Is it more than just a story?

I fell in love with a story once and no story after that has measured up. It’s not a story that’s recognised for its impeccable writing, in fact, some people think it’s too simple. A lot of adults who once loved the story as a child, have said that there are too many gaps and time jumps in the plot.

Before reading this story, I thought I loved all stories. I thought stories were read for the words on the page, and not for the lasting impact they had on me.

Is it embarassing to say that after reading that story, I looked everywhere for a resemblance of it in real life?

Maybe that story has changed the way I see and think about myself. Had I not read that book, would I still have as much conviction to reach my dreams? Would I know how real friendships were supposed to feel and how true love felt? And how vitally important it is to stay true to myself?

I have rejected things and people who didn’t align with what I believed in. It can be so confusing sometimes, especially when the stakes are higher.

By now, you’re probably wondering what that story is. But if I were to tell you, you’d crinkle up your nose and agree that it’s just an average story, and not give a single thought to it any longer. So I won’t tell you what that story is.

Instead, I think everybody should go out there and find a story like that for themselves. Not a story that critics claim is extraordinary, not a story that’s witty and artful, but a story that makes you feel something and never ceases to give your life meaning and direction, year after year.

Start life by making a list

“Before you start anything make a list.”

What lists have you made in the past?

  • A shopping list
  • A playlist
  • A gratitude list
  • An adventure checklist
  • A New Year’s resolutions list
  • A pros and cons list of some guy you’re dating?

I’m only asking because in Sputnik’s guide to life on earth, an alien, disguised as a dog asks Prez, the main character, to save Earth by making a list of all the wonderful things on Earth.

It’s also the opening advice that Prez’s grandfather gives to him:

“Before you start anything make a list.”

That way you’ll have a purpose, you’ll get things done, and you won’t get distracted by the unimportant things not on your list.

By his standards, that means I should have made a list on the day I was born, before I even came to Earth. So my list is well overdue.

By the way, if you also want to write a list of all the wonderful things on Earth, here are the conditions as set out by Sputnik:

  • Your list can’t include the stars because technically stars are from outer space, not Earth.
  • Your list can’t include man-made structures because that’s not naturally part of Earth
  • And your list can only include the places and things you’ve seen with your own eyes.

So, if you can’t think of anything to write on the list, do what Prez does and go find out. The point isn’t to already have something to write on the list, the point is to discover it, otherwise that would be the end of the story.

Challenge accepted? Now start writing that list.

The gutsy girl

Because I’m young, stupid and naive, I thought it would be a no-brainer to follow in the footsteps of some leading ladies and heroines in this book:

The Gutsy girl: Escapades for your life of Epic Adventure

unnamed

By saying YES to all the roadtrips I got invited to this Summer, I definitely came out scathed with memories.

gutsygirl3.jpg

Road trip 1: Tongariro Crossing (Or more like the spilling out of guts)

So here’s what happened:

I was supposed to go on an epic 8 hour hike with my group of girls across the Tongariro Crossing but as soon as we arrived at the backpackers motel I had a severe case of the runs which lasted the entire day and night and the morning after. So I was a no show, and ended up lying in bed the whole day.

I did leave my room once to grab a glass of water and ended up being treated to a few hours of humourous conversations with a cast of international backpackers and a wonderful Christmas Eve dinner with roast chicken, ham, potato gravy… everything. And, to top it off, I made 4 new, amazing friends.

images (1)

Roadtrip 2: Cathedral Cove (The drowning incident) 

I must have thought that I was Wonder woman because when the waves were crashing down against the rocks, I recklessly abandoned any notion of my mortality and headed further out to sea and well, got stuck in the waves.

It was the loneliest and scariest moment of my life trying to stay afloat while the waves continuously crashed down over my head. All I could think of to the waves was: ‘Stop! give me a break so I can swim to shore.’ But it was just too strong and I felt so small against this big ocean.

My moment of relief came when someone swimming in the ocean saw me and dragged me in to safety.

But just so that I would get over my trauma, I went right back out to the ocean and had some cautious fun splashing about in the shallower areas.

How gutsy was that?

images (3).jpeg

To sum it all up

I had some good gutsy and bad gutsy moments, and moments where everything literally spilled out from my guts. Splendid!

Since summer’s almost over, and I’m trying to squeeze every little bit of fun out of the sunshiny weather, I think it’s time to consult my gutsy girls book to see what’s next on the adventure agenda!

The secret cooking club

The secret’s out. I can’t cook.

How am I supposed to function as an independent adult if I don’t know how to cook?

As I’m entering my mid-20s, I can’t sweep all the unadult-like things I do under the rug anymore. And learning to cook is one of those transient touches towards a life of independence.

Ironically, it was a children’s book that ignited my desire to learn how to cook. As with most things in my life, I tend to draw inspiration from books, because they open my eyes up to all the impossibly possible things.

The secret cooking club, which is the name of this heartwarming little book, was one of those rare and lucky finds in the library.

What’s so special about this book is that it has heart. You feel it when the main character Scarlett, discovers a secret kitchen in her neighbour’s house, and teaches herself how to cook from a mysterious cookbook dedicated to someone nicknamed ‘the little cook.’

I’m trying to emulate the details and feelings in that book and bring it to my life.

Although I won’t be discovering a secret kitchen in my neighbour’s house anytime soon, I’ll have to work with discovering the inner sanctuary of my own kitchen.

And even though ingredients won’t magically appear everytime I turn to a recipe, that’s ok because I’ll just have to go to my local Countdown store and buy all the ingredients.

And even though there isn’t a special recipe book waiting for me in my kitchen dedicated to ‘the little cook’, I bought a special cookbook dedicated especially for my elementary level cooking skills. It’s called, The student cookbook.

I think that’s enough to tick off the checklist of similarities between the book and my secret or not-so-secret, one person cooking club.

I’m hopeful that as I teach myself how to cook, I’ll evoke the same magic and wonder that that book brought.