The Ultimate Guide to Being Happy

One question that I am constantly asked is, “How are you always happy?” My answer is simple: it’s all about perspective. If you have a great perspective on life, it’s so easy to be happy on a daily basis.

Please know that my life is nowhere near perfect. At 23, I currently live with my parents and I’m still on the hunt for my first “big girl” job. Also, I recently started waitressing again because I have about a hundred dollars to my name. I can’t tell you the last time I went shopping or was able to go on vacation, but I am happy. I have a roof over my head, food in my stomach, a lot of people who care about me, I’m doing what I need to move forward with my life, and I have a future that is going to be a billion times better than the present.

Here is some of the best advice I can offer about being happy:

Accept that people are different. People are different in so many ways.  Some people are skinnier than others while some people are bigger. Some people are religious while others are atheists. Same goes to politics, race, gender, the clothes people wear, etc. How people keep forgetting this is beyond me. It makes me want to puke that people hate one another because of their different opinions and beliefs. Accept it and move forward.

For example, I don’t like the color orange. I think it’s a gross color. Does that mean it’s okay to not like someone because orange is their favorite color? No. Should I call them degrading names and tell them they are wrong because I don’t like orange and they do? No. Does their liking of orange have anything to do directly with me? No. If someone likes orange, does that define who that person is? Absolutely not. See what I’m getting at? So stop slut shaming, gender shaming, sexual orientation shaming, fat/skinny shaming, race shaming, you name it. Stop it. Once you accept that people look, think, and believe differently, life becomes a lot easier.

Stop comparing yourself to others. All of my friends are engaged except for me. Some of my friends have already started their dream career. One of my best friends is spending her summer in Hawaii. I used to be extremely jealous that I didn’t have a ring on my finger, the love of my life by my side, land a job, etc. Boo hoo, right? It didn’t take long to realize how ridiculous I sounded. I can have all of that stuff too; when the time comes. Instead of being jealous, how about being happy for my friends?! I suggest you do the same!

Get rid of the negative people in your life. The only thing that a Debbie Downer is good at is bringing people down. You don’t need that in your life. For example, does your Facebook have a lot of daily complainers? Turn off their notifications. Or, say you have a long day at work ahead of you. If you or your co-workers are complaining the entire time, work is going to go even slower. Be the person to lighten things up and inspire them to cheer up. “Time flies when you’re having fun,” so make it a good day!

Do more of what you love and dedicate time to it. Make time for the things you love. Don’t get caught up in working 24/7. Dedicate a small amount of time each day to something you like. If that’s taking away too much time, try once a week. Dedicate Saturday mornings to going kayaking. Or take up a painting class every Thursday night. I’ve started playing the piano again, and let me tell you…it’s amazing! Doing this will make you question why you stopped in the first place!

Become an opti-realist. There is nothing wrong with being optimistic about something. However, you need a good amount of realism in your life to balance being happy. For example, you want to become a graphic designer but you have never created anything. That being said, you apply for an open position at your favorite company that you’ve dreamed of working at. It’s great that you have this dream; but, are you really going to get the job? Make sure you are doing what you need to do in order to get where you want to be!

Explore. Try something new. Doesn’t matter if it’s food, a new reading spot, or a new place to travel. By trying new things, it keeps life interesting!

Axel (my fur nephew) and I are happy campers!

Accept who you are and own it! There are some things in this world that you cannot change about yourself. My one eye is slightly smaller than the other. My laugh turns into a cackle if something is really funny. I trip up the steps but never down them. I crack up at my own jokes. Really awkward things happen to me and I can’t do anything but laugh. Five years ago, I was humiliated by these things. Today, I wouldn’t change these things about myself for the world. Know who you are and fall in love with yourself. You’ll sleep in peace at night and wake up on the right side of the bed in the morning!

If you do these things, I promise you will have happier days! Not every day is going to be filled with rainbows and sunshine. Keep an open mind, accept that life happens, and move forward.

Don’t forget, “Today’s a good day to have a great day!”

-T

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Single? 14 Reasons You Should Be Enjoying It

Let’s face it, it’s not easy being single when you’re twenty-three and all of your friends are engaged except for you. It’s also difficult when people question you as to why you’re not in a relationship. However, there is something that you have that they don’t; complete freedom! You can do whatever your heart desires without upsetting someone else.

There’s no reason to be moping around because you don’t have a special someone right now.

1. Treat yourself! Think of all the money you will be saving during the holidays, when you go to dinner, to the movies, amusement parks, etc. Instead of spending it on another person, treat yourself! Get that tattoo you’ve been dying to get! Save up for that new truck! Need a new wardrobe? Go buy it!

2. Keep plans with your friends! If hanging out with your best friend was torture for your ex and (s)he made you cancel plans multiple times; worry no more! Hang out with your friends everyday! They will appreciate it!

3. Dress for yourself! Don’t feel like dressing nice today and putting makeup on? Then don’t! You can dress however you want.

4. Shave? Nah! Have stubble on your chin or your legs? Okay. Don’t feel like shaving? Don’t! As long as you’re comfortable with yourself, I support you!

5. Shop ’til you drop! Yes, this falls under treating yourself. But… you no longer have to worry about avoiding your favorite stores because your partner doesn’t want to spend hours in there. Let that sink in for a second.

6. Movies. Remember that rom-com that you wanted to see months ago in theaters, but your ex refused to go see it? Buy it on DVD! Watch it over and over again! Send a Snapchat to your ex saying how great your movie is! Okay, maybe you shouldn’t send the Snapchat…

7. Story time! Remember that John Green book you purchased months ago? The one that is sitting on your night stand? The book you never opened that now has a layer of dust coating it? Yeah, that one. You now have all the time in the world to read! Make some tea, grab your book and enjoy it!

8. Don’t feel like going out? Great! Admit it, you went to the bars every single weekend just to please your ex. (Or to let other girls know your man is taken.) Stay in for a relaxing night. Have your own movie night, drink some wine, and get cozy with no pants on!

9. Sing loud and proud. I dare you to sing every song that comes on the radio! You’re going to have so much fun doing it! Why? Because no one else is there to tell you to shut up, that your voice is horrible, or that you are giving them a headache.

10. Food. Remember when you used to eat salads every time your partner took you out for dinner? Remember how you hated salads but you ate them to make yourself look good? Stop it. Instead of starving yourself and munching on rabbit food, get that steak. And if you’re still hungry afterwards, get desert.

11. Enjoy that empty bed! Sleep spread-eagle, diagonally, in a ball, or however you want. That space is all yours, baby! Get comfy!

12. Sweet dreams! You can sleep in peace knowing that you don’t have to worry about someone and question everything. Going to bed happy is all you need to sleep like an angel at night.

13. Travel. Go somewhere new. Make new memories and learn new things. Sometimes you need to get away to clear your mind. Save up some money, get your passport, throw a dart on a map and wherever it lands, go there! Or hop in the car one weekend and go for a road trip. It will be good for you!

14. Do what makes you happy! Go spend a day at the gulf course, you need it. Teach yourself a new song on the piano. Sign up for an art class. Grab your friends and go hit up the new micro-brewery in town. You deserve it.

This list can go on forever. The point is, you need to be happy. There’s no reason to be upset about being single. Give it time and I’m sure you will find someone. But for right now, why don’t you enjoy the ride?!

-T

Pour Yourself a Glass of Curious Wine

Lately, I’ve been reading things that I normally wouldn’t even look at in bookstores. It’s important to explore other genres to see what they have to offer and what you can learn from them. So, I decided to give a lesbian fiction novel a chance. One of the books that Goodreads suggested from the 100 Best Lesbian Fiction list was Katherine V. Forrest’s Curious Wine. Four hours later when I finished the book, I was amazed by how empowering this love story is.

Regardless of your sexual orientation, everyone should read this book. While some parts of the story are slightly dated (who does trust falls on a week vacation in a cabin with their friends?) it is a beautiful story about two former heterosexual women who experience their first discovery together.

But there’s so much more to it than that!

The best thing that this book teaches you is that these two women, Lane and Diana, had no intentions of falling in love with each other. They didn’t even know it could happen, but it did and it was beautiful. Both Lane and Diana’s previous lovers were male. They weren’t expecting anything of this sort to happen during their time at Lake Tahoe. But a friendship was built and it progressed from there. This goes to show that you might think you’re dead set on who you think you are, but all it takes is one person to come into your life and change everything.

Unfortunately, there are still so many negative connotations with people who are gay. While I read this book, I wasn’t thinking “Oh my gosh, this is so wrong! How could two women do this?!?!” Instead, I was impressed by how natural this relationship formed and how delicate and delightful it was. Their relationship is admirable.

Due to the story being a first discovery novel, I should have expected detailed sex scenes. Trust me, they were there, but I wasn’t quite ready for them! However, these sex scenes are in the story; it happens. Was I weird-ed out or disgusted by it? Nope. It was interesting to read. Their love was so tender and gentle, it’s no wonder women go/become/are lesbian!

Even if one of them was a guy, it is no different from any of the other romantic literature out there (I would imagine from descriptions I’ve heard that Fifty Shades of Grey is way more graphic than this…so if you could read Fifty Shades of Grey, you can’t complain or judge Curious Wine).

All of your ideal qualities you would want in a person of the opposite sex can be found in someone who is the same-sex as you. It starts with a friendship. If given the opportunity to make a move, and you become interested in them, there’s nothing wrong with that! When you start falling for someone, the last thing you are thinking about is what gender they are. Diana and Lane prove this. Quite frankly, I think it’s beautiful.

People need to realize that their feelings and beliefs are not set in stone. Again, one person is all it takes to change your life. Katherine V. Forrest does an excellent job of describing a first discovery love story. There’s also great imagery, witty humor, and characters you love to hate! Read it!

-T

A Mixed-Breed: The Extro-Introvert

A common topic I kept running into this past week during interviews, quizzes, or in conversation, is the idea of identifying as an extrovert or an introvert. I hate that question. Why? Because I’m not either, I’m both! But that’s not an answer on these quizzes, and people look at you funny when you tell them that. This question needs to be ditched.

If you’re wondering why this topic drives me nuts, it’s because both terms have negative connotations with them. There’s nothing wrong with being loud, out-going and being a people-person. But if I say I’m extroverted, I don’t want people thinking I’m cocky or always the center of attention. On the other hand, there is nothing wrong with being quiet/ a little shy and being reserved. When I say I’m introverted, I don’t want people assuming I sit in my room all night whining about how much I hate people. That’s not me.

Image result for introvert

When it comes down to answering the question (one OR the other), my answer is that I’m more introverted. The thing is though, I do have out-going qualities!

I’m going to fill you in on how I work.

1. I can be (and have been) the life of the party. I love to make people laugh and smile. I’m excellent at it! It comes naturally to me; I don’t have to try to be funny and make people; it happens!

2. I can befriend someone no matter where I am, even in a grocery store. I am genuinely interested in people. I like to hear people’s stories, know where they come from and hear what their hopes and dreams are. Or, if something embarrassing/ funny happens and I’m there to witness it, I’m that person that will tell you, “Don’t feel bad, that happens to me all the time!” Trust me, I’ve been the cause of “clean up on isle six” one too many times! (Those glass jars of tomato sauce are so slippery!)

3. Crowed places are fun/ I like going out! The more the merrier, right?! Plus, you never know who you’re going to run into! It’s great running into old faces or meeting your next potential lover! My friends and I are bound to have an awesome time!

4. I’ll volunteer to do something out of my comfort zone. Sometimes when in groups or by yourself, someone has to do something that involves getting out of your comfort zone. If I’m in a group and no one will step up, I’ll volunteer. Even if it’s for fun and will make a complete fool out of myself, I’ll do it! I crack myself up all the time, this is nothing!

I sound out-going so far, right? Yes, I can be. However, there’s another side to me. I can’t be one without the other.

5. I like to observe. If I’m not talking when I’m with people, don’t take it personally. I observe everything. I love taking in my surroundings. I will notice the way someone decorates their house, if you recently waxed your eyebrows, the way books are arranged on a shelf, the fly on the wall, every face I pass while shopping, what kind of birds are outside, etc. I notice it all. I can’t help it, but it’s okay because I’m enjoying myself.

6. Some days, I just don’t feel like talking. It does not mean that I’m upset! Repeat, it does not mean that I’m upset! I talk all the time, but sometimes I just want to listen. Or, I really have don’t have an opinion at the moment, I’m thinking about something, or I’m simply enjoying the moment. If you just vented to me about something very serious and I’m not saying a word, it’s because I feel for you. I’m very empathetic and I’m trying to figure out what the right thing is to say.

7. My brain is a never-ending carousel of thoughts. On top of being observant and not feeling like talking, another thing about me is that my mind is busy 24/7. From the moment I wake up until the time I fall asleep, I’m critically thinking about something. I get lost in my thoughts, but it’s okay. Sometimes I don’t want to be found! If I recently finished a book, it’s normal for me to spend two or three days reliving the plot and all the emotions that came with it. Or, if something I feel very passionate about is brought up in the real world, I won’t be able to get it off my mind. These thoughts and feelings will even seep into my dreams at night. It’s incredible! Also, I naturally look at things in a different perspective than most people. I like to explore why I think the way I do and feel the emotions that go with it!

8. I sometimes cancel plans with my friends. I love my friends, I really do! However, there are days where I rather spend time with my family than go out with a bunch of people and get drunk at the bar. My family means everything to me, and the time we have together is so precious; I cherish every second of it.

9. I need time to re-energize after spending hours with friends. Again, I love being with people! I love my friends! However, if I can’t get “me time,” my body shuts down. Being with a large group of people is great, meeting new people is great, and I love to have a good time; but I need time to unwind! I can get cranky if I don’t have enough me time at the end of the day!

10. Time by myself is time well spent; I LOVE it! When I’m by myself, I am not stuck in front of the TV avoiding people like it’s my job. When I’m by myself, I use 98% of that time trying to improve myself. I will find new recipes to try, sit at my piano and teach myself a song by ear, or watch YouTube trying to learn different painting techniques. I like to spend time doing research on places I think I’d like to live one day. I like blogging. I love getting lost in great literature. I love challenging myself by reading things I’d never pick up in the bookstore. I like reading books and watching documentaries that teach me new things. And most importantly, I love anything that gives me a new perspective on life. The other 2% of my personal time is spent watching Disney movies because I still enjoy them!

I know I’m not the only one out there that is an extrovert and an introvert. So why are we limited in letting one description determine who we are?

-T

What Post-Grad Life is Like for an English Major

Ever since I changed my major from Medical Imaging to English, the only question I ever received about my new major was, “So what kind of jobs can you get?” Surprisingly, there is a lot out there that an English major can do, besides teaching! (Check this list out: http://www.insidejobs.com/blog/100-careers-for-english-majors-they-do-exist-really)

I have been home for a little over a month now and this is what my days consist of:

  • Wake up at seven (I don’t want to become lazy. When I get a job, I want to be able to get up in the morning! Also, I want my applications to be looked at; so waking up early it is!)
  • Eat breakfast. It’s the healthiest meal of the day!
  • Spend anywhere from 2 to 7 hours looking for internships, depending on how many new editing/publishing internships become available a day.
  • Do research on the internship companies I am applying to.
  • Search for a part-time job. I need. money.
  • Clean the house
  • Read a book, articles, magazines, or anything that keeps my brain stimulated
  • Eat dinner and unwind with the family
  • Spend another hour or so looking for internships that were posted later that day
  • Write for my blog if I have something to say about what I’m reading or experiencing.
  • Go to bed. Tomorrow is a new day, which means new opportunities!
  • Repeat.

While at school, I learned how to read carefully, write, edit, research, and think in different perspectives. However, one thing school didn’t teach me is that while there are jobs out in the real world, it is incredibly difficult to get the job you want. Why? Because employers want people with 5+ years of experience.

Yes, I understand why employers want people who have experience. What doesn’t make sense to me, is how are we supposed to gain experience if no one is going to hire us?! Another thing I understand is internships. In college, I literally did not have the time for an internship. My last three years as an English major consisted of taking four or five literature/writing courses at a time, working two jobs, and trying to find time to breathe.

Also, most internships last anywhere from three months to a year. I think that is an appropriate amount of time to learn things to gain valuable experience. The hard part about internships are that most them (especially the good ones) are unpaid! For me to get a great internship, I have to move out-of-state, find an apartment, work 30-40 hours a week for this internship without getting paid, and then find another job in hopes of being able to support myself. Yikes!

While it does seem like the negatives outweigh the positives, it’s not bad! At least there are positives! I’m keeping my fingers crossed that I can land an internship that has the opportunity to turn into a full-time career. That would be ideal! The most important thing regarding whether the internship is paid or not, is that it is still experience!

The best thing you can do if you find yourself stuck in the same position I am currently in: stay motivated! I don’t have to wake up early every morning, spend hours looking for internships, read things so I can critically think about them and write about it later; I want to! That makes all the difference.

Hang in there, English major! Something will come our way!

-T

The Wonderland You Never Knew

Over the years, one movie that has captured the hearts of many adults and children is Alice in Wonderland. Whether it is the Disney version, Tim Burton’s, or any other adaptations, we love it. Why? Because we are intrigued with the creativity, the colors, the variety of characters and the uniqueness of the film.

I have always watched Disney’s Alice in Wonderland for the sake of just watching it; I never really thought about what was going on. Wanting to know more, I decided to read Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass. What I discovered is that there is much more to the story than you think there is! My interpretation of the story is unlike the rest, but it makes sense. Wonderland is not just about a random dream that Alice has…

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass is the story of Alice on her quest to figure out (and accept) her true sexual identity. Whether she’s a lesbian, bi-sexual or bi-curious, it doesn’t matter. She knows how she feels and heterosexual isn’t one of them. Sounds crazy, right? Absolutely not.

Lewis Carroll’s story starts off the same as Disney’s: Alice’s sister is reading to her, but she’s not paying attention. She is distracted by her thoughts. She also gets distracted by the White Rabbit that she sees and decides to follow it down the rabbit hole.

Let’s talk about that rabbit hole for a split second. It is a long, dark, and narrow tunnel. Sound familiar? It should be! It’s a yonic symbol, aka a vagina. How does this tie in to her not being straight? She tells you herself, she’s “Curiouser and curiouser” as she gets further down the rabbit hole.

As she finally stops falling, she sees the rabbit and continues to follow him. As she enters a room filled with doors, she finds the one that she has to go through is locked. Just as the Disney film, Alice goes through the process of becoming the right size so she could get through the door to continue on her journey.

Did you notice how when she drinks, she shrinks? Or when she “Eats me,” she gets really big? It’s only until the room becomes a “pool of tears,” that she succeeds in getting through the door. What does that sound like to you?

That’s not the only time that happens. When Alice finds the White Rabbit at his house, he asks her to go find his white gloves. Where does Alice have to go to find his gloves? In the White Rabbit’s bedroom. What happens to Alice when she’s in his bedroom? She grows erect again, becoming rather large.

This part of the story is also important to look at because Alice isn’t interested in men. The White Rabbit is one of the first men that Alice rejects. The narrator states, “Presently, the Rabbit came up to the door, and tried to open it; but, as the door opened inwards, and Alice’s elbow was pressed hard against it, that attempt proved a failure. Alice heard it say to itself “Then I’ll go around and get in at the window.” “That you won’t!” thought Alice.” She clearly is not interested, and the White Rabbit is not as cute and innocent as we have always perceived him. After Alice told him no, he was still going to try to “get in.” He is definitely not making men look good here.

After this episode with the Rabbit, the next character that Alice meets is the Caterpillar. Here, we see where the Caterpillar shows interest in Alice, but yet again, she’s not interested. The Caterpillar is a phallic symbol, and we see that through her interaction with him. Alice and the Caterpillar don’t get along, but it isn’t hard to figure out why. It also doesn’t help that he keeps asking her “who” she is. Alice doesn’t have an answer. She might be confused, or maybe she just doesn’t want to explain herself for fear of rejection.

Before Alice meets Duchess, she meets the Cheshire Cat (who belongs to Duchess). All throughout the novel, this cat is constantly smiling at Alice. You know the slang term for a cat/vagina… There’s no need for an explanation of why this cat is smiling at her. After a quick talk with the cat, she finally meets Duchess.

Image result for cheshire cat

Here, we learn that Duchess does not like her baby. She purposely beats it because it sneezes, but the baby sneezes because she puts too much pepper in its food. Needless to say, Duchess calls her baby a pig.  Later, Duchess is walking happily with Alice, and Duchess is so close to her that Duchess’s chin is resting on Alice’s shoulder. Duchess also wants to put her arm around her, but she’s afraid that the flamingo in Alice’s arms would bite her. Clearly, Duchess likes the girl. That also makes Duchess a lesbian and explains exactly why her child is repulsive to her. Obviously, lesbians couples cannot produce children on their own.

After walking with the Duchess for a little while, the Red Queen comes out of nowhere and catches them walking with arms linked together. The Queen does not like this and ends up “frowning like a thunderstorm.” Why would the Red Queen be angry with seeing two girls walking together and acting they way they were? Red is symbolic of blood/ menstruation, meaning that the Red Queen is symbolic for Mother Nature. To the Queen, Alice and Duchess are going against the Mother Nature and their actions are seen as “unnatural.”

Later on in the story, Alice ends up at the Queen’s castle. After playing croquet, the Queen realizes that somebody stole her tarts. Making a big fuss out it, she decides to hold a trial. Having no idea who stole the tarts, she calls three people to the stand. The Mad Hatter, the March Hare, and Alice. Why would she call Alice to the stand? Because society thinks she has done “wrong.” The trial goes on, and Alice ends up growing as tall as the ceiling and she throws a fit. What happens next? All the little card men end up attacking her until Alice wakes herself up. That’s a little messed up, don’t you think?

In Through the Looking-Glass, Alice is still experiencing problems with her sexuality. When she enters this new realm through the mirror, Alice becomes a part of a game of chess. She immediately meets the King and the Queen. Right afterwards, Alice wants to explore this new world. She walks outside and sees this beautiful garden that she wants to go see.

When you think of flowers, which gender do you think of? Females; flowers are very feminine. This garden is bursting with flowers of all different species, all different colors, yet all beautiful. Also, they are all women. It’s not hard to figure out why Alice wants to go there. Yet when she does get there, it’s not as pleasant as she thought it would be.

Right away, all of these women are judging her appearance and criticizing her. They say she looks the right color, but her petals aren’t right and she’s not smart. Long story short, she’s not like the rest of them. Again, this is because of her sexuality. While they tell her that she’s not like the rest, they do say that there is another flower like Alice that roams around the garden. Low and behold, it’s the Red Queen.

Upon meeting, Alice informs the Queen that she would like to be a Queen as well. The Queen tells her that it isn’t hard to do and she gives Alice instructions. After their talk, the Queen tells Alice that they must start running to get somewhere. They run “faster and faster,” and Alice is all out of breath. And when they stop running, they are still in the same place. It’s quite sexual. When they are done, the Queen gives her the instructions on how to be a queen. Next thing you know, Alice continues on her journey.

Over time, Alice meets a lot of different people. She meets more creatures, Tweedledum and Tweedledee, the White Queen, and Humpty Dumpty. While talking to Humpty Dumpty, they come to a good understanding of each other. He teaches her what impenetrable means, and they start bonding. What makes his character so important in all of this, is the fact that regardless of what her sexuality is, he points out that she is still human. Right before they part, Humpty tells Alice, “I shouldn’t know you again if we did meet…Your face is the same as everybody has–the two eyes, nose in the middle, mouth under.” Props to you Humpty Dumpty for being the first man in the novel to accept her!

Alice continues to meet different creatures as she goes on her way. The next important event is when Alice becomes a prisoner to two different knights. Alice tells both how she doesn’t want to be a prisoner, she just wants to be a queen. The knight in tin armor tells her that she’s close to being a queen, she just needs to cross the next brook. Instead of capturing her, they start talking. Alice sees that the knight is tin armor cannot sit upright (erect) on his horse properly, he keeps falling off. Alice has her first one-on-one interaction with a man, and he can’t “keep it up.” But, because she showed the slightest interest in him, Alice was rewarded with the title of Queen. Nothing like bribing someone into doing the “right” thing.

However, the bribe doesn’t work. After Alice becomes Queen and everyone is at a dinner party celebrating, the Red Queen and White Queen begin criticizing her, just like the flowers in the garden. Being a queen, Alice thought she was finally going to be accepted and be able to be herself. Unfortunately, that’s not how things worked out. Not being able to stand how rude everyone was, Alice destroys the dinner table and acts violently towards the Red Queen. Can you blame her? Next thing you know, Alice wakes up.

Still don’t believe me that the story is about is about the struggle of Alice’s sexual orientation? In the chapter “The Lion and the Unicorn,” Alice keeps getting referred to as “the Monster.” As a side comment, the narrator says, “She was quite used to being called a ‘monster.'” It’s sad that such an innocent little girl is seen as a freak. Which leads me to a great question; if Alice’s dreams are this bad, what is the real world like for her?

Everyone always assumes the story is about drugs. I don’t believe it is. Yes, it might play a part in the story, but that is not what the main focus should be on. As for the nonsense factor, Alice is always being told what she should do and how she should act. The reason why she’s so confused is because who she “should” be is not who she is.

Cheers to Alice for staying true to herself, accepting who she is, and staying strong while battling for her acceptance!

-T

10 Reasons Why You Need to Read House Of Leaves

Hello fellow bloggers! I know this isn’t my typical kind of post, but when I’m reading, you’re going to hear about it! If you are looking for a great read or something that isn’t your typical story, I highly suggest reading Mark Z. Danielewski’s House of Leaves. I just finished reading the book, and I am in pure awe of Danielewski’s talent. Here’s why:

  1. It’s unlike any other book you have ever read. It is an experimental piece of work, and Mark nailed it. It goes against the traditional way of telling a story. You’ll see for yourself! What’s just as crazy is that it is about a book, about another book, about a film, about this house. As if that’s not enough, the genre is a mixture of romance and horror. How awesome is that?

2. House of Leaves won’t leave you bored! Every single page in this book is a piece of art. The formatting on each page is different. While you’re trying to keep track of which story is being told, the words on the page crave a different kind of attention. Sometimes there’s two words on a page, sometimes you have the flip the book upside-down to read it, and sometimes you have to use a mirror to read it correctly. Some words are italicized, some are bold, and some are typed in red ink with a strike through it. There’s so many different things going on at once, but you’ll love it!

3. It’s a puzzle waiting for you to put it together. There is some huge mystery behind this book. I haven’t figured it out. I might have to read the book fifty more times to solve it. I don’t think anyone could ever figure it out. The book took ten years to write, that’s a lot of room for twists and turns. BUT…

4. There are websites on websites of Fan pages and notes! The fact that there is a community of people so intrigued with this book is incredible. Honestly, this is one of the reasons why I wanted to read House of Leaves. So many people are talking about it! There are people who teach you how you should read this book and some people who will tell you what they figured out. If you have a question (besides the answer to the entire book), I’m guarantee you that one out of the 59,000,000 search results should be able to provide you with some kind of answer. Seriously, check the number of Google search results for this book… Outrageous!

5. You feel every emotion! This book will have you depressed, scared s***less, happy, miserable, laughing so hard you almost pee yourself, and will leave you wanting to pull your hair out. Danielewski has this way of bouncing through different scenes, and when something happens, you will feel it just as much as his characters do.

6. The language. It’s dirty, fun, raunchy, exciting, rotten, yet wonderful at the same time. Another thing I love about this book is that every once in a while, Danielewski will surprise you the most beautiful lines you will ever read. It will literally make you pause because you appreciate the sound of the words and how poetic the language is. There’s so much to learn from his writing.

7. Women have an interesting role. I’m not telling you why, you will have to figure that one out for yourself.

8. It’s scary! When you read the synopsis of what the book is about, it might not sound scary. “Ooh, a story about a house that is bigger on the inside than on the outside…how scary can that be?” Don’t worry, you’ll figure out how scary it is when you start having nightmares. Just make sure you don’t read this before bed!

9. The book consumes your mind. You will be thinking about this book long after you’re done with it. Why? Because of the way that Danielewski approaches subjects and how it makes you feel. For example, fear. There’s death in the book, but there’s no clowns, no chainsaws or any other of that sort of scary thing. Instead, Danielewski takes actual fears and he plays with them. He understands what really freaks people put, and he won’t let you forget it.

10. Nightmares! I already mentioned nightmares, I know. This was another main reason why I wanted to read the book. I love a good scare. However, I was one of those people reading the book reviews that thought, “There’s no way this book is going to give me nightmares.” Wrong. I had three nightmares during the span of reading this book! And not just any nightmares, but the kind that make you shoot out of bed with sweat pouring down your face. There’s nothing to worry about though. If you get too freaked out by the empty space under your bed, just sleep with the book next to your pillow. You will be able to knock someone out with how firm the book is!

There is so much to talk about in House of Leaves. I could continue giving you reasons, but you really need to read it and see for yourself! It is truly a unique piece of art. Also, I really hope you fall in love with the beauty of the language like I did. This is one experiment that succeeded. If you do read it or have read it in the past, let’s talk!

Have fun and good luck!

-T