My Journey to Alignment ✨

I don’t know when it started but, at some point between mid-university to earlier this year I became lost. Lost in myself, my path, my purpose, my goals, my dreams. And the more years that went by, the more lost I became. I got stuck in the deepest, darkest forest and there was no light to show me my way out. Lost and trapped are not good feelings. In hindsight, it took me way too long to listen to my intuition and realize what was going on. I should have trusted myself more. Nevertheless, it may have taken me a while but I got there. I am in a place now where I have finally begun to see some light and I’m following it, finding my path and aligning with the universe. It is all new to me, so it’s definitely a journey. And I have way more questions than answers right now but I am trusting in the Universe. That the Universe has guided me to where I need to be. At twenty-five years old I am finding my way.

I really want to document this journey on my blog, since I have been so absent for so long. I write a journal about my spiritual journey, sure, but on here’s everything is public. I am going to hold myself accountable for my self improvement. So, look forward to more posts from me on here! Finally. I would also love it for you to share your stories with me! Send me a message on Insta (@Youfoundmarinasbooks) or comment below! We are all going on this journey together.

✨ I am where I am meant to be and the only way through is forward. ✨

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January-March WRAP UP!

So far, 2018 has been a great reading year. I don’t think there has ever been a year where, within the span of three months, I’ve managed to read five books (for pleasure). For me that’s such a win.

I had originally set my 2018 Bookish New Years Resolution to read 30 books but the first couple of weeks in January didn’t go so well, in terms of bookish accomplishments. Then I heard that Ariel Bissett sets her goal to one book every year to take the pressure off. So, I changed my goal to 12 books. That’s one book a month; easy stuff. I am already seeing what a good idea it has turned out to be. According to GoodReads I am three-whole-books books ahead of schedule. It feels good.

Anyway, you came here for spoiler-free mini-reviews of all the books that I’ve read. So, without further ado, it begins:

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Half a King by Joe Abercrombie
4/5 Stars
The main character in this book, Yarvi, is a Prince but he is destined for a life away from the throne. That is until his father, the king, is murdered. Thus ensues heartbreak, betrayal, and treason.
      Half a King was not a fast-paced book, although the beginning is the exception– it thrusts you into the events and, before you know it, you’re hooked and rooting for poor Yarvi. There’s a lot of character growth in Yarvi and how could there not be when your family betrays you and you’re forcibly sold to a fierce sea-captain as a slave. Yarvi is resourceful and intelligent and, despite all the hardships he has endured, Yarvi is kind. He becomes a man during the events of this book but I’d have a tough time deciding if Half a King is character based or plot based.
I’d say the driving force for this book (at least for me) is the possibility of catharsis. You can’t wait for Yarvi to get home one day and show his family and his people how strong he is, how much he’s suffered, and how misunderstood he has been. And we get a real treat of what I like to call “double-catharisis” at the end.
My only qualm with his book is that it was too short. I know it’s the first book in a series but this book needed more, especially as a borderline-high-fantasy. It needed more description, more character development of all of the characters, more conflict, more journeying. More of everything. Except the ending. The ending was prefect.

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Dear Ijeawele, or a Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
5/5 Stars
When people ask me what I thought of this book I am always struck with how little I have to say. This is simply because my opinion can be wrapped up in a neat little sentence: Reading Adichie’s letters helped me change how I perceive things. If you want me to go on further: it helped me open my eyes and recognize things that I’d buried deep within me. These aspects of life Adichie mentions were things that, as a woman, I’d noticed and some things I didn’t realize that I’d noticed. But in reading this book, all of those underlying details that I’d buried deep within me because of the patriarchal society we live in, came to the surface and now I perceive the world differently. More importantly, I perceive the world more actively.
Everyone should read this book no matter the gender that they identify with, no matter if they have children or not, no matter if they are fifteen years old or ninety-five.

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Sea of Shadows by Kelly Armstrong
3/5 Stars
There’s always that one book you want to love but turns out to be a dud. I don’t like to write negative things about books unless they’re really bad like how I felt about The Captive Prince so I’ll keep this “review” short. This books was really lacking in my opinion. Lacking in writing, lacking in character, lacking in plot. I was just not impressed. I think the most frustrating thing about it was that I could not pin down the two main characters: Moria and Ashyn. I think the problem there came from when we first meet Moria. In those first few pages I developed a sense for her character but when we meet again I found Moria’s initial characteristics in Ashyn and the confusion between the two never cleared. Beyond that, I won’t say much. I did find the story to be alluring, in that I wanted to find out what happened next. The writing, on the other hand, left everything to be desired which felt strange considering Armstrong’s status in the literary world.

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The Telling Pool by David Clement-Davies
4/5 Stars
This book has many mixed reviews and, as for me, I have very mixed feelings. While the writing was rich and the plot was loaded with many allegories and lessons, I can’t quite pinpoint the story’s nature or it’s intended audience. This is my first David Clement-Davies book so I look forward to seeing how this matches up to the likes of The Sight. I like how real this book was, how close to human nature, and how Rhodri’s thoughts process and develop throughout the book. It was a much slower read, especially having just read Sea of Shadows which takes the form of the most basic writing style and which I zipped through.
I feel like I still need to process the story in order to properly review it. Maybe one day I’ll have my thoughts in order…

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Call Me By Your Name by Andre Aciman
5/5 Stars
Besides Adichie’s book (above), Call Me By Your Name is one of my favourite reads this year. I listened to it in the span of three days, I couldn’t get enough. I then proceeded to watch the movie and have declared myself obsessed. I don’t know if my obsession is in the story or in the idea of love. As a twenty-three year old woman who has never fallen in love, this Aciman fed me full of what it must be like to be in love (though Elio and Oliver’s love can also called infatuation– but I cannot argue that with so little evidence from my own life to draw from). This story is filled with so much of what it means to be human that reading it I felt raw at times. It was so beautiful. I want to review this in a separate post at some point because I have so much to say. Beyond that, I will leave you with this: Call Me By Your Name is one of my favourite books, though my impression just after reading it was that I wouldn’t call it one of my top five. Make of that what you will, I suppose.

 

Currently Reading:

The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller (re-read)

Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen

Tulip Fever by Deborah Moggach

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Working RETAIL with ANXIETY

Living with anxiety is kind of like being a smart phone with the flashlight left on.  People with anxiety are always expending extra energy just by being. Being. Like the phone with the flashlight left on, our energy depletes much faster than a person who is not plagued by an anxious mind. That’s without any kind of outside stimulation like social interaction. Add socialization into the mix and you’ve left your Pokemon GO app running, full brightness, with your flashlight on. Bye Bye battery.

So, working in retail is like an amplification of that drainage. Anxiety becomes a high intensity electricity coursing through your entire body for the length of the shift, before, and after. Not only do you have to deal with issues and conflict in the workplace, the simple task of conversing with customers and coworkers is maddeningly exhausting.

That phone call to your boss about changing your shift, or calling in sick, becomes your worst nightmare.

Angry customers become seething monsters who feed off of all of your anxieties.

That pain in your neck from lifting all those boxes must be chronic.

You almost died putting the cardboard into the compactor.

This might all sound funny, but it is scary and it is real.

On top of all of this, it is in my personal nature to work full-tilt. I cannot slow down at work. I give it my all and nothing less. I smile, I speed walk (sometimes run), I circle the store for returns, I smile some more.

It is no surprise that a five hour shift feels like a 16 hour shift at the end of the day. All I want to do is curl up and sleep. Though I can only sleep after my brain has calmed down from the day. So, depending how late my shift goes (I work in a 24 hour store) that could be hours later.

I have worked in retail for three years and I only told one of my co-workers that I suffer with anxiety yesterday. She was genuinely surprised. I must hide it well.

The task is not impossible, but it is extremely difficult. I am not sorry I do it, I do not dread each shift more than any anxiety-less person would. Every shift I have is a battle, it is a way for me to become stronger, to overcome anxiety. If I can do it, you can too. Remember, you are not alone.

What do we say to the God of Anxiety? Not today.

22 Things for 22 Years

I turned 22 in June and I have decided to make list of 11 things I learned so far and 11 things I would like to do before I am 23. Are any of these things on your list? Do you have any ideas for me? Let me know in the comments below.

THINGS I’VE LEARNED SO FAR:

  1. It is important to do your best but make sure you aren’t hurting yourself in the process.
  2. It’s okay to not know what to do, to feel lost as an adult. The feeling is part of growing up and will never go away. It’s frightening but exciting!
  3. It is okay to cry. In fact, it’s good for you! (Blog post on this coming soon).
  4. Read as much as you can whenever you can.
  5. You can’t change the people you love. You have to accept them as they are and not expect them to give you the love you give them.
  6. Traveling is so good for you. It can shape you into the person you need to become.
  7. Don’t be afraid to be yourself. You’ll have way more fun if you just embrace your own personality.
  8. Sever any relationship that is toxic, that makes you an less of a person than you currently are. Choose relationships that raise you up, that make you feel good about you.
  9. Wear what makes you comfortable because, I guarantee, it will make you feel so much  more confident.
  10. Anxiety and depression are not the be all and end all of your life. If you push them away with all your might, you will find better days on the horizon.
  11. As my mom always told me, “Fight, fight, fight.” You must fight for what you want, fight for what you believe, and fight to get rid of all those negative things in your life. You can do it.

THINGS I’D LIKE TO DO:

  1. Travel more often.
  2. Apply for as many full-time jobs in my field as possible.
  3. Attend the College of Makeup Art and Design in May 2017.
  4. Stay positive. Strive to be happy.
  5. Become at least 70% fluent in French.
  6. Stay in contact with family more frequently.
  7. Start an indoor garden (that includes lavender).
  8. Blog more often and restart my YouTube channel(s).
  9. See Loreena McKennitt live at Massey Hall in Toronto.
  10. Be more spontaneous.
  11. Finish writing my book.

 

Inspired by sunbeamjess’s video.

Don’t forget to follow me on all my social media!

Twitter: marinasheartxo
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things that make me happy. 06/16

Sometimes we all need a pick me up, especially when life gets tough. Here are some things that keep a smile on my face, keep me sane, and keep my anxiety at bay.

  • Music: SoundCloud
    I have always been an 8Tracks lover but recently I have been falling in love with SoundCloud. When I like one song it plays a series of others for me that are similar. About 90% of the time, I like those songs too. Lately, the musical vibes I have been going for are “future soul/chill/easy jazz” I might call it. If you listen to my likes I think you might find yourself very chilled out. Click HERE or above to go to my profile.
  • Music: Florence and the Machine
    I was lucky enough to see Florence in action on June 10th, 2016 at the Molson Canadian Amphitheatre. If anyone gives good vibes, she does. I will be making a post soon on that adventure. Stay tuned!
  • YouTube: extrasunbeamjess
    It has been years since I first subscribed to Jess when she posted a video about her ring collection. I’m not sure if that video is still live but I always seem to gravitate back to her main channel and her vlog channel. She is so calming and when I watch her blogs I get to go with her on her many vacations, I get to try out high end makeup without my own purchase, and I get to just feel very at ease. Part of my musical inspirations this month have been because of Jess. So definitely go check her out if you are into those kind of things!
  • Fabric Softener
    It’s a luxury, I know. But I love it. I love putting on new clothes and breathing them in and just feel good. Cleanliness is a huge happiness factor in my life.
  • My rings
    I usually wear the same four rings every day. It is comforting to know that they are there. It is incredibly materialistic of me, but, hey, it’s the little things. I recently added a new ring to the group. It is one my mom and dad bought me when I was about ten years old. This one is gold; all the others are sterling silver. I like the contrast.
  • Painting my nails
    I never really had the patience to paint my nails before this month. It makes me feel at ease now, much like when I do my makeup in the morning. My new favourite colour is Essie’s “find me an oasis.” It is a beautiful pale, baby blue colour.
  • Planning my new tattoo
    Anyone who knows me, knows I can’t draw but making little doodles of how I possibly want my tattoo to look before I go for a consultation makes me very happy. It definitely gives me something positive to look forward to.
  • Makeup: Rosewater Facial Spray
    My last post was a review on the Mario Badescu Skin Care Facial Spray with Aloe, Herbs, and Rosewater. I love it. If I’m feeling down, I give my face two spritzes of this stuff (makeup or no makeup) and I instantly feel rejuvenated and quite pleased.

What makes you happy? What gives you good vibes? Let me know below or on any of my social media. Links to my Instagram and Twitter are at the top of my blog. You can follow me on snapchat for more happy moments and many many snaps of my gorgeous 9-year-old-puppy-Bailey @youfoundmarina

MARIO BADESCU Rosewater Facial Spray REVIEW

This is one of those things I picked up to try just for the hell of it. I was wandering around the Anthropologie in Yorkdale (as I do so often now), looking at the ridiculous prices of everything that happened to tickle my fancy.

I picked up the bottle of this Mario Badescu Skincare Facial Spray with Aloe, Herbs, and Rosewater, and thought, “Ah, how nice: rosewater.” I then rolled the bottle around to amuse myself with what I expected to be another outrageous price. I nearly said, “Oh wow, seven dollars?!” out loud but I kept my mouth shut and immediately took the bottle to the counter.

This stuff is an absolute gem.

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Let me list all the wonderful things about the product for you. (There are only good things to say):

  • It smells like roses. So many lovely roses.
  • It makes me feel like my skin is glowing
  • It wakes me up
  • It cools me down
  • It sets my makeup (and actually holds it all day) and doesn’t leave spots
  • It dries quickly without leaving any spots
  • It is cruelty free
  • Apparently you can spray it on your hair all day (I don’t know why…)
  • Gentle on my sensitive skin

My experience with this product the past month and a half has been amazing. I definitely plan on trying more of Mario’s products!

I’ll Introduce You

I’ll introduce you to
the silence of the night
where darkness becomes quite
inky and indistinct.

I’ll introduce you to
my true, nebulous mind
where memories do creep
’till the early morning.

I’ll introduce you to
the beating of my heart;
the measureless moments
when the stars are ablaze.

I’ll introduce you to
passing dreams I do see:
silent thoughts found only
in the deepest of sleep.

I’ll introduce you to
the silence of the night
where darkness becomes quite
inky and indistinct.

I’ll introduce you to
this mute dissolution
so that when you do wake,
the dawn is not so cruel.

  • Marina Green, May 2016

Handling GRIEF: Part One

It all started when I made a video on YouTube about my experience with grief and how I’ve gotten through. It helped so many people and that’s my goal. Below, I’ve attached the video for you all to see so that maybe, one day, it will help you. For your sake, I hope that day is a long time coming.

I want this to be a new series. Every month, or every other month, I’ll post about how to handle grief again and hopefully reach more of you.

Also, if you ever need anyone to talk to, I’m always available. My social media is on my blog but I’ll link those places down below too. You can also leave comments below this post, or any other, if you need to talk.

Remember you aren’t alone.

I made this video in 2012.
It is now 2016, and I’ve been living with the memory of my mother for 7 years. I still miss her, I still grieve for her, but that’s a discussion for another day. I hope this helps.

P.S. I wore yellow on purpose. I hope it makes you feel lighter.

I’ll lend an ear if you need to talk ♥
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2016 ♥ Bucket List!

2016 has just begun!
Most years I just dream about doing things that never get done. This 2016, I want to be proactive about my dreams and tick off as much as I possibly can from this list. Hopefully, by December, I’ll look back and be happy with what I’ve done.

  1. Visit 2 new countries
  2. Finish writing a novel (and publish it?!)
  3. Read 25+ books
  4. Eat vegetables and fruit every day
  5. Get another tattoo
  6. Start running at least 3 times a week
  7. Take lots of pictures and videos
  8. Go on a road trip
  9. Speak French almost fluently
  10. Go to drive-in movie
  11. Re-start my YouTube channel
  12. Go hiking
  13. Make more video edits
  14. Strive to be happy

What are your 2016 goals? Let me know below, and whatever they are, I hope your 2016 is filled with happiness and good health! ♥

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Christmas BOOK HAUL 2015!

I was blessed to be gifted so many amazing books this Christmas (two of which were a gift from myself to myself) the rest were from my wonderful father and my stepmother! How cool do they look beside my two Redbubble purchases I made last year?

If these books were in any particular order, the version of Pride and Prejudice  that I was gifted would most definitely be first.

I hope you enjoy this little haul! See you all in the new year!

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Magisterium: The Iron Trial
by Holly Black and Cassandra Clare

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The Tale of Tommy Nobody: A bird story
 and A Feast of Flowers: A flower story by Ruth Thompson. Perviously owned by a boy who signed his name on the inside of both books!

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The Tale of 
Johnny Town Mouse and The Tale of Squirrel Nutkin by Beatrix Potter. Also previously owned by an unknown.

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Dear Jane 
Austen: A Heroine’s Guide to Life and Love by Patrice Hannon. An adorable used book.

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen, Illustrated by Isabel Bishop.
Hardcover published in 1976 by E.P. Dutton & Co. Inc.

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Paper Towns
by John Green

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The Queen of the Tearling
by Erika Johansen

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The Bazaar Stories of Bad Dreams 
by Stephen King