america

The purpose of having dreams

Blah, 2016 did not start well for me. I mean, all the problems I’ve had so far have been first world problems, but since I live in a”first world” I tend to consider them to be actual problems.

I’ve been stuck deliberating at what point will I give up on my dreams. When will I just say, you know what, I’m done. I am done trying. My dreams of becoming a published author (Idk, self-published on Amazon just doesn’t have that ring to it), dreams of becoming a good illustrator (not great, just good- even solid is ok with me), dreams of having all the stories I keep having in my head read by hundreds of people.

They are ambitious dreams to have, I realize that. Not many are fortunate enough to ever get loyal readers and most of their books, their stories end up in a folder called “my book” on their computer where it sits as a sore reminder of unfulfilled dreams.

However, I realized this the other day as I was jotting down the first few lines in my new diary (it’s really pretty, a little old school but I don’t mind it)- I realized that succumbing to reality is why you should never let go of your dreams. Perhaps you should modify them, change them, alter them, make a few alterations here and there but no one should ever give up on their dreams. Because if you give up on your dreams, you let reality win- and reality can be so dull, so cruel and so factual. And I refuse to ever be dull or cruel or factual. Ever.

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Inertia and the factor of external force

Lately I’ve been having one of those “what life truly is all about” periods in my life. Don’t ask me why, I’m not even on my period or anything, but I have just been highly contemplative and reading such hard-core philosophical literature that gives me a nasty headache. One of the concepts that shows up a lot is inertia.

Inertia, by definition is a tendency to do nothing or to remain unchanged. But I prefer the definition they have for it in physics (thanks Galileo and Newton) which states that inertia is a property of matter by which it continues in its existing state of rest or uniform motion in a straight line, unless that state is changed by an external force.

I’m quite the B student at physics (I mean, I think I kind of get Einstein’s E=mc2 formula), but I was compelled to the physics definition of inertia better because it highlights the external factor force. It’s not simply a feeling of not having the energy or desire that is needed to move.

Everything is incrementally changing around us whether we like it or not (state changed by an external force) until one day we notice the big changes. Therefore, the fact the someone/somebody/something can do nothing/ remain unchanged seems less realistic- for want of a better word. There is an external force- perhaps other people, perhaps an event that alters the mentality and gets people to change/think/feel differently about something. Our society is so change driven (whether we like it or not) and affected by external factors that there is no way anyone can remain in the state of inertia for long. I mean, just look at what happened to Greece 😉

Joking aside, the point is you should never just have the tendency to do nothing. Even when things are good- can’t they be better? Or if things are bad, can’t you do something about it? Transform the state of inertia into your benefit, because otherwise the external forces will change it for you.

P.S: Thank you for reading my blog, check out my books on Amazon and let me know what you think! Thanks! 🙂

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Letter to Nutella

Dear Nutella,

You are like a bad boyfriend. You lure me with the sweet sugar and hazelnut combo, only to make me feel like a horrible person after I finish the jar within a couple of hours. Everyone keeps telling me you are bad for me, but I don’t care most of the time. I need you.

You are like a drug. Probably worse. Because when I eat Nutella, there is no self-control. You turn me into a spoon-licking monster who always wants more.

I first indulged myself during my study abroad in France and I probably gained 10 pounds from gobbling down slices of bread drowning in Nutella each morning. And afternoon. And right before bed.

For Americans it is hard to understand the Nutella obsession. Because you, Nutella, are either loved or hated. David can’t stand you. But I will pay whatever price to get a jar. Like crack-addicts I will sell my TV if I have to just to get a taste.

But lately, I’ve been having to avoid you. It just doesn’t work, Nutella. You swoop me off my feet with your sweet flavors and trick me into eating so much I end up hating myself. I will probably never have a bikini body, and mostly, it is because of you, dear Nutella. Like a bad boyfriend, you make me feel bad about myself… so it’s best I stay away. I have to (even though I don’t want to). It is for the best.

Love,

Leah

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Merry Christmas! (Not happy Holidays)

America is getting too politically correct. Why is it so wrong to wish somebody a Merry Christmas? You are wishing something nice. Something positive. The last time I checked merry meant “cheerful and lively, characterized by festivity and enjoyment.”

I don’t get upset if somebody wishes me Happy Hanukkah or Happy Kwanzaa. I am neither Jewish or Black, but I can always appreciate a good wish.

So Merry Christmas to everyone. I hope you spend some quality time with your family. I almost have a 100 followers which makes me really happy. And, I sold ONE book since I published it on Amazon (and no, it wasn’t my Mother since somebody from the U.K. bought it….thank you reader!!)

In the spirit of happiness, you can get my book on Amazon for FREE only today! It’s a great read, specially for your teen or college kid. I would appreciate if you leave a critique on Amazon if you read it, good or bad, I would just like to hear everyone’s feedback.

OK, no more computer for a couple of days. MERRY CHRISTMAS!!! ❤

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The egg of social divison

For those of us who grew up in the States, a Kinder egg, a delicious white and milk chocolate egg, is not a common childhood memory. As a matter of fact, they are forbidden as they contain a little toy which, of course, American children could choke on but European children somehow do not.

Anyway, I had the honor of having my first Kinder egg in Frankfurt, Germany. I was visiting my friend from Bosnia who is now first generation German. Mira opened her palm, and handed me a Kinder egg. “Here, try something very European.” “What’s this?” I asked her. “This was my favorite thing growing up, it’s really good.” I gently unwrapped the plastic around it and indeed, inside it was a chocolate egg. I bit into it and felt something against my teeth. There was a little plastic box that I opened as I chewed on the rest of the chocolate. In it was a toy I had to assemble… it turned out to be a dinosaur.
“Intriguing,” I commented. “Yeah, all the kids here know them. I used to only get them when I was really good, or for holidays- but some kids got them all the time.” “What do you mean?” I asked. “Surely they can’t be that expensive.” “Well, I don’t remember how much they were back in the day, but now they cost around 65 cents.” In dollars, I guess that would be roughly 80 cents. More than a hamburger at McDonald’s. “Some kids got them every day. I was always so jealous. It made me realize some parents have more money to spend than others.”

Intrigued as I was by this piece of information, I went home and did some Math. If a child got it 5x a week, that would total to 3.25 euros a week. 13 euros a month. 156 euros a year. That’s roughly 200 dollars on a little piece of chocolate. I could understand how parents that do not make a lot of money couldn’t buy it. With 200 dollars you can buy clothing or shoes or other types of food for your child. And if the kid didn’t get it everyday, it at least became something special….because I am sure the kids who had it every day thought nothing of it.

Did any of you experience this Kinder egg “social division”?

Like, share, comment, tell me your thoughts! I love reading your responses!

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Goddess a few times a week

I am not a goddess in most aspects of my life, but I sure as hell am when I go shopping. As a consumer in America, I get treated like a goddess. Those who have never been outside the States, don’t know what kind of hell awaits beyond the borders.
In Europe, for example, there’s no such thing as returning stuff without a receipt. There is no such thing as returning stuff and get money back. They normally give you in-store credit and that’s it. There’s no speaking to the manager to complain…the manager doesn’t give a sh*t.

Before you say that isn’t true, I will admit Europe has improved their customer service a lot in recent years. Specially Germany. They have really changed their communication with the customers. But Italy…just try returning something in Italy. Or Spain. Try complaining at a restaurant that you don’t like the food. They will kick you out of the restaurant for the audacity to say anything back to them.

Once my Mother bought something at a fancy Italian clothing store for me. Unfortunately, I was too fat to fit in their biggest size. When we tried to return it, they said (after good half hour of arguing with the ladies that work at the register-guess what, no customer service section there), that we can get in-store credit. I said: “But I am too fat for all your clothing, nothing fits me.” Did they care? No. Did they try to appease me? No.

I guess what I am trying to say is…next time you have to complain to the manager because you don’t like a product…or you want to return it…or perhaps you don’t like the way you were treated…be happy you have the option of doing that. Somewhere else they would tell you “too bad” or wouldn’t even talk to you.

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The crippled Americans

We, Americans, forgot how to walk. Period. We can hide among our giant SUVs but not for long.

When I lived in Europe, i dropped 20 pounds. I wasn’t even eating that much different, I just walked everywhere. To the bus stop, to go to school, to the store, to the bank, to the park….whatever it was, it required some walking. I dreaded having my relatives or friends come visit me in Europe, because I knew they won’t be in the walking shape they need to be in and to top it all- I knew they would complain about having to walk everywhere even if just to the bus stop.

Here in Orlando, and most other American cities, walking doesn’t get you far. I get that. But to be too lazy to walk across the parking lot or to walk around the store and instead get the electric carts…that’s pushing it people. As a nation, we forgot how to walk. On a daily basis. Not when we are on vacation and we “have to” stroll down the beach… or when we walk around a theme park. No, I mean daily freaking basis! We forgot how important it is to move, to use your muscles and actually break a sweat if necessary.

Why and when did we get so lazy? What are your thoughts? Comments?

P.S: Thanks to all the new (and old) followers who took the time to read this!

P.S2: If you want to read more about Europe, check out my book on Amazon! 🙂

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Closed on Sundays

“Weekends…and particularly Sundays are reserved for family, they’re not like Americans who live to work like there is no tomorrow,” Maelie explained and took another sip of wine.   -Maelie Gagnon 

Jenna Gunner’s first few days in France were one big culture shock. The French don’t have a Walmart, the French don’t work 60 hours a week and stores are closed on Sundays! Who in their right mind would close their store on a Sunday?

As an American, like Jenna, I found myself with nothing to do on a Sunday in France. I couldn’t go shopping. I couldn’t go on a stroll through the mall. If I didn’t buy my groceries the day beforehand, I went the whole Sunday hungry.

After a few weeks there, I realized Sundays should be spent with somebody. Since my family was far away, I spent it with my friends. We went to the park and walked around. We fed the birds even though we were not supposed to. We went to the nearby lake and just gazed at the water. Then, I would invite them over for some pasta…. and we had wine. And we just talked…. Those Sundays, where I didn’t have to get up early to go to work, were on of the best Sundays of my life. That’s what Sundays were meant for. Not work, but one day of peacefulness with your family and friends….America should remember that again. Do you agree?

P.S: Thanks for visiting my site and reading my blog! Like, share, dislike, comment….whichever you please! :))

P.S2: Link to my book on Amazon- you know, since it is Sunday you should read!! :))

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Two new cars and a divorce, please!

Recently I came across an interesting read from 1998. So, not too long ago, but I guess “historic enough.” It was a wonderfully written chapter summary on a book called “The Overspent American” (link here).

The part that got me was the shift in values of Americans. Almost twenty years ago, same things defined the “good life” as they do today. Americans want material good and luxuries. Americans want swimming pools, new cars, mountain cabins, five TV’s in the bathroom, trips to Europe, a job that pays more than they deserve…. Our kids have to have Apple phones, motorcycles and tattoos…

We raised them. We influenced them. We showed them we don’t value happy marriages, reliable friendships, or interesting jobs. No, we showed them that true value hides in material….which is probably why I have a friend who is divorcing his wife of three years- she wanted to make more money, have a better house and spend more. He wanted to buy motorcycles and cars. Forget the eight years they spent together, they should divorce because their material greed isn’t compatible anymore and it is just not going in the same direction. I mean, come on??

You may say, hey, they’re just a bad example. I wish I could say I do not know people who are buying a big screen TV but their kids live in a shitty house with cockroaches occasionally strolling by because a big screen TV is their priority. I wish I could say I don’t know people who whine about being broke but buy $2,000 worth of furniture and eat Ramen noodles for weeks.

I guess what I’m trying to say is…. I just don’t get it. Do you?

P.S: Thanks for reading, commenting, liking, disliking… 🙂

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