Only Love Is Real: A Story of Soulmates Reunited by Brian L. Weiss M.D.

I’m not going to lie…I definitely only read this book because I saw Kylie Jenner post about it on Instagram. I’m not ashamed to admit that I love and absolutely keep up with the Kardashian/Jenners and all that they do. This time I’m so glad I decided to screenshot her recommendation.

I’ve been wanting to read this for awhile, but have had other books already on my list that I wanted to finish first. Now that I’ve finished it, I wish I would’ve read it sooner because it’s absolutely confirmed so many of my beliefs.

I really don’t want to spoil anything for anyone that hasn’t read it, but to summarize Dr. Weiss is a psychiatrist and hypnotherapist who uses past life regressions to treat his patients. In his first book (which I’ll be reading next) he was able to help a woman deal with traumas and anxieties in her current life by taking her through a past life regression. In this one, he began working with two patients who had recently experienced losses of people who were close to them when he discovered that the patients (who did not know each other in their current lives) may have been acquainted in past lives.

This book was so interesting, I literally read it so fast and really didn’t want to put it down.

I’m someone who already believes in soulmates, past lives, reincarnation, destiny etc. so maybe that’s why I felt so drawn to this story. At one point, Dr. Weiss describes his findings as being magical and honestly they really are.

I’m not necessarily someone who believes in God, but I do feel that I am spiritual and I do believe in a higher power and that your soul will continue on once you die. I believe that you have past lives and that our souls are reincarnated into new bodies. I believe that we come in contact with souls that we’ve met before on our journeys. All of this is kind of confirmed in this book.

Personally, I feel that I’ve experienced meeting one of my soul connections. When I met this person, I felt immediately that I knew them my whole life and possibly even longer. They felt familiar to me, and when we were together in person I always felt safe and comfortable. Almost like having that person feel like home. Even before reading this book, I looked into our connection with astrology and found that my Vertex is conjunct his Venus. Vertex conjunctions are said to represent karmic relationships with people from past lives.

After reading this book I feel even more so that this person was destined to be a part of my life in some way, and honestly when I look back at our time together I do recognize that he’s had a huge impact on my own personal growth. We aren’t currently in contact with each other and sometimes it feels like a part of me is missing, but after reading this book I feel like maybe this is just part of our journey. Maybe we knew each other in a past life and something difficult happened that is keeping us apart this time. Maybe we’ve fulfilled our purpose with each other in this life and we’ll meet again in the next. Maybe we needed to do more work separately before coming back together.

The one thing that I’ve really taken from the book is that the possibilities of your lifetime are limitless. There’s always another opportunity. There’s always growth that will happen. Your life and your soul are limitless. It’s kind of amazing.

I’d be lying if I said I didn’t want to find a hypnotherapist now to do my own past life regressions and see if I recognize any souls. It’s just so interesting. Maybe I will eventually, maybe we all should.

Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng

I really enjoyed this book. I watched the Hulu adaptation probably about a year ago and really loved it, so I’ve had this book on my list to read for awhile.

The show did a really good job adapting the story for the screen. There were definitely a few changes made, but I don’t think they messed with the story much at all. I did think it was interesting that the author never specifically mentioned Mia and Pearl’s races, yet the show made the decision to make them African American. It’s interesting to me that they did this because I feel like it hinders where the story could have gone.

***MAJOR SPOILERS AHEAD***

Something that was really interesting in the book was how Izzy felt that Mia could have been a better mother to her than Elena. She loves spending time with Mia, she listens to the things that Mia teaches her, she even at one point says that she fantasizes that Mia is her mother.

Honestly because I watched the show first I pictured Mia and Pearl as being African American, so reading this was the first time that I realized that oh, if she thinks she looks enough like Mia to possibly be her daughter than that means that Mia must be white.

I’m sure that race was changed in the show to draw even larger differences between Mia and Elena. I thought Kerry Washington was perfect in the show, so I wouldn’t change it, but when adaptations do this I feel like we need to question the change and why it was made. Wouldn’t it have been more shocking to Elena that a woman who looked like her chose this lifestyle? Did we really need to make a black woman this sort of nomad who’s perceived by Elena as being unstable with the way she lives her life? The book already deals with elements of race, so did it need this added layer of racism?

It’s definitely interesting to think about and adds more to the discussion when reading the book, but I can’t help but wonder if doing this was really necessary to the story.

Also, I feel like it really hinders them from creating a second season of the show. At the end of the book, Izzy is headed to Mia’s parents’ house. She knows everything about Pearl and Mia’s brother and her parents from the file her mother kept and she’s looking for Mia by going to her parents.

If I was a writer for the show and wanted to create another season, I could definitely see a situation unfolding where Izzy (who’s around the same age as Pearl) tells Mia’s parents that she’s the baby. It would definitely create a conflict and force all of the characters to come together again, but since they have different races this wouldn’t be something that they can do now.

Maybe they have other ideas, and I don’t think the show has been renewed yet, but I do wonder if this was part of the conversation. Anyone else think the same?

Bullet Journal – April Cover Page

Happy April! We’re being productive this month and getting things done, so here’s a somewhat earlier than usual monthly cover page!

I’m honestly not sure why I chose this quote to act as the cover page this month. I think at the beginning I was being a little sentimental about some past things and I had shared this quote on social media back when I was in my feels about it. I just really like this quote. I know Sylvia Plath is kind of depressing sometimes, but she definitely had a way with words. I should probably read more of her work…

This month actually started out on a good note. Easter seemed super early this year, didn’t it? We didn’t get everyone together like we usually would, but I got to see my aunts and my cousins, which was fun. It’s always good to catch up with family and we always have a good time.

I don’t really have a lot going on this month, but I kind of like that. I feel like it’s good sometimes to not have plans and to be able to relax and just enjoy the moments as they come. I’m actually reading a book that’s sort of about this, so look out for a review in the next week or so!

Things are looking pretty good honestly. I’m loving the nicer weather and I’m dying to be tan again! I’m also planning on going somewhat blonde again at the end of the month, so I’m excited about that. Things are good 🙂

Bullet Journal – March Cover Page

Happy almost April! I’ve been meaning to post this for awhile (as usual), but honestly what’s held me back is trying to think of what I would write about this month.

I’ve felt busy this month, even though I haven’t necessarily been super busy, if that makes sense? I feel like I’ve always got something going on – something I have to get done, someone coming over, somewhere I have to be. It’s like sometimes I don’t get the chance to even sit down and have some peace, and when I do I just don’t have the motivation to do anything else.

I’ve seen others post similar feelings, and I think a lot of it still has to do with the coronavirus and feeling like things aren’t normal. I used to have a set work schedule, used to know when I would have free time, used to be able to make plans last minute and not have to worry about how clean/safe people around me are being. With all of these things to worry about, its hard to find time to do things that I enjoy. I’m managing it well I think, but still wish for some sort of normalcy and not having to worry so much about things.

I’ve really focused on those things this month and have been making attempts to do the things I like. It helps that the weather has been better.

I took off my regular job last week and one morning it was really nice outside. I made myself a cup of coffee and drank it on my deck before spending some time cleaning up an overgrown tree in my yard. It felt really good. It felt like I had done something for myself for the first time in forever. I need more of that.

I don’t really have many other updates for the month. It was pretty average looking back. I am ready for more nice weather and hopefully more days for myself. We’ll see how April goes!

Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis by J.D. Vance

Like almost every other book I read, I watched this movie first. I thought that the movie was good, the actors played their roles really well, and the story was interesting. However, I felt that there was probably way more to this story than what they were portraying. Boy, was I right.

My aunt and I were talking about the movie and how we both wanted to read the book. She actually surprised me by sending a copy to me in the mail (special shout-out to Aunt Angie!).

***MAJOR MOVIE AND BOOK SPOILERS AHEAD***

I was surprised when I started reading that the book wasn’t set up like the movie. It didn’t start in the present with a major conflict that the main character was dealing with, it just started from the beginning of J.D.’s life.

It threw me off at first, but I liked it way better. Starting from the beginning really allowed us to see everything through J.D.’s eyes. We got all the background on his family in Kentucky, his Mamaw and Papaw’s move to Ohio and everything that led up to his childhood. It really helped to set the scene and give the reader the sense of hope for a better future by getting out of Kentucky.

If you’ve read the book or seen the movie, you know that his grandparents getting out of Kentucky wasn’t all sunshine and rainbows. They never lost their “hillbilly” side and had very strong and aggressive personalities. It made his mothers life very difficult, which in turn made J.D.’s life difficult.

This sort of rut that they were stuck in is something that I think needs to be talked about more. I don’t think people realize it, but when you grow up in circumstances where you’re told this is all you’ll ever amount to and this is what you should expect from life, it’s really hard to get out of that. J.D.’s mom was smart and did well in school, but as he mentions ended up pregnant and divorced before she was even out of her teens. She was just a product of her environment and once she was caught up in it, she didn’t find her way out.

J.D. was on that path as well because he was also stuck in that environment. It wasn’t until he took control of his life and moved in permanently with his Mamaw that his life started to change for the better. Through a series of choices that he made, without any real goals, he became the exception to the rule. He made it to Yale. He made it out of poverty. He was able to improve his life and recognize that he wasn’t the norm for people who grew up the same way.

He also recognized that he didn’t do this on his own. He needed help and he needed people to help him figure out how to get that help. It was actually shocking to me as well when he realized that he could spend less going to Yale than he did going to a local college. It makes sense when you think about it, because there’s plenty of financial aid for people who need it when they go to college, and of course ivy-league schools have lots of money to give. It made really wonder how many people haven’t even tried because they didn’t think they could afford it. How many people were told that they couldn’t accomplish going to a better school because they would end up with too much debt?

Since I watched the movie first, I was shocked to find out that the entire conflict in the movie wasn’t even mentioned in the book. J.D. wasn’t interrupted during his dinner to find out his mother had overdosed and had to drive all night to make it to the hospital. He didn’t take her to a rehab where he had to pay with multiple credit cards. He didn’t catch her trying to use at a dirty motel.

There were mentions of similar situations, but nothing so dramatic as what they portrayed in the movie. It actually made the movie feel cheap and like a disservice to J.D. real, true story. They used his family’s problems to create a dramatic situation that took away from his accomplishment. They made it about Amy Adams, when it should’ve just been about how he got away from her.

It’s not often that I’m disappointed in movie adaptations, but this one is pretty bad in my opinion.

Everything he wrote about was real and interesting. It’s eye-opening and inspiring to see how someone from a totally different background can accomplish more than they ever thought was possible. It really does show that opportunity is out there, but it’s not as accessible as we think.

This was truly a great book and great story. I really hope that everyone who watched the movie takes the time to read the book.

Bullet Journal – February Cover Page

Yay for getting this one posted before the end of the month! I really need to get better about this, I’m trying I promise!

I was trying to think of a way to show love for Valentine’s Day and February without being overly Valentine’s Day, you know? I saw this tattoo drawing on Pinterest that was supposed to represent Persephone and knew that I had to copy it for my bujo.

If you keep up with my blog, you may have seen that I read Mythology: Timeless Tales of Gods and Heroes by Edith Hamilton back in October 2019. I mentioned there how much the story of Persephone and Hades stuck out to me and that I wanted to read more about them. I’ve read a little here and there, but really feel drawn to Persephone. I love that she’s the goddess of Spring and the queen of the Underworld. She can be soft and sweet but also strong and dark. I feel that way about myself sometimes, like I don’t really fit into one box.

I like that they’re one of the few couples in mythology that seem like they have a strong relationship. Hades is completely in love with Persephone, and unlike other gods he doesn’t have extramarital affairs and children all over the place.

They definitely have their problems and are only able to spend half of the year together, so honestly not the ideal relationship, but if we’re being honest what relationship doesn’t have problems? If this is what works for them, then that’s cool, right?

Anyway, I just like that I was able to find a way to make my theme about a love that I find interesting. Thought about doing another Bridgerton drawing, but that might be too much Bridgerton even for me.

There really isn’t much else to write about this month. We’re getting lots of snow, the Groundhog saw his shadow so winter isn’t over any time soon, I’m still working two jobs…

Hopefully I’ll have more to write about new month, but no news is better than bad news, so I’ll take it!

Happy February everyone 🙂

I Burn For You…

Is there anyone who hasn’t binged Bridgerton at this point? Personally, I’ve been considering starting it over for the third time. I was so glad to hear that it had officially been renewed!

When I was in high school I loved doing portraits, but always just did them with pencil. I’ve never attempted portraits in watercolor before, so decided to give this a shot. I had some watercolor cards on hand, so thought this would be cute as a love/valentine’s/anniversary card if it turned out well.

I have to say, I’m pretty happy with it. Simon turned out so well, I sort of impressed myself. Daphne could use some work, but I’m still pretty happy with it.

I decided to put it up for sale on my Etsy account. It’s one of a kind and hand-painted, check it out here.

I definitely want to do more of these, maybe some more famous couples in television and film? We’ll see!

Bullet Journal – January Cover Page

I still can’t believe 2020 is over, what a year. Definitely hoping that 2021 is better, or at least just different.

I know we’re not too far into the year yet, but so far so good. Things seem to be looking up for me. I feel more positive about making plans for the future. It feels a little bit like there’s a light at the end of the tunnel and I can finally see it, though time will tell.

I turned 29 earlier this month, which was…weird. It’s strange that I’m in the last year of my twenties. I’ve been reflecting on it a lot recently and I feel pretty good about how I’ve spent my twenties. I’ve traveled to some amazing places, I found a good job, I bought a house on my own. There are a lot of people my age who probably haven’t been fortunate enough to achieve those things yet and I feel pretty good about that.

I also feel like I’ve really discovered myself and have a good understanding of who I am. I’ll be going into my thirties sure of myself and what I want from life. I’m not sure I feel like an adult yet, but do we ever feel like we’re as old as we are after this point?

I guess it’s hard to say how you expect a year to go when you’re still in the beginning, but I’m looking forward to what this year will bring. So, happy New Year everyone and here’s to 2021!

Bullet Journal – December Cover Page

So…I forgot this month to post my cover page (how very 2020 of me). It’s actually kind of a blessing in disguise because now I can make it an end of the year post!

December has been a bit of a wild ride. There’s a new vaccine that’s out, we may be getting another round of stimulus checks (not enough, but long overdue) here in the US. We celebrated Christmas!!

It’s funny actually because I had a lot of people tell me that Christmas didn’t feel the same for them this year because of the coronavirus. My family stopped visiting our entire family years ago, so for awhile it’s just been my parents and my siblings getting together for Christmas Day. For us it was really nice. My parents got me a Bissell Crosswave!

Not much else to update on. I didn’t include the monthly spread this time because it’s pretty much the same thing and the cover pages seem more exciting.

I will say, I’m looking forward to 2021. It just feels like there’s some hope for next year to be better. I know I’m definitely looking forward to things returning to normal as quickly as possible. I’d love to travel again.

Hope everyone made it through 2020 and is looking forward to better times. Happy New Year!

I Finally Did It! Check Me Out on Etsy!

So something that people might not know about me is that I love making art. When I was in kindergarten, my grandmother would bring me along to art lessons that she would take and I fell in love.

All throughout school, art was always my favorite subject. In high school, I took as many art classes as I could. I really enjoyed portraits back then, and would always be drawing pictures of my friends and favorite celebrities.

I *almost* decided to go to school for art, but ended up choosing journalism as my major instead. Even then, I kept up with my interest in art and ended up working as a blogger for the Tyler Student Life page at the Tyler School of Art. I got to talk to students and artists, see their work, and start conversations about art and working as an artist. It was something that I really enjoyed.

Life’s gotten in the way a little bit since then, so I haven’t really had the time to sit down and draw or paint, but thanks to my current job I’ve been able to travel the world. Seeing the beautiful architecture in other countries, visiting art museums, and just enjoying life have really made me want to get back into the art world.

Then came COVID and here I was sitting at home bored out of my mind. Like many others, I decided to order art supplies from Michael’s and Amazon (which wasn’t easy because everything was pretty much sold out). I finally picked up the paintbrush again! And I’m actually not that bad at it.

I decided to open an Etsy account so that my artwork doesn’t keep piling up at my house. It’s really just something for fun, but I appreciate any one who’s willing to check it out.

I have tons of photos from my travels that I plan on painting and selling on the shop, BUT FIRST! I’ve been painting photos of my family’s dogs on ornaments and decided to offer it as a custom ornament on the shop. It’s just a start, but here’s a link if you want to see it for yourself: Custom Hand-Painted Dog Ornaments.

Anyway, that’s all I wanted to share. Thanks so much for taking the time to read and check out my new venture 🙂

Visit KaylaCropperArt on Etsy!