What I’ve learned in 2017

Every year means change, and with change come valuable lessons. I never really understood the true purpose of growing up, of maturing and becoming independent, just like my parents did before me and my grandparents before them. The process is at first slow, or at least our young minds perceive it as such. Then high school comes and just for a second you believe you know exactly what you want, that you know who you are and what life has to offer. This though, cannot be further from the truth. Eventually University knocks at your door, a new chapter which is unlike anything you’ve ever experienced before. At first, you enjoy the liberties to a point when it becomes almost like a drug. This independence has never been as strong and persistent until now. This freedom is a blessing and a curse. While it can be fulfilling, it can also be blinding. Somewhere along the line, life wakes you up in the middle of an enormous mess.

2017 has been a year of revelations, a year which impacted me in more ways than one. A new piece has been placed in the puzzle of life, and along with it, my perception of myself and what’s around me also changed. I want to start by saying that all my life I had this view that I had to be perfect. I would watch various Disney movies and believe that I was worthy of having what those princesses had. Though it’s an unrealistic thinking, I must admit that I am a dreamer and I tend to overthink some aspects. I carried this with me for a long time and I forgot to actually live in the present. I treated everything in a childish manner and this made me become someone I wasn’t. And so, I’ve learned that yes, you can have dreams, but you cannot wait for God or anyone to make them come true. I’ve learned that it is impossible to control everything you’re feeling. It is completely normal to feel anxious or depressed from time to time. You feel, you care, you love. You are not a robot. I’ve learned that you should not take anything you have for granted. You are so lucky and blessed to have people in your life that truly care about you and love you with all their heart. It is easy to forget what is really important and also equally easy to complain about everything that is going wrong in your life. You forget that others may have it much worse than you but they know how to hide their sorrow better than you. I’ve learned that you can dream like a kid, but you can’t always act like one. This is not a game anymore. It is time grow up, to start your true journey and there are going to be some obstacles in your way which you never even thought of. Although at times they can get the best of you, remember that there is always a light at the end of the tunnel and a lesson to be learned. Also, you are HUMAN. You are bound to make mistakes. If you ever thought you can be perfect, nope, you can’t. Everyone makes mistakes, but you cannot use them as excuses. It may hurt when the ugly truth is unveiled, but be GRATEFUL because though it may seem strange, it lifts a weight of your shoulders. Things will start to make sense and it is up to you if you want to learn from those mistakes, move on and try to be a better person. I’ve learned that God can help you even in the darkest of times, even when you’ve lost all your faith. And finally, I’ve learned that YOU CANNOT COMPARE YOURSELF TO OTHERS. Everyone has their own unique path. The things which others want may not necessarily be what you want. Jealousy is a tricky emotion and can change you into someone you do not recognize. This past year I’ve learned more about jealousy than ever. It can consume you so much that you start treating the people around you in a way they don’t deserve. You may push them away, hurt them without realising the damage you’re making. Always remember what is most important to you. Do not be jealous of other people’s success. Instead, encourage them, be happy for them because you would want the same thing too.

I now close this chapter of my life with the idea that everything I have gone through thus far has made me want to become better. By regaining my faith, I have come to see that imperfection has its own beauty because it challenges you to be a better person. From now on, I am going to remind myself how blessed and loved I am and that dreams can come true if you believe and work hard for them. Each lesson makes you wiser and more aware of the world you live in.

To conclude this awfully long post, here’s to a new year and a new beginning. May all your dreams come true and may you fight each challenge that will come towards you with the fire I know each and every one of you has!

‘Cause every night I lie in bed

The brightest colors fill my head

A million dreams are keeping me awake

I think of what the world could be

A vision of the one I see

A million dreams is all it’s gonna take

A million dreams for the world we’re gonna make’

– A million dreams (The greatest showman)

Xx

Being a twin

For as long as I can remember, people have always been shocked when they found out I have a twin brother. Maybe it is because twins aren’t as common. I’ve even had people ask me if I could read my brother’s mind (typical stereotype of twins). Well spoiler alert, nope, I cannot do that, though sometimes I admit it would come in-handy. According to my grandpa, there’s record of twins in our family, who would always be born after four generations have passed. Now, I don’t know if I believe this or not. He also said to me one time that he always knew one of his children would have twins. Kind of crazy if I think about it.

Growing up with a twin is, well, challenging. In spite of what some people may think, twins have very contrasting personalities. While my brother would love everything involving computers, science and math, I would love to draw, sing and be creative. We were so different that one of my teachers even said to my mom that she has never met twins as opposite as we were. On top of that, we had our moments when we really didn’t get along at all ( I think all siblings have that phase 😅)

I never saw this as something unusual though. I love the fact that we each have our own unique characters and interests. Even though twins share a womb and a birthday, it doesn’t mean that we are by any means similar. We are like night and day, two separate people, yet somehow, we are connected. Every time my brother would get hurt I would feel that pain. Every time he would be anxious for a grade at school, I would be as well and I am sure that he would say the same. It is a feeling that I can’t quite explain because it’s been there all along.

And so, I can say with absolute certainty that having a twin brother is one of the best things. Though I don’t really say it, I appreciate him every day, even when he barges into my room to tell me bad jokes or when he gets on my nerves or when he reminds me he’s 5 minutes older. He has and always will be there for me and that is the beauty of a brother-sister bond. Though we disagree sometimes, we know we can count on each other. Being a twin can mean chaos, but it’s also unique, beautiful and unlike anything else.

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A different kind of December 1st

The beginning of December usually means two things: Christmas is coming and, also, my country’s national day. It is a day of joy when people gather around in our city center to see the fireworks with their family and friends. Now, throughout the years have I never really went out on this particular day mainly because my introverted side was giving me reasons not to. Last year was actually the first time that I’ve managed to convince myself to give it a go and since I really enjoyed it I decided to go this year as well.

The night started off normally as I met up with some of my friends in our central park. We decided to first check out the Christmas market since the fireworks weren’t going to be until 8 PM. Honestly I don’t know if this was a mistake or not because even though we literally got squished in that crowd, we ironically ended up laughing so hard as we tried to find our way out from it. Amazingly enough though, most of the people had our flag in their hands while smiling and cheering. For me, that was a confirmation that there is unity, that there is love for this country. Words cannot describe what I felt especially during fireworks. It was a magical moment filled with beautiful music that made you feel like you were actually in one of the Harry Potter movies. Seeing everyone smile and be in awe of how beautiful the sky looked because of them warmed my heart. I guess it is true what they say: Beauty comes from little things. I felt truly blessed that I was able to be alongside people who were feeling the same emotions as I did.

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Before each of us went home, we stopped at a little restaurant since we were all freezing and starving. Truth be told, it is a horrible idea to search for a place where you can warm up and eat on that day. We could barely find a restaurant that had a table available. I think we knew better than to continue searching but we really wanted to spend more time together. Perseverance can be quite rewarding because after almost an hour of searching, just moments before giving up, we found that small restaurant. At that point, I didn’t even want to order anything since even the waiter said it would take a while for the food to come.

After the others ordered, one of my friends asked us if we wanted to play a game. Immediately I was intrigued by her idea. She suggested that we each answer honestly to some questions. I remember the way we looked at each other, unsure, maybe a bit scared, but also excited and ready for what was about to come. To say that we shared one of the most intimate moments in a restaurant is an understatement. The whole world shut down as five people were about to pour their hearts out and didn’t even know it. The first question:“Why would you want to fall in love and why would you not want to?” had pretty similar answers. We all believe that falling in love with someone can be the greatest thing but also the most challenging and there is always that risk that you will get hurt. We each took our turn and listened while the other person was giving their most sincere answer. The second question was: “What would you want to feel when you are in love?” Now this question got us to really think about what we actually wanted. My mind without even having time to process it all, immediately took me to a quote I once heard from The Vampire Diaries: “You want a love that consumes you. You want passion, adventure, and even a bit of danger”. As I said those words out loud, I could feel the others staring at me.  The attention they were giving me was like a door towards intimacy. It is a terrifying yet fulfilling emotion because you get to open up and be vulnerable. Each of us managed to express some things we didn’t know we wanted until they came through our mouths. I will never forget when one of my friends simply said: “I want love, yes, but I have to fix myself first, and I am not there yet”. When you think about it, how can you expect to be treated like the most special human being out there when you don’t do the same towards others.

The truth is, we all need to acknowledge that we are not perfect, that we are flawed  and we make mistakes. It is natural to want love, to want affection and safety but it is also important to work on yourself, to realise that yes, you are going to make mistakes, but as long as you want to fix yourself, everything is going to turn out just as it is supposed to be. We often tend to forget that we are enough on our own, that self love needs to come from within. And with this I want to say that yes, I want to love and be loved in return but at the same time I know I need to be a better person before actually having that chance. Love can be a subject some people would want to avoid talking about, which is precisely why I think we ended up discussing it. Not everyone can allow themselves to be vulnerable around others but they know, all of us know that love is the greatest thing we do.

 

XX

“The quirky things that make you different are what make you beautiful”

When I was little, I used to think that celebrities were the embodiment of perfection. Every time I would see them on TV or read about them I would express in my mind my desire to be just like them.

As I got older, I started to see the bubble that was shielding them from reality.  What we sometimes don’t realise is that we are all human. We all make mistakes, we struggle, some more than others. I wish that I knew this back when I was 16. I was so insecure and shy. I lacked self confidence to the point where I would think that I was worthless. In short, I wasn’t capable of loving myself. I used to envy everyone around me and saw beauty in each human whom I’ve crossed paths with but myself ( still do sometimes ).  I would look at different celebrities and think Oh, I wish I was just like her/him, they’ve got it all figured out. If only I knew then how wrong I was. By the time I graduated I thought that I knew who I was, that I was ready for the real world. But let me tell you something that I would have liked to know back then, you’re never ready. I was just a 19 year old who was stepping into the real world and didn’t fully grasp the full meaning of that aspect. College life proved to be a difficult yet exciting change and for the past year I’ve grown so much as a young woman. I guess it’s true what they say that everything happens for a reason. The experiences that I’ve gone through so far have shaped my mind and soul so much that I no longer saw celebrities as inhuman. Of course they had fame and money but that didn’t mean that they were by any means happier than us. The more my blindness started to vanish the more I saw how vulnerable they truly are.


I’ve been a huge fan of Lily Collins ever since I saw Mortal Instruments: City of Bones in 2013. Once I heard that she was writing a book, more specifically a memoir, something told me that I had to have it.  I knew that I wouldn’t be able to get it when it was released as I am living in Romania, so I had to wait a little for Unfiltered to be released here as well. My life got so busy due to my exams that didn’t have the time to even think about buying the book. As fate would have it, I would get my hands on it when I needed the most. Two weeks ago my instincts told me that I shouldn’t delay it any longer and sure enough, three days later I had Unfiltered in my possession. Even though I was really excited I can honestly say that I didn’t know what to expect. Was it going to help me? Was it going to empower me? I will never forget the moment I turned my first page and read The quirky things that make you different are what make you beautiful. 

From that moment I was hooked. For the first time we were given the opportunity to see that a celebrity is nowhere near perfect but that imperfection holds an unimaginable beauty. Reading about how Lily struggled with anorexia as a teenager made me understand those who suffer from this more. I was almost in tears when she explained her fear of never being able to have children, a fear that I also have because of my small ovarian cysts. I have come to admire her more ( if that was even possible ) for her courage to share her life without any filters. Through her words, she encouraged me to love myself even if it will be hard at times, that I am enough on my own  and I don’t need anyone to complete me, that I can be silly because that’s our best part. I found myself relating to her more than I could have ever imagined.


As I mentioned before, I’ve had a hard time loving and accepting myself. I never saw myself as beautiful until I was 18 and still then it was just a small progress towards confidence. Yet everyday I tried to look at myself in the mirror and repeat that I am beautiful over and over again. I knew I had a long way to go but I kept trying not for anyone but myself. I had to understand that not everyone is going to like me, so I needed to accept myself as I am because there is only one of me. When I read her first chapter about her insecurities due to her eyebrows and that she learned to love what makes her unique thanks to her mother’s advice, something in me changed. It’s only been a week and a half since I read it but I can honestly say that I’ve never loved myself more. Of course my confidence still needs some work but I realised that if I don’t love myself then why expect others to. I also felt self conscious about my hair when I was younger. It used to be very bushy, and because of that I referred to it as “Hermione style”. I hated the fact that it looked so burned and I preferred it to be flat rather than full of volume. With time though I started to take care of it better and today I adore my hair, it’s become one of my best features and I always get compliments on it.



I was on the train, trying to get away from the city life when I reached a chapter where she talked about how she looked too young for her age. Believe it or not, looking younger than you are can be both a blessing and a curse. Everyone around me told me that I should appreciate it and believe me, I do, but sometimes it can be a bit annoying because people tend to treat you like a child. Reading about how Lily struggled during her auditions because she looked too young made me feel so relieved that someone finally understood.


 Also, like Lily, I like to surprise people too. I love the look on their faces when they find out that I’m 20 instead of 15-16 and that my personality is way different than what they’ve had in mind at first glance. I am also not a fan of drinking to have fun and sometimes I am too compassionate. I loved how she talked about tattoos, how a story could be told just by a simple tattoo. What impressed me the most though was the story of her abusive relationship. When you’re in that kind of situation, it’s hard to leave that person because you love them and in your mind you feel like you have a responsibility to help them. It must have taken a lot to speak up and accept that you deserve better. When someone shows you who they truly are, believe them. I will never forget this.

I urge everyone to get Unfiltered not only because you’re a fan of Lily Collins but also because there’s not a person in this world who cannot relate to her book. It has now become one of my favourite books that I will most likely re-read when I am feeling down about myself. The truth is, we are constantly evolving. No one has life figured out yet and even though sometimes things might be hard remember that things are going to get better and you are strong enough. We need to accept the things that make us unique! 


            Love Always and Forever”

                                               -Lily Collins


Afraid

 

I am afraid“. These three words are always the hardest to come out of my mouth. I don’t always like to admit it, mainly because I have this idea in my head that I would seem weak. We all are afraid of something and that’s normal, but sometimes it is hard to accept the idea of fear. It consumes us until the loneliness of that dark place becomes too overwhelming. I always have to remind myself that being afraid doesn’t make you weak. Admitting it actually makes you stronger. So, yes, I am afraid…I am afraid that my life isn’t going to be epic, adventurous, amazing and, most of all, inspiring.

Lately I’ve been feeling like I am trapped in this dungeon which keeps me from the outside world. I only know half the way to reach the and and escape. To be honest, I actually don’t know what I want to do with my life, which path I should take, and everyday I become more and more confused. I know that I want an extraordinary life, filled with passion, adventure and even a little bit of danger( quoting Damon Salvatore a bit there hehe 😀 ) but I don’t know how to fulfill those things. I am so afraid that my life will end up being ordinary, and while most of the people want that, I actually don’t. Every life has a purpose, and I want mine to be special, to be inspiring. There is just so much more to this life than ordinary. I see all these people changing lives, doing extraordinary things and I’m just sitting here, doing nothing. This bothers me the most. I guess Belle’s words really represent me, they are a part of me, the part which is desperate to get out. Not everyone understands my desires, which makes me feel even lonelier. My conscious wants to scream, to be set free but I just really don’t know how to do that.

            “I want adventure in the great wild somewhere,

          I want it more than I can tell…

         And for once it might be grand

        To have someone understand

          I want so much more than they’ve got planned”

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I feel trapped and it is terrifying to think that maybe I won’t ever get out. There must be a way out, there must be something to help me escape this blur. It is a very lonely road ahead of me and while I don’t really now it yet, I am ready to face every challenge, every hardship just so I could find who I’m supposed to be. I hope it will be worth it… That I am worthy of an extraordinary life…

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    I want to LIVE 

 

Escape

Everyone needs an escape once in a while. This world is so imperfect sometimes that we have to find a way to recharge our batteries. Most of us want a quiet place, where your thoughts stop flowing like crazy maniacs and try to mess with you. It is a shelter of warmth and security, a mini “paradise” which allows you to escape reality or disappointment. And believe me, I’ve had my fair share of disappointments from people who I barely knew and people who were closest to me. There is nothing we can do about it other than trying to accept things as they are and be prepared for what’s to come. In other words, an escape place is essential to our mind. Some people search for it for years and others don’t realise that it’s just sitting there, right under their nose.

Ever since I was little I was drawn to the artistic side of life. I hated the logical point of view. I wanted to explore, to imagine, to comment and go beyond rational meaning. I was also drawn to drawing. I found this unexplainable joy whenever I would touch a pencil. If only did i know at that time just how much I would need drawing. As I grew up, I began to rely more and more on it. I was a bit of a loner back then, I didn’t mind it at first but at around 13 years old I began to worry about myself because every summer from 6th grade until the 8th grade I would be alone and drawing was the only thing that brought me happiness. I made comics of the person that I wanted to be, this powerful, confident, intelligent girl that could do anything she wanted without caring what others thought. Instead of thinking how lonely I was, I would just draw. My mind would stop shouting negativity as I was holding my pencil.

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After I entered high school for some reason I stopped drawing. I was no longer the lonely girl and I started to change, to shape into a better and more confident person. And so, I almost gave up drawing because I didn’t feel like I needed it anymore. How wrong was I… My senior year was probably the hardest year I’ve ever had to face. On one hand I wasn’t sure what I was going to do with my life and I was also going through some personal stuff too. One day though, everything changed. Somehow my passion for drawing came back and I was really nervous at first to pick up a pencil again, but I knew I had to do it. I questioned my ability to draw, of course, since it’s been a couple of years since I last made a proper sketch. I was scared that maybe I’ve lost it and I disappointment was written all over my faced as I realised how I’ve neglected a gift, a talent that got me through so many things. At that moment all I could think was “Okay, if I really lost my ability to draw I will do everything in my power to get it back.”

The thing is, when you love something that much you just can’t even process the possibility of it fading away from your grasp. I made my first few lines and from there, my mind stopped worrying. “I forgot how much I loved this” I thought. And from then on I couldn’t stop. Believe it or not, even with those years when I didn’t really practice my drawing, my skills were now better than ever. From then on, a new world was born, a world that will never disappear, a world which will never let me stop drawing ever again because if I really were to completely stop, it would be like losing the ability to breathe. Some people try their hardest to find their escape, and mine has been there all along but I was oblivious of its existence. “This is my escape” I whispered…

 

 

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PS: I have an Instagram dedicated to my drawings if you want to check it out @acourtofartanddreams 

The loveliest family on YouTube

In this day and age it is quite hard to find people who can truly be real. Sadly, there is still a lot of hate and judgement in this world which is now so fragile. Young generations don’t deserve to be surrounded by this fog of negativity. Yet, through all of this, there are still some bright lights. In my years of watching YouTubers, I’m not going to lie, I’ve stumbled upon a lot of people who weren’t that inspirational, some who used the platform to spread negative thoughts. For years and years I’ve searched for YouTubers who can give me strength, who can make me laugh, who can spread encouragement and creativity, and most of all, people who appreciate small things the most.

Lindy(Bubzbeauty), Zoe (Zoella), Alfie Deyes (PointlessBlog), Lilly (Superwoman) and Sasha Alsberg (Abookutopia) were actually among the only ones that I considered true, kind and inspirational from the numerous YouTubers I’ve watched over the past 3 years. That is until I found The Michalaks’ channel which at that time was still Hannah’s main channel. I completely fell in love with their little family. They never tried to be perfect, that wasn’t their purpose. I think this is why I love them so much. Their character, kind souls, funny jokes( YES STEF, I LOVE YOUR JOKES) and their unconditional love for small things and their son just warmed my heart. There is something special about this family and I feel incredibly lucky that I’ve had the privilege to watch their journey from the moment Grayson was born. e9ecf7ee1053f83096a78aa9a4082ba8

There aren’t words to describe how much they’ve inspired me to enjoy each moment, to appreciate art more and ultimately start my own YouTube channel. They genuinly love and appreciate every single one of their followers. We really need more people like them to make our day, who want to spread only love. Stef’s unique montages are something I’ve never seen before and Hannah’s kindness is just so bright. These people deserve everything the life has to offer and even more because they change people from all over the world. Hannah, Stef, you will never know how much a part of our lives you are and I hope that you will never stop doing what you love. I almost cried when I found out Hannah was pregnant because truly there isn’t a more deserving family than The Michalaks.

 

Spread ONLY love, NOT hate

 

PS: JUST WATCH THIS, IT WILL MAKE YOUR DAY

The Michalaks: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC2Ex6mz9I0DS92uVoW6pfSg