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Les Miserables.

26 Dec

I saw the Les Miserables movie last night, and it was absolutely incredible! The fact that the actors and actresses were singing live during filming just makes the movie even more intense and packed with emotion. Anyone who has the chance needs to go see it!!!

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Dave Matthews Band.

6 Sep

I was lucky enough to see the Dave Matthews Band perform live a few years ago. It was one of the best performances I’ve ever been to. Moral of the story: If you ever get the chance to see Dave Matthews in concert, GO! ūüôā

All dreams matter, not just those on national television.

6 Aug

As surprising as it may seem, I don’t like watching the Olympics. However, before all the confusion and rage surfaces, let me explain why.

Even though I understand that the Olympics holds the motto of “follow your dreams” and “anything is possible,” I also believe that there are so many people in the world who may be in the same situation except for the fact that the majority of those people aren’t being cheered for on national television. I can guarantee that there are people in the world today who are working incredibly hard to follow a lifelong dream. However, instead of receiving the satisfaction of having billions of people cheering for them, they settle for the realization that there is a light at the end of the tunnel, and that light is symbolic of their dreams becoming a reality.

I do believe that the Olympics does show the hard road that so many people face when it comes to making their dreams a reality. It’s not a walk in the park. It takes determination, strength, persistence, and above all, heart. Eleanor Roosevelt once said, “The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.” For anyone who has had a dream that is not easily attainable but still is what they strive for, they know how much heart it takes. In my opinion, heart is at the very center of seeing your dreams become a reality. You’ve got to want it. You’ve got to want it more than anything.

I’m reminded of what it means to follow your dreams based on 2 movies, Akeelah and the Bee and August Rush.¬†Akeelah and the Bee¬†tells the story of a young girl from South Los Angeles who tries to make it to the National Spelling Bee. Akeelah spends a lot of time training for the National Spelling Bee with a coach, and during one of her training days, her coach asks her to read the following quote by Marianne Williamson:

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.

In my opinion, this quote really speaks to the concept of following your dreams. Though we may try and try and try to remain positive when chasing our dreams, fear runs through all of us, but more precisely, the fear of failure. However, though the fear of failure is present in every one of us to some extent, it’s important that we don’t let it overpower us. As a writer, even though I worry about failing, I also know that I’m already writing. A few published articles and writing a blog post every single day since November of last year is proof of the fact that I am following my dream. Though I’m currently not a well-known published author, I’m doing what needs to be done in order to get there: I’m reading a lot and writing a lot.

The movie August Rush also talks about following your dreams or your heart to achieve something greater. It is the story of an orphaned musical prodigy who uses his gift as a clue to finding his birth parents. In the movie, Robin Williams plays the character of Wizard, who says this,

You got to love music more than you love food. More than life. More than yourself.

As much as failure plays into following your dreams, you’ve got to be sure that it’s something you love and something that you are willing to keep on chasing no matter how many times it seems to slip away. I’ve learned that the hard way in terms of my writing. Though I love it, it took me a long time to realize that writing wasn’t something I simply wanted to do…it was something I¬†needed¬†to do.

Therefore, in terms of not really watching the Olympics…though I understand the reasoning behind watching it and wanting to cheer on your own country, I simply believe that it’s also important to realize that every single person in the world has a dream. It may not be as momentous as the dreams that are discussed on national television, but that doesn’t mean that those dreams are any less important. Sometimes even the small dreams hold just as much weight, if not more.

Saying goodbye to Ireland tomorrow.

25 Jul

Since I’m flying home tomorrow morning, this song seemed appropriate. Gotta love James Taylor! ūüôā

P.S. I Love….Ireland!

12 Jun

My dream of wanting to go to Ireland began before I saw P.S. I Love You. However, once I saw the movie, I KNEW I had to go. Through the whole movie….I sat looking at all the incredible scenery and kept picturing myself there. The realization that I’ll be able to experience the beauty of Ireland for myself in exactly one week seems truly unreal, and I have no doubt that once I’m there, I’ll be reflecting back on the movie and realizing that I’m experiencing all the beauty of Ireland not through a movie, but through my own eyes….creating memories that I’ll reflect back on for my entire life.

Magical. There’s no other word for it.

A Nicholas Sparks Book: The Perfect Beach Read.

26 May

When I was in Florida, I vowed to read one Nicholas Sparks novel. I’m a fan of Nicholas Sparks’ books (even though they have pretty much the same plot line). However, they are the perfect beach reads, and sometimes a light, cute romance is just what I need.

I settled on¬†The Choice¬†by Nicholas Sparks. Surprisingly, I wasn’t a fan of the last third of the book since it just felt so unrealistic. Granted, I know that all of Nicholas Sparks’ books are usually pretty unrealistic as it is. It’s why his books make perfect movies….because they portray the kind of true love that we all want but few ever find. However, that being said, either way I’m a fan of reading love stories. I have lots of Nicholas Sparks books on my bookshelves, and 95% of my movies are romances. Yeah, yeah, I know. I just can’t help it.

Anyway, here’s the summary of¬†The Choice¬†(according to Amazon.com):

Travis Parker has everything a man could want: a good job, loyal friends, even a waterfront home in small-town North Carolina. In full pursuit of the good life– boating, swimming, and regular barbecues with his good-natured buddies–he holds the vague conviction that a serious relationship with a woman would only cramp his style. That is, until Gabby Holland moves in next door. Despite his attempts to be neighborly, the appealing redhead seems to have a chip on her shoulder about him…and the presence of her longtime boyfriend doesn’t help. Despite himself, Travis can’t stop trying to ingratiate himself with his new neighbor, and his persistent efforts lead them both to the doorstep of a journey that neither could have foreseen. Spanning the eventful years of young love, marriage and family, THE CHOICE ultimately confronts us with the most heart wrenching question of all: how far would you go to keep the hope of love alive?

As I said, I enjoyed the first 2 parts of this book. I always love reading how Nicholas Sparks writes the beginnings of love. Though often it feels “too good to be true,” I’d be lying if I didn’t sit and smile at the scenes that are just so cute. I mean yes, I don’t doubt that most almost-20 year olds would tell you that they wished they could have a love like the stories of love in Nicholas Sparks books. Who wouldn’t want that? Though Sparks’ book do hold a certain level of unrealistic tendencies, there is a reason why Nicholas Sparks is a New York Times Bestselling author. Women love reading about love stories. That’s a fact (well, for most women anyway). Though they may seem unrealistic, the stories are also cute, popular, and great stories to lose yourself in when you’re sitting on the beach with your toes in the sand.

So what is YOUR perfect beach read?

Living And Breathing For Books.

4 Apr

Last night I watched¬†You’ve Got Mail, a romantic comedy starring Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks that’s actually quite old. Anyway, the movie is about 2 bookshop owners who are essentially at war. One bookstore is small and has been around forever, and the other bookstore is a huge mega bookstore that ends up putting the small, quaint bookstore out of business. Of course, this isn’t all of the story. There’s love too. But I want this post to focus on books.

Somewhere in the back of my mind, I’ve dreamed of owning a bookstore one day. The thought of waking up early and walking/driving to a store filled with books….books that wouldn’t be able to “light up” until I came to turn on the lights. A store full of all sorts of books: fiction, nonfiction, local authors, poetry, classics…and not to mention a bargain section. Books for only one dollar….ah, who could not love that? Of course, the bookstore would need to have super comfy chairs. Not the stiff ones, but the kind of chairs that you just seem to sink into. I’d love to have chairs like that littered around, as well as some smaller rooms in the bookstore. Smaller rooms full of all kinds of reading nooks that could fit any kind of reader. Reading nooks with comfy cushions, reading nooks looking out behind the bookstore to see a view of mountains. Just thinking about it makes me want to see it, but not just in my mind.

Then again, I love discovering all kinds of bookstores. Used bookstores…the bookstores packed with so many books that you can almost smell the pages aging as you sit there reading. It’s the fun part about being a lover of books. Enjoying the hunt of finding the perfect place to get a cup of coffee, sink into a comfy chair and lose yourself in the world of words. Nothing sounds more perfect to me. I live and breathe for all the emotions that books evoke within me. And though it is sad when a book ends, the great joy is knowing that there are so so many more to be read.

  • We read to know we are not alone.-CS Lewis
  • It is what you read when you don’t have to that determines what you will be when you can’t help it.-Oscar Wilde
  • Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counselors, and the most patient of teachers.-Charles William Elliot
  • In the case of good books, the point is not to see how many of them you can get through, but rather how many can get through to you.-Mortimer Jerome Adler
  • Reading is the sole means by which we slip, involuntarily, often helplessly, into another’s skin, another’s voice, another’s soul.-Joyce Carol Oates
  • You think your pain and your heartbreak are unprecedented in the history of the world, but then you read. It was books that taught me that the things that tormented me most were the very things that connected me with all the people who were alive, or who had ever been alive.-James Baldwin
  • The best moments in reading are when you come across something – a thought, a feeling, a way of looking at things – which you had thought special and particular to you. And now, here it is, set down by someone else, a person you have never met, someone even who is long dead. And it is as if a hand has come out, and taken yours.-Alan Bennett
  • For some of us, books are as important as almost anything else on earth. What a miracle it is that out of these small, flat, rigid squares of paper unfolds world after world after world, worlds that sing to you, comfort and quiet or excite you. Books help us understand who we are and how we are to behave. They show us what community and friendship mean; they show us how to live and die.-Anne Lamott