A Shy Introvert In An Extroverted World // My Ice Breaker Speech

I put myself on a scary journey but I know it’s going to pay off in the end.

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I’ve always wanted to be a better communicator. Throughout my life, I struggled to speak up because I was afraid of what others think of me and I have low self-confidence.

To stand out in this era, you need to be able to clearly express your thoughts, to think on your feet, and most importantly to be able to engage and influence others. Without these skills, you’ll face difficulties at networking events, job interviews or getting a promotion.

I first heard about Toastmasters at a dinner party 2 years ago. The guy I was talking to had great confidence and he never used “like”, “ah” or “uhm”. On most occasions, I’d start comparing myself to the stranger and think negatively about my ability to socialize (or give presentations). And what usually happens is I get overwhelmed with the negative thoughts and I start to stumble all over my sentences. I become the poor communicator that I wish to avoid.

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It’s rare that I feel at ease with a stranger but for some reason, I opened up to him. I told him my desire to get better at presenting and telling stories and he suggested that I join Toastmasters at the University of Melbourne. I asked him what a typical session at Toastmasters is like and he explained with enthusiasm:

  1. You’ll be called upon to speak about a random topic for 60-90 seconds without any preparation. [If you’re a guest, you can pass but if you’re a member you must do it]
  2. Experienced members will evaluate your performance and give you feedback. [In front of everyone]

and the list goes on.  I felt fear creeping into my brain and my interest gradually waned.

The thought of standing in front of a huge group of students (He said the club is VERY popular) talking about a random topic without any preparation is enough to make my brain go NO! NO! NO! NO! I not only have serious fear of public speaking but I’m also terrible at thinking on my feet. To sum things up, I’ll have a very unpleasant time at Toastmasters. So I took the easy way out. I listened to Fear, didn’t join the club and kept wishing I was a better speaker while I was an undergraduate.

Then something changed in me as 2017 comes to an end. I realized that nothing will change if I let Fear dictate me. I will never grow.

Plus the world doesn’t give a f**k if I’m an introvert or if I’m shy. If I can’t perform in this extroverted world, I lose.

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In September, I decided to challenge my good ol’ friend Fear. I went to a couple of Toastmasters meetings to gauge the atmosphere and it surprised me. The people there are so encouraging and helpful; it just feels like a safe place for me to fail. The other thing that motivated me to come back was the fact that most guests share my insecurities and I finally found myself saying thinking: “I’m not alone anymore“.

I’ve given two impromptu speeches (as a guest) so far and I did my first ice breaker speech (as an official Toastmasters member) last week. After the meeting, a few guests came up and told me they could really relate to my story and I was happy to hear that. When I wrote my speech, I didn’t want it to just be an introduction of myself but also to encourage other shy introverts to step up and take control of Fear.

Because why the hell not? Public speaking is scary but it didn’t kill me. Trust me, you’ll survive. 

*If you’re interested, read on to find out what my speech was about*

Mr Toastmaster, fellow members and guests, today I’d like to share my story on what is it like growing up as a shy introvert. First, you’ll get to a glimpse of my background, followed by short snippets of my life experiences as a shy introvert and finally I’ll end with techniques I use to cope in an extroverted world.

My name is Su Min Chan and I was born and raised in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The first two languages I was exposed to were English and Cantonese and once I started kindergarten, I became familiar with Mandarin and Malay as well. For some reason, my Mandarin skills never go beyond a 10 year old but my older brother and I could still speak the language if we want to discuss something we don’t want our parents to know. I spent my secondary school years in an all-girls government school and at 18, I pursued my International Baccalaureate (IB) diploma at the International School of KL before moving to Australia for my Bachelor’s Degree at the University of Melbourne. Even though I majored in Psychology, I’ve decided to pursue a career in the fashion industry and I aim to become a part of the ethical fashion movement in the future.

For most of my life, I’ve been known as the shy and quiet one but that’s not always the case. When I was a young girl, I wouldn’t be the one to start a conversation during social outings or family gatherings. I prefer to sit in the corner and observe. Once things get boring, I’d start day-dreaming or make up random stories in my head. In middle school, I became less awkward at parties but I still wouldn’t speak in class. Due to my quiet and reserved nature, I tend to have a small but close group of friends. Much to their surprise, I can be pretty crazy and outgoing during our meetups. Our personalities occur on a spectrum. I’d say I belong somewhere between introversion and extroversion but I definitely show more characteristics of an introvert. 

I can get away with being a shy introvert when I was younger, but things started to change once I enter university. I was horrified when to find that tutorial are graded based on how much I contribute and presentations as well as group work are common throughout the semester. As an introvert, thinking on my feet is not my forte and I tend to focus and perform better on individual assignments. On top of all that, good leadership skills are highly regarded when applying for internships or a job. To fulfill society’s criteria for the best candidate, I volunteered to be the secretary of Melbourne University’s Tae Kwon Do club and a mentor to five international students for the student union. I may great at organizing events and providing guidance to a small group of people, but I’m not the best in convincing others to get involved in club competitions or events. Unfortunately for me, the ideal leader in today’s society is someone who is energetic, approachable and is able to influence a group of more than five. The situation may be more challenging for me but I want to work on being a better introverted leader so that I could guide those with similar difficulties.

Pushing myself out of my comfort zone on most days means I experience more anxiety and stress but the following methods have helped me strive. When I’m socializing I make sure to take quick “breaks” in the bathroom. Stepping away from the crowd helps me recharge and gives me time to think about topics to talk about during the get-to-know-you-sessions. I also try to be gentle to myself when things don’t go smoothly. Setbacks and the feeling of incompetence are common but giving myself plenty of positive self-talk has helped me stay motivated. Finally, and perhaps the most crucial, I try to stop worrying about what others think of me. Once you’ve learned to let go of that, you start growing and all you feel is empowerment. These three countermeasures have not only helped me reduce stress and anxiety but they also gave me motivation to seek challenges.

I hope I’ve used this time well to introduce myself. For the shy introverts in this room, know that it’s never too late to start challenging yourself. I urge you to find ways to help you cope and you’d be surprised at who you can become!

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Make Your Home A Better Place Now

This weekend’s post is about reducing the amount of plastic that ends up in the landfill. Discover organizations such as TerraCycle and the RED Group as well as learn how you could recycle the “non-recyclables”.

 

I learned how to protect the environment through school and my parents. We recycle newspapers, magazines and we limit our use of plastic bags by storing reusable bags in the car. Our actions demonstrate that we care for the environment but I don’t think we’re doing much to save the environment at all.

Although my parents use recycling bags when running errands, they often come back from the wet market with more plastic bags. My mom collects glass jars and plastic containers and recycle them in the city but she throws away plastic packaging when she unpacks the groceries. Now do you think I’d do better than my parents? Unfortunately, no. Sometimes I accept plastic bags from vendors because I use them to line my trash bin. I also throw away plastic packaging when I unpack my groceries.

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My mom uses a tiffin carrier to store me and my brother’s breakfast. Source: Project Bly

A few months ago, I finally decided to do what I can to change my current habits in order to make my home a better place. The three categories I need to work on is recycling beauty products, oral care products and soft plastics the right way.

Think about how you’d normally dispose beauty, body care and oral care products? Do you put them into the regular recycling bin? If so, you need to stop doing that! According to the Northern Adelaide Waste Management Authority (NAWMA), we can only put the following items into the yellow recycling bin:

  • newspapers, paper, magazines
  • cardboard
  • glass bottles and jars
  • plastic containers (soft drinks, milk, ice cream, margarine and yogurt)
  • aluminium
  • steel cans

Why is that you say? Because the type of plastic used to create the tubes and containers for beauty, body care and oral care products are different. Hence, you need to recycle them through a different channel. If you live in Australia, you could do that through TerraCycle. TerraCycle collaborates with major consumer product companies, retailers, manufacturers and small business in 20 different countries to recycle coffee capsules, pens, plastic gloves and more. TerraCycle offers free recycling programs and solutions to make recycling a part of our lifestyle. All you have to do is sign up (it’s free), start collecting (from home, office or school), download the free shipping labels and send your waste to be recycled (you can opt to drop them off). Members are rewarded with TerraCycle points which they can redeem for cash and donate to a non-profit organization or school of their choice. I signed up for the Beauty Products Recycling Program a few months ago and I’ve collected up to 10 products to date. TerraCycle can expect a huge box of goodies once I’m ready to move out!

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Tom Szaky was 19 years old when he first got the idea for TerraCycle. The Princeton freshman wanted to eliminate waste by making quality fertilizer from food waste. Szaky went through a hard time and was close to giving up until he met Suman Sinha, TerraCycle’s first investor. Read the rest of the story here.

If you’re not sure what to do with the plastic packaging you get from the supermarkets, don’t fret. You can recycle them through the REDcycle program. RED Group is a Melbourne based consulting and recycling organisation that developed and implemented the program that allows consumers to recycle soft plastic such as bread bag, pasta and rice bags, old green bags, cereal box liners, just to name a few. Over the years, RED Group has teamed up with Coles, Woolworths and other Australia’s well-loved brands to make recycling easier for consumers.

Although major supermarkets in Australia do take part in this green initiative, I feel that they could’ve done a better job. We know that consumers and manufacturers use a stupid amount of plastic everyday (if you don’t, look it up) so I assume major supermarkets would have a REDcycle bin in all of their outlets. But it turns out that I have to go to specific places to drop off the soft plastics I’ve collected. What’s even more frustrating is that the Woolworths I shop at is located in one of the busiest areas in the city and yet there’s not a single REDcycle bin in sight. If they don’t make recycling convenient for consumers, how are we supposed to reduce the amount of plastic packaging that goes out to the landfill?

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TerraCycle’s main office: the desks are separated with items like old records and cork boards. Source: Dishmag.com
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Office Lobby: the furniture, chairs and table are made from secondhand materials. Source: Dishmag.com
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The upcycled “carden”. Source: Dishmag.com

Usually I’d vent about it and then move on. But this time I decided to write to Woolworths. I explained the situation and noted down the benefits of having a REDcycle bin at QV centre. They wrote back saying that they’re aware of the situation and is in the process of rolling out the REDcycle program to the rest of the outlets. I’m so glad to hear that.

Take a moment to reflect on your current lifestyle habits. Do you consider yourself an environmentally friendly person or you don’t really care? If you’re in the latter category, why do you think that? Consuming is a big part of our lives and it’s worth taking the initiative to reduce unnecessary waste. Make your home a better place now and be mindful when you consume.

 

You can make a difference.

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Brand Feature // Mon Purse

If you like high quality leather goods (big and small) and the option to customize, Mon Purse offers all that and more.

The Brand

Have you ever experienced the situation where you found a bag that you love but there was just one detail that doesn’t fit your style? We’ve all been there and thankfully there are brands out there that come to our rescue.

Mon Purse is one such brand.

Founded by Lana Hopkins, the Australian brand hand selects high quality leather and raw materials to produce leather goods that will last a lifetime. The best thing about Mon Purse is that customers are given the power to design their leather goods and by working with generational craftsmen, Mon Purse ensures that its customers get the products that they’ve envisioned and will truly love.

In terms of design, customers can emboss their initials or icons and symbols on the product of their choice. Mon Purse even provide the option to choose the color of the hardware (comes with a selection of gold, silver, rose gold and gunmetal) as well as the type of leather. Whether you’re drawn to grainy leather, vegetable tanned leather, or crocodile embossed leather, there’s something for everyone!

Besides bags and pouches, Mon Purse also sell small leather goods such as card holders, Iphone accessories and metal letter charms.

From The Founder

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Source: The Cusp

Lana was shopping for the perfect handbag at Westfield Bondi Junction but like most women, she couldn’t find the one that she wanted. And as she was building her nephew’s perfect teddy bear at Build-A-Bear workshop, she thought why not create something that allows women to do the same? With that, Mon Purse was born in 2014.

It’s definitely not easy to run a business but after two years of hard work, Mon Purse is now valued at over $30 million, with departments available in Selfridges (London), Bloomingdale (US), and Myers (Australia).

Do you see yourself as more a designer or as working in technology?

The combination of fashion and technology is a natural partnership – the two work together in harmony. Technology has enabled consumers to personalise and customise current trends to suit their own style. Fashion is something people love and are passionate about – technology is simply the unseen mechanism of making dreams possible.

Biggest pinch me moment…

  • We launched in beta (online) in October 2014 and have only been truly trading for less than one and a half years, during this time we managed to open our Paddington flagship store, signed an exclusive deal with MYER (we currently have 5 concessions Australia wide, with more to come in 2017).
  • Partnered with two of the most prestigious department stores in the world, Selfridges and Bloomingdales.
  • From 17 million design combinations on our bag builder to 6 billion and growing.

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Biggest piece of advice…

When it gets too hard, just keep going because that is when breakthroughs tend to happen. Impossible is nothing.

If you could change one thing about the fashion industry, what would it be and why?

Quality should trump everything. Our philosophy is to invest in nothing but the finest luxury European leathers and craftsmanship. Consumers understand quality – we must think solely about the consumers’ needs, and provide them with what they want, how they want and when they want it. It is very important to remain relevant and authentic. Consumers are intelligent and authenticity creates magic.

Tell us something about you that not many people know.

I was born in Russia, moved to Australia when I was quite young and grew up in a small place called Armidale, in countryside New South Wales – a gorgeous part of the world. I can also speak fluent Russian.

Source: Drapersonline.com and anorganisedlife.com

Find out more here:

http://au.monpurse.com/

https://www.instagram.com/mon_purse/

https://www.facebook.com/monpurse

 

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Jewelry Edit // Opals

Lusting over Australia’s national gemstone – the opal.

I first heard of opals when I visited Melbourne back in 2010. I’ve always been a fan of gemstones and crystals but I don’t own jewelry of that kind until recently.

A few weeks ago, I came across a sale at Rochi’s Opals (168 Swanston St, Melbourne VIC 3000) and I couldn’t help but step inside to see if there’s anything that catches my eye. Although I don’t look for specific types of jewelry, I tend to gravitate towards rings. I think it’s the perfect jewelry to wear no matter the season as bangles and necklaces are usually covered up by turtleneck knits, scarves and jackets.

Most of the rings available at Rochi’s are simple and dainty (see above), which is perfect for the minimalist but they also look common. I like unique jewelry (and clothing and decorations) that speaks to my personal style and what’s not to love when most people don’t own what you have? I’m currently in a phase where all chunky and non symmetrical pieces appeal to me and I hope to eventually build a collection of jewelry that I adore and would wear for years to come.

Do you know much about opals? If not, I got you covered. Opal is a gemstone found mainly in Australia and it’s one of only six types of precious gemstones – alongside diamonds, rubies, sapphires, emeralds and pearls – found on planet earth.

Myth: Opals are bad luck.

Fact: The ‘bad luck’ myth is the result of centuries of misinformation, superstition, wives’ tales, and jealous diamond traders spreading rumours. Opal has also been considered a good luck talisman and lucky charm throughout the ages, and has been prized by many civilisations. Find out more about the ‘bad luck’ opal myth.

The two main variety of opal are precious opal and common opal. The former presents a pseudo chromatic optical effect and is considerably rare while the latter is dull and valueless. About 95% of all opal mined is common (they’re usually white, grey, black) and of the 5% that has some color, only 0.25% has value while the rest is of mediocre grade.

Myth: Opals are extremely fragile and will break very easily.

Fact: It’s true that opals are more fragile than most gemstones, however they’re not as fragile as some people imagine. Opals are about the same hardness as glass, so imagine you’re wearing a piece of glass and you’ll get the idea. Boulder opals and opals with a low cabochon are sturdier and less easy to damage.

The value of opal depends on a range of factors such as body tone, brilliance and pattern. Body tone refers to the underlying color of the opal which can differ from black through to dark and light. Those with black or dark body tone are deemed more valuable than white or light body tone because the former tends to display colors more vibrantly. Precious opals are also more likely to display a spectrum of color when light passes through the tiny silica spheres in the micro-structure of the opal.

If you’re thinking of getting opal jewelry, educate yourself on how to care for them. First, identify the type of opal you have. Is it a doublet, triplet or a solid opal?

  • Doublet: Has two layers, a thin slice of opal and a black backing.
  • Triplet: Similar to doublet but has a third transparent layer on top (quartz or glass) to protect the opal.
  • Solid: It’s in its natural state and has been cut and polished.

Opal is only as hard as glass, so if there’s a chance it’ll be scratched or broken, remove the jewelry beforehand. To keep your opals looking pristine, take note of the following:

  • Doublets and triplets: Avoid prolonged exposure to water as layers in the opal will be lifted, resulting in a ‘foggy’ or grey appearance. Clean doublets and triplets with a damp soft cloth and mild detergent. Never soak or immerse them!
  • Solid: Unlike doublets and triples, solid opals are fine in water. However, since most precious opals have 5 – 6% water, they may crack if subjected to very dry conditions or rapid temperature changes. Avoid very high temperatures or low humidity extremes (Do you work for the bank? Watch out for zero humidity bank vaults).

In the end, I didn’t purchase any rings from Rochi’s Opals but I did get two gold necklaces with little blue-green opals on them. Now I just got to wait for the right time to wear them.

 

My Top Picks

Source: http://www.opalsdownunder.com.au

 

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In My Handheld Device

Just sharing a few visuals I’ve gathered over time…

143IMG_20160830_173532_HDR2Lei. Suit hunting with R. Drive up to Falls Creek. Backstage // PUMA. Policemen on horse.

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Andrea fixes my hair. NGV exhibition. Night market @ Ampang, KL. Random sightings in Brunswick.

 

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Raw Moments

I was thinking about my collection of photos yesterday night and I feel like posting the unedited in this perfect virtual world.

Here are some of my favorite snaps taken at different points of my life.

It’s unedited. Off the cuff. It’s raw.

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My first trip to the Dandenong Ranges with R.
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A short family trip to Penang, Malaysia.
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Psychology graduates.
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Hair love affair at the Finders Keepers event.
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Bestie came down to visit from Canberra.
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Ai Wei Wei’s
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Couldn’t resist taking a shot of these two little ones. 
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R getting his “wand”.
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Closing of the NEXT A/W runway show.

My goal was to post at least 4 times every month but that’s not happening in March. I shall try harder in April and challenge myself.

I hope you’re enjoying your Friday.

Wherever you are, have a great weekend!

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My Top 5 Book Recommendations

I’ve recommended some of my favorite movies a week ago. This time it’s all about books!

Happy Tuesday folks! In my last post, I talked about my favorite movies (check it out if you haven’t seen it) and this one is for you bookworms who just want to curl up and read after a long day at work.

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The Bug is set at the dawn of the personal-computer era in the 1980s. Novice software tester Roberta Walton stumbles across a bug and raises her concern to longtime programmer Ethan Levin, who inadvertently created “The Jester”. The bug gained its nickname for its tendency to appear randomly at critical moments, jeopardizing the fate of the company.

Walton and Levin team up to hunt down the elusive bug but the challenge affects both characters differently. Levin’s desire to fix his mistake soon becomes an uncontrollable obsession, threatening to destroy his professional and personal life. Walton, on the other hand, benefits from the existence of the bug. She not only challenges herself to learn to program but also escapes her private troubles by putting all her energy into the learning process.

Although I have no knowledge in programming, Ullman has made The Bug an easy read. It was eye opening to get a glimpse into the programming world and the challenges programmers face at work. Other ideas explored in the book include the boundary between work and personal life, isolation and the relationship between humans and computers. Some parts of the book made me feel uneasy (you’ll know why when you read it) but if you’re curious about the world of programming and the complexities of the human psyche, this one’s for you.

Ellen Ullman is an American computer programmer and author. She owned a consulting firm and worked as technology commentator for NPR’s All Things Considered. Her work analyzes the human side of the world of computer programming.

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I usually treat myself to a pile of books when a bookstore is having a sale. I picked this one up about 2 years ago (I got The Bug at the same time as well) while I was in my final year of university.

Buying books is not an easy feat. Because I don’t read a lot, I have no clue as to which authors produce the best work. So I end up reading the short description behind random books, hoping to stumble across something that interests me (I could easily spend 2 hours in a bookstore!). There were two things that prompted me to purchase House of Stone: the memoir was written by an established journalist and the fact that it’s set in the Middle East.

I’ve always wanted to learn more about the culture in the Middle East and Shadid did a great job in portraying that as well as the agonies and hopes of the Middle East. In 2006, Shadid was sent to Lebanon to report on the Israeli invasion and he discovered his great grandfather’s once magnificent property in ruins. A year later, Shadid returned to Marjayoun (where the house is) and began his mission to restore the house. The renovation not only signifies the attempt to restore what was once great but most importantly it also preserves his family’s identity in the land they call Home.

The author takes you through his experience collaborating with the locals and tells a rich story of how his family came to settle in America. House of Stone has informed and changed my perception on the Middle East. It’s personal, engaging and emotional. I highly recommend this one!

Shadid was a foreign correspondent for The New York Times based in Baghdad and Beirut. From 2003 to 2009 Shadid was a staff writer for The Washington Post acting as the Islamic affairs correspondent in the Middle East. He won the Pulitzer Prize for International Reporting twice for his coverage on the Iraq War. At just 43, Shadid suffered an acute asthma attack and passed away while attempting to leave Syria in 2012.

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If you look at the cover, can you tell what this book is about? You guessed it – technology! My desire to read technology related books started when I finished G. Willow Wilson’s Alif the Unseen. This was actually a prescribed book for my Popular Fiction class and I’m glad that I was introduced to range of great writers while I was a literature student.

Alif the Unseen is set in an unnamed Middle Eastern security state where a 23 year old Arab-Indian hacker shields his clients—dissidents, outlaws, Islamists, and other watched groups—from surveillance. Alif’s relationship with an aristocratic woman named Intisar ends abruptly when her father arranges a marriage for her with a man of her class. It turns out that Intisar’s fiancé is the state’s leading censor, also known as ‘the Hand’. One day, Alif’s computer is breached by the state’s electronic security force and they come after him with guns drawn, forcing him to go underground. As their final communication, Intisar sends Alif a mysterious book titled The Thousand and One Days which he soon realizes is a dangerous source of old world magic. As the keeper of the secret book, Alif is about to become a wanted fugitive from the corporeal and the celestial worlds…

I have to admit it was impossible to put down Alif the Unseen. Although reading one book per week is usually impossible for me (yes, we Lit students are hard core), I had no problem with this one. The story is action packed, filled with suspense and you’ll encounter themes related to spirituality, democracy as well as love and betrayal.

Gwendolyn Willow Wilson is an American comics writer, prose author, essayist and journalist (wow!). After converting to Islam while attending Boston University, Wilson moved to Cairo and made her contributions to the Atlantic Monthly, The New York Times Magazine and the National Post. Wilson’s writing career began from her work as a freelance music critic for DigBoston. In 2014, Marvel debuted a new Ms. Marvel series written by Wilson. Her debut novel Alif the Unseen won the 2013 World Fantasy Award for best novel.

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I was introduced to The Great Gatsby while I was pursuing an International Baccalaureate degree back in 2010. At first it was hard for me to digest as I wasn’t used to reading classics. But after going through it twice and discussing it in class, I begin to appreciate Fitzgerald’s work.

I recommend that you watch and read The Great Gatsby. You’ll get the full picture of what is it like to live in America during the 1920s and Fitzgerald’s (or Nick’s? This point was debated in my but I’ll let you decide) views on society and the country’s values. My favorite symbol is the eyes of Doctor T. J. Eckleburg. When I first read the book, I didn’t think twice about them but it has an interesting meaning attached to them. I’ll leave you with a quote from the book and you decide if you want to pick this one up or not:

Gatsby believed in the green light, the orgastic future that year by year recedes before us. It eluded us then, but that’s no matter – tomorrow we will run faster, stretch out our arms farther…And then one fine morning – So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.”

Francis Scott Key Fitzgerald was an American novelist and short story writer whose work mostly illustrates the Jazz Age. Fitzgerald wrote four novels: This Side of Paradise, The Beautiful and DamnedThe Great Gatsby and Tender Is the Night but the last one didn’t receive the attention he hoped for. Although he wasn’t as successful as other writers in his time, he is known to be one of the greatest American writers of the 20th century. Fitzgerald’s health wasn’t the greatest in the late 1930s. He was a heavy drinker and he died of a heart attack at the age of 44. His fifth novel The Last Tycoon was only half written but it was prepared by his friend Edmund Wilson and published after his death.

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Of course I have to include this one in this post. I was telling my friends on Instagram how good the book was and that they should have a read if they want to understand the introverts around them, and rightly so.

In my opinion, Quiet is well researched, engaging and passionate. Cain’s discussions are adequately supported by research and she includes materials that invite the readers to participate in her discussion. The book is broken up into four major chapters starting with the discussion on the extrovert ideal, followed by the idea of nature vs. nurture, cultural influences and finally finishing up with tips on how to love and work with introverts. Although the book is filled with research, Cain managed to make it interesting and easily digestible. What I like most about this book is the stories Cain collected from real introverts. Ranging in age and profession, they all provide valuable insights on how they try to “fit in”, adapt and strive in an extroverted world. Cain passionately argues that by undervaluing introverts, society fails to benefit from at least one-third of the population.

There is so much I could relate to in this book. I even shed a tear or two when I thought about my “ugly” days in school and “embarrassing” incidents during social events. After reading Quiet, I realized how far I’ve come and how my constant struggle to break free from my fears has shaped who I am today. Quiet may have opened up the eyes of the extroverts, but I fear that change is happening too slowly…

Susan Horowitz Cain is an American writer who co-founded Quiet Revolution in 2015. The company’s mission is “to unlock the power of introverts for the benefit of us all”. Following Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking, Cain wrote Quiet Power: The Secret Strengths of Introverts in 2016 to educate teachers and parents on introverted children and teens. Cain initially had a career in corporate law and consulting but she decided to leave that behind for writing so that she could work from home and spend time with her family.

And there you have it! I hope I managed to pique your interest with these selections. Until then, take care and have a great week ahead!

 

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