the musings of a cynical optimist

Archive for August, 2017

Life changing and not so life changing books

There are 3 books I am parting with and each has touched my life in a different way.

  1. The Beauty Myth – Naomi Wolf
    Beauty myth

    True dat

    If there is one book that has most changed my life – it’s this one. I remember in grade 9, feeling like I wasn’t supposed to be in my own body, thinking that being a boy would be so much easier. It was a maintenance thing really. There was the constant shaving of legs and pits, doing hair, covering up bad skin. It was an exhausting amount of hard work. It snowballed from there into confusing double standards in relationships with men, and ongoing fears about how my gender impacts my quest for self-actualization.

    What I learned from this book is that it is easy to control and profit from people who have self-doubt and self-hatred. Being ‘free’ but self-loathing can feel like of a prison. So explore who profits from your self-doubt and then engage with these people and businesses appropriately. Around this time I stopped reading Cosmo -too many mixed messages and pictures of J. Lo Benjamin Buttoning.

    The other thing I learned from this book is that although women have been a main target for this, it impacts men too. This has become more apparent in recent years with men I know fretting and spending a good chunk of money on body hair removal, anti-aging products and make up, a concept unheard of a few decades ago.

    Ultimately, this sort of self hate, regardless of who is experiencing it, is super shitty for sex lives! There is a certain level of inhibition with sex that is not easily accessed when one is worried about living up to fabricated standards of how they should look, act and feel.

    Number of times i’ve reread this book – 0

2) The Raw Food Detox Diet – Natalia Rose

From the forward: ‘As a cosmetic surgeon, my patients are always asking me how to enhance their appearance and quality of life.”  Why a cosmetic surgeon seemed like the best person to endorse this book is anyones guess.

This book lays out the simple steps to becoming a raw foodist. There are 5 different ‘levels’ to graduate through. Inspiring chapter titles include ‘Stop poisoning your cells’ and ‘You need to take the garbage out.’ Science my friends. Science.

Number of times i’ve reread this book – 0

3) 3) A New Earth – Eckhart tolle  

Reading this book requires focus and consistency so you don’t forget what you just finished reading. He offers insight into the human condition and discusses living in the present and shifting your perspective.

The reason I saved this book is because of the way it made me feel after. Frankly, I felt brainwashed into complete contentment at a time when I needed it.

Number of times i’ve reread this book – 0

 

 

 

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To organize or to create -that is the question

Every time I have a spare moment or a night to myself, I start to get excited about the possibilities. Maybe i’ll finally write a song again or read a book or cook something.clipart-stressed-out-14.jpg

But first I just need to get a few other things out of the way. Dishes, laundry, vacuuming… and I should probably do something about the pile of notes from musical theatre school a decade ago, and deal with these cassette tapes and photos that are sliding all over the place. Screw it, it’s just easier to watch all of Jane The Virgin tonight. 


I’m not a hoarder. I just collect things.  And it hasn’t been much of a problem until now. I grew up in a home with lots of space. My room through high school and university was built by my dad and had a double closet so I had ample shelving for all my goodies. 

When I moved to NYC in 2006, I arrived with just one suitcase and one backpack – like a big cliche. I often wonder how I accumulated so much stuff since then. And then I remember that the whole time i was in New York, I had 20 rubbermaid containers full of crap in my aunt and uncle’s basement.

So i’ve decided to clear out a lot of clutter once and for all. There are lots of items I am ready to part with but some have great stories and memories attached to them. And so I will be writing about my experiences decluttering as well as telling stories about some of the neat finds along the way.  That way I get to create and clean at the same time!