭 I read this critique of a documentary that just came out here in Norway about a photographer named Lene Marie Fossen, who suffered from anorexia. It said “we are critical to the fact that the illness is portrayed as artistic and beautiful. We who work with this know that art and eating disorders don’t belong together”.

The first thing I reacted to was that it wasn’t her eating disorder that was portrayed as artistic and beautiful, it was the woman herself. Her courage and strength to create meaningful and outstanding photos despite her deadly illness.

The second thing: aren’t people with eating disorders allowed to be artists? Should they hide away in a dark corner where we don’t see them, stripped down to “eating disordered” being their whole identity? Lene Marie kept repeating in the film “first and foremost I am a photographer”. She was adamant she wasn’t an anorexic photographer, but a photographer who had anorexia. And that takes strength in a life consuming illness.

x Almond

I KNOW AND I DON’T KNOW

It’s been two hours since I got home and my legs are finally starting to calm down. My mind is a different story, it’s still racing one hundred miles a minute. For what? Grocery shopping. How can such a normal thing set me off that much?

It’s the people. It’s what I perceive as judging looks and mocking smiles; distaste and critique of my being. I’m certain that my perceptions are real, but I also know it’s a symptom of my AvPD. I know – and I don’t know – that it’s an overreaction and (hopefully) not true, so why am I still feeling this way? Shouldn’t me being aware of it have burst the bubble?

Over to something more related to the photos… I wanted to show you my spread from week 2. It turned out to be one spread due to my flu and being chained to the couch, and Thursday to Sunday was more like a summary. This week I’m more in the game again, and I’m writing every day. It feels good to be back on track.

The smell of lasagna has filled the room now, which means it’s dinner time. I hope everyone is having a good weekend! Tomorrow I’m going to the movies with my mom and my aunt to finish it off. What have you been doing this weekend?

x Almond

THE DISCOVERY OF BIRDS AND STUDYING

Kalypso discovered birds for the first time yesterday, (or it was the first time she gave them any consideration), and she wasn’t quiet about it. Some “mreow, mreows” and that little “ka, ka”-like sound came out as the two magpies jumped from branch to branch in the apple tree in our garden. She went from window to window trying to keep up.

She’s still an indoor kitten, but it’s fun to see her get more curious about the world outside. I’m going to need to get her a proper harness so she can explore before I let her outside on her own when Spring arrives.

. . .

My cold is a lot better now. For three days all I could do was lie on the couch, even sitting was too exhausting. Journaling was out of the question, so my goal to do it every day of January kind of failed, and I’m behind on this weeks bulleting, which makes me feel awful. Writing and making collages gives me so much, so whenever I have a break I feel like I’ve lost something.

I had plans to dust off my math book and get started with studying again after my too long Christmas break today, but I had a doctors appointment and went grocery shopping afterwards and that was enough for me. That was enough exposure for one day.

I have this fear of studying. Or a fear of failure, of not being good enough. It’s paralysing. Maybe tomorrow will be a good day to try and challenge it again.

x Almond

A RATHER SLOW MORNING

Today I’m having a slow and calm morning. The clock has already stretched to 1:30PM, so it’s technically mid day, but it feels a lot like morning still – I’m still in my one piece snuggle suit. Next to me is my owl cup, Evie, filled with hot broth. My second one for the day.

Yesterday I was dead beat, my whole body hurt. I have a cold that has really broken out, and today is unfortunately not any better. What makes it even worse is that I was supposed to visit my sister today, (which I was really looking forward to), but as I’m not in shape (at all), we postponed. Hopefully I’ll see her next weekend!

Today isn’t all bad, though, as my mom and I have 6 episodes of Masterchef Australia saved up! All those episodes are exactly what I need on a day like this and I wouldn’t ask for more. (Except for, maybe, some ice cream and a less runny nose).

I feel so sorry for myself when I’m sick, it’s stupid, so I’m about to head for bed for a nap. I know this wasn’t much of a post, but I wanted to do an update so it wouldn’t be all bare on here, and to give an explanation as to why there might not be a post for the next couple of days. *Crossing my fingers for a quick recovery*.

x Almond

OLD JOURNAL SPREAD AND MIND CRAMPS

My head has been a mess these past few days. A complete, utter mess. But it’s also so empty. Intense thoughts filled with the whole spectrum of emotions fly by at the speed of light. There’s so much going on one second, and it’s gone the next. From everything to nothing. Over and over. I’m not sure how to describe it other than, maybe, mind cramps?

I can’t grasp everything that passes through my head and it makes me feel at a loss and that’s where the emptiness comes in. It puts me off not even being able to make out what’s going on in my own mind most of the time. Like I’m not good enough somehow. To identify my emotions have never been my strong suit, though. It’s a chaos and it’s tiring. I’m left feeling lost.

So that was the rant-of-the-day, but anyways… I have set up my bullet journal for the new year and started on January, but I have some spreads from last year that I want to show you first. Like this weekly reflection from week 49.

It’s not my best work visually, but it did serve its purpose. I usually have some standard questions I answer in my weekly reflections, like what I can improve the next week, what worked and what did not work, what I was grateful for, what I can forgive myself for and let go of, and so on. I plan on getting back to them this year as I find they can be quite productive.

Above you can see the printer I use for photos in my journal. It’s the Kodak Photo Printer Mini 2. I tried the HP Sprocket for a little while, but found that the images turned out really blue and I spent 2-3 sheets of “film” on trying to get them edited perfectly, and I felt like that was too much of a waste. This one has better colour rendering (in my opinion).

I actually have some plans and goals for my (bullet) journaling in 2020 which I thought I’d share in another post, (because this post is already too long, haha). But to finish off, what is your goal with your (bullet) journal this year? Is there something you’d like to get better at or something you want it to help you with? And how do you plan on accomplishing this? I’d love to hear your thoughts!

x Almond