2020 Readings // The Midnight Library by Matt Haig

After changing so many topics and crossing some more days in the calendar during my holiday at home, I am happy to have used my time with a purpose and finished a new book – The Midnight Library. This was quite unexpected, as I was not looking for this type of topics and this author in particular.

I am happy to have run into his book and have let myself get captivated by his imaginary universe. Matt Haig places Nora into a depressive episode of her life, when nothing made sense for her anymore and she didn’t feel like succeeding in anything of her life – private and professionally. Her cat died, she feels lost and unsuccessful, lives on anti-depressives and has no energy to carry on or fight for something better.

Overwhelmed with regrets and ready to give up to everything, she finds a midnight library on the street where the time is stuck. Together with the help of the librarian, Mrs. Elm, she gets a glimpse of all the lives she is living in parallel and the different outcomes her decisions had. By opening a new book, she immediately got into her new life, happening somewhere in the universe, having a different job, partner, siblings, pet and being either famous or solitary.

She tries all the options she has in the library, thus discovering that her actual regrets do not make sense, as it depends on every other person how things develop further and not solely on ourself and our own choices. At the end of this night when she understood that there is no perfect life and only compromises and our inner approach on what is happening, the library burns in flames and she manages to rescue herself by writing down during the fire I AM ALIVE.

This is how she came back to her actual life, with a more open heart and willing to fight for what is left there and be present. She is happy her brother is alive (as she saw him dead in other lives already) and manages to recover after the overdose she took before stopping into the Midnight Library. An interesting book, with different possibilities and unexpected outcomes, as well as a nice and open dialogue Nora has with herself and the others around her. Matt Haig is a great Connaisseur of human psychology and touches every small detail in dealing with life crises and life lessons.

2020 Readings // Arianna Huffington – Media Visionary and Wellness Evanghelist

My stay in Romania gave me the opportunity to switch from German books to English ones and thus be able to understand more of the content I was reading. Just before Christmas I arrived in a huge library in Bucharest and let myself inspired from the English books I found there. As I was already familiarized with Arianna‘s path and this time a sort of biography was available on the shelf I took the chance the bought the book.

As 2020 has been a year of intensive readings for me and it keeps being so for the last days left, I was happy to add a new book on my collection and see if I can learn something while siting on the sofa and drinking coffee in Romania.

I can recommend the book for the people who are curious to find out more of Arianna‘s background, her parents, her family and the dreams that pushed her for the decisions she made. She inherited her father‘s passion for journalism and debate, learned from her mother to be persistent and find solutions and her sister Agapi was always there for her supporting with her love and creative style. Her two daughters came very late in her life, as she was 38, respectively 40 and even now in her 70s she keeps working 10 hours per day.

While there are many rumors about what she did right and wrong, there are also visible achievements she made in the media industry, not to forget that she coming from Greece, had a very strong accent and built her media empire Huffington Post thanks to her wit and persistence, social contacts and hard work.

I was particularly impressed by how her mother made it possible for her to be accepted at Cambridge, despite she didn’t even speak English at the time she (Arianna) told her mom about her dreams. Another particular interesting point in her life is her decision to abandon her boyfriend and put the Atlantic Ocean between them – then 20 years older than her, Levin – because she wanted to have kids and marry for the rest of her life and he wasn’t mature enough for it, only to be able to accomplish her dream 10 years later with oil mogul Michael Huffington and still go through a divorce later on.

Arianna wrote 15 books, reinvented herself throughout her careers, starting with the debates in Cambridge she loved to coordinate, writing autobiographies of Maria Callas and Pablo Picasso, getting involved in politics and fighting on such topics, creating an online platform for bloggers worldwide and asking them to write for free and then selling it. Although she would have never given up to Huffington Post, as it was her third child, she eventually sold it and focused on Thrive – another platform focused on well being and spirituality.

Her life is an interesting example of hard work, determination, perseverance and strong persuasion skills and emotional intelligence in general. While she had to go through a burnout episode, she used the episode to later on create Thrive Global, write a book on the importance of sleep and create her new business.

The equation of courage and fear

Reprezentativ

Steve Jobs once said…

Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition.

tumblr_m0orirboVn1rpjhqvo1_400

The younger we are, the less we know about courage. But the younger we are, the greater our courage. We could make miracles with our dosis of enthusiasm, energy and power to start over everytime life asks us to. Or anytime we think we need a new story to live in. Because we are young. And because we can. And because we want. And because we don’t fear about the future.

One truly knows what courage really is and how far can go in order to make his/her dreams come true only when faced with difficulties. With conflicts. With things that are not right and should be changed but can’t. With different life expectations. With bigger dreams. One discovers what couragge is when feeling the fear running through his/her veins and still confronts it. When crying from morning till dawn and still feeling alive.

Because courage is not only about pretending and finding the right words to speak on oneself, it is not about showing off personal achievements and calling for appreciation, it is about CHOICE, COMMITMENT and CONSEQUENCES that sometimes might be harmful for a short period of time. But everything comes with a cost.

But what do we know about couragge? Is there a courageous culture that could express the highest virtues or it is something that exists in each one of us, except that some prefer to hide it while others cannot live without expressing it?

It’s not easy making steps. Choosing. Accepting critics as a consequence of others’ fears and confortable lifestyles. But once you’ve had the courage to make some steps, create your own choices and ignore people’s voice, life will reward you with other scenarios. It’s not going to be easy. But in time, the effects will help you be more self-confident and will offer you a better analysis over your strenghts, despite difficult situations that will always occur. And you will be able to make further choices because you’ve already experimented others and have successfully survived.

Try. Even if you fail, you will learn. You will evolve. As long as you are young, you have the right to experiment, look for ideas, implement them, ask for advice and grow up.10668_594529743914928_2020192495_n

This post is addressed to those that are not sure yet about what to do and fear about the future.